When the Cherries and Magnolias Explode

Using Film for Landscape Photography

I took my old Nikon F3 out last week, loaded with expired Kodak Elite 200 slide film.  Friends give me their old cameras and film that’s been sitting in refrigerators ten years or so.  Generally it works fine; witness these exposures, taken in Wilmington’s Brandywine Park.  When the Japanese cherries and Magnolias explode, it’s heaven.

I and thouintrudersJosephine statue gathers her broodlooking toward Wilmingtonperfect Spring dayrock me ancient watersSpring strollwill they remember

I like people in my landscapes.  They indicate scale, and provide a focal point of interest, like a sculpture in a garden. I almost always wait until a perfect composition gets punctuated by creatures, human or animal.  Strangers about to walk into my frame hesitate, thinking they’ll spoil my picture.  “No, no,” I shout to them.  “I want people in my pictures!”

I love this kind of photography:  taking my time; looking for good light, pleasing colors, shapes, and textures; setting up the shot.  Then waiting, sometimes for a long while, until someone walks into just the right spot. Meditation plus anticipation, a perfect combination!

I also enjoy using a fine old metal camera, the feel of it, the simplicity of it.  I like not having to worry about dust getting on my sensor.  I like the sound of the shutter.  For me photography is about much more than making good pictures.  It’s a many faceted aesthetic experience.


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