Monday, February 1, 2010
January 7 ~ mittens
Shooting through a TLR with a DSLR is tricky, at least with a lens with a focus distance of twelve inches. Because I wanted to shoot intimate imagery rather than the room at large, I also needed to use close focus filters in front of the TLR lens.
Over the past few years I've become more interested in camera gear despite my general luddite tendencies, however I still often comment that my overall interest in the art of the composition overrides the technical bits enough to make me wish I were a painter. However, my sometimes impetuous bent favors the instant gratification of photography, where I can stretch and build creative muscles quickly. I also often use what's available and improvise rather than doing things "properly." The previous statements may seem to contradict what I've written in my profile about film teaching slowness, but there's room for careful consideration to sleep with eager trial and error.
In this case, shooting was tricky enough without having to hold the incorrect diameter focus filters in one hand, but, that's life. I have a 49mm set that were used for my 50mm 1.8 Pentax lens, and they've worked fine all month with various projects involving different diameter lenses. I wanted to make the picture then, rather than investing in another set of filters later, so I made it work. Subsequently, shooting this image had me checking focus, flicking to manual focus in order to protect the lens motor while it was halfway encased in the aperture of the foot-long cardboard connecting "contraption" tube, and generally handling the DSLR with one hand while the other hand stretched to hold the close focus filter stack in front of the TLR lens (I could not fashion a method to keep them in place). The TLR was also mounted on a tripod to hold the entire getup steady, which meant some neck craning was involved.
There's room for improvement on that method, but, it makes a funny mental image. And, the resulting photograph doesn't give away a hint of the chaos involved in its creation. I adjusted the saturation to enhance the aged feel and decrease the presence of the TLR's focus screen grid.
Gear: Yashica-D TLR, Nikon D90, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, close-focus filters, Manfrotto legs/head, cardboard, electrical tape