I just want to be a photographer

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner
All images taken on 35mm film with Nikon cameras and lenses.
Scanned with a Nikon LS9000.

The thing I really like about digital photography is the fact that I'm totally in control of every step of the process.

The thing I hate about digital photography is the fact that I have to do everything myself, all I really want to do is take the pictures.

Contradictory? Well yes, but both are true for me.

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner

When I scan images it reminds me of a simpler time. After I had selected my lens, chosen the aperture, composed, focused and pressed the shutter, that was pretty much it. Apart from getting the film to the lab, and picking up the processed transparencies, I had created my image.

Things were certainly different in my film days. (By the way for those who don't know what it is, film was a kind of chemical sensor.) Everything moved at a much slower pace. Films got upgraded very slowly and I kept cameras for years not months.

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner 

Testing new equipment consisted of shooting a roll of film. If I looked OK I kept what I had bought, if it didn't I took it back to the shop. There was less choice. The "Big Five" - Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus and Minolta, were the main choices. There were others like Leica, Fuji, Hassleblad etc. but these were what most of us used. Panasonic and Samsung made toasters.

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner


I also shot sparingly. Apart from the fact that I had to buy the cameras and the lenses, film and processing it was an ongoing cost. Everytime I pressed the shutter there was a "ching" from a cash register somewhere.

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner

In terms of making a living, I sent the transparencies somewhere and they sold them. If a client wanted some pictures, I posted them, or if needed quickly they sent a man on a motorbike to pick them up. Captioning was rudimentary, and searches were undertaken by people called picture researchers, who lived in a land far far away. (Central London)

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner

There were things called prints, and you held them in your hand, or if you made a really nice one, put it on the wall.

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner

Things I DIDN'T do.

Calibrate my monitor.
Compare noise levels.
Process raw files.
Write a short essay about each image and think of 50 relevant keywords.
Look at my picture the moment after taking it.
Scour the internet for samples.
Get disatisfied with my equipment very quickly.
Know what CMOS meant.
Know what CCD meant.
Shoot at anything higher than ISO 400.
Argue with people I didn't know about meaningless trivial differences between pieces of equipment.
Believe that Panasonic and Samsung would ever make a camera I wanted to buy.

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner

I just want to be a photographer.

I DON'T want to be:-

A Beta tester for companies who can't get their cameras and software right in the first place.
An I.T. technician.
A processing lab.
A sucker for every new thing that comes along, promising much, but ultimately little different from what came before.
In debt.
Someone who needed to have an entire floor built just to house the computers, monitors, hard drives, scanners, cameras, lenses and accessories that it takes to be a professional photographer these days.
Stuck in front of this screen most of the day.

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner

35mm film Nikon LS9000 scanner

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
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