June 9, 2010

June rain, photographer's pain

It has been raining a lot.

All winter I have been anticipating warmer, sunnier weather, in hope I could continue my beach series of portraits of men by the waterside. It was there I discovered the joys and aesthetic value of automatic point and shoots of the early-mid 1980s. Particularly, the Nikon L35AF and the Nikon One Touch (aka Nikon L35AF2).

I bought the One Touch at Fotofun. It wasn't cheap. I think I paid $25. But what a lens.

After some online research, I sought out the Nikon L35AF. Halfway through last summer I found one at an SPCA Thrift Store in Vancouver for $5.

I was with these cameras (with a cameo by an Olympus Infinity Stylus mju-I) I started to take the Beach portraits. Obviously, it started with my documentation of my twin sons horsing around in the sand and water but when they were developed and scanned I noticed two things about the cameras: sharpness and light drop off.

Because I do like putting my principal subject dead centre, the light drop off at the corners didn't really bother me. In fact, it helped emphasize the centre of the frame. I suppose if it softened immensely at the corner, I would have liked the L35s less but they don't.

The cameras offered a technique to my aesthetic. In short, they have become precious to me.

I'm willing to risk them over salt water in pursuit of the Beach project. I'm unwiling to damage them in gosh awful rain.

I've been thinking about which camera I wouldn't mind sacrificing to the rain gods - one does have to make lemonade out of lemons - but I haven't been able to choose.

Which camera would you use? Canon A2/EOS 5? Should I find myself the waterproof version of the L35?

I do have a waterproof Canon A-1, but I kind of don't like it. Life would be simpler if it would just stop raining.


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