It should go without saying that my so far very small adventure in photography started with a manual Single Lens Reflect (SLR) camera, a Minolta SRT 100, and Tri-X film and Microdol developer. By the time I got to the hair-pull portrait in the previous post, I was up to a Mamiya 645 AF and two or three studio lamps (although no studio — the picture was made in my former apartment’s L-shaped and furnished dining and living space). Having converted the walk-in closet, I was then also able to do the developing and printing ye olden way.
There’s a framed copy today on the wall next to the hutch I use as a bar in the dining room (remember: my “crib” is the “mansion inside of a cabin inside of an apartment by the woods on the eastern edge of western Maryland”).
I feel awful about the old film gear, now shelf ware, more or less, because it takes a certain level of “good excuse” to support the materials costs and time associated with that route, but perhaps now and then it would feel good to be out in the field with “old school” equipment and prayers that 1) the subject is worth it, 2) the technique is working, and 3) the lab won’t screw up the whole effort.
In the digital department, my non-existent studio (really, it is just my mind and my computer plus gear plus Mustang and place where I now live), things are okay.
I can still shoot weddings.
And a lot of other things beside.
Big Bertha, the HP B9180 printer with a life cycle and mind of its own, should be good for a few more sheets, but some things, like my field battery (not working) are ageing into uselessness, and unless the phone rings (a lot), I’m not going to replace them.
As suggested, I’m not dead yet, and there’s plenty of gear ready to go out and be worked, but it’s true I never thought I would be so isolated and tired. The truth is I’ve just about run out the clock on any sort of conventional success, and in the area of unconventional success, I’m not sure there’s anything left for me to enjoy although — this to God and fate — if there’s anything good in store for me, you best bring it on about now!
Let’s assume the routine continuation of unanswered prayers for at least the rest of the afternoon: in retrospect, my success seems to be just being here, lucky and damned, but still writing, playing music somewhere, still holding on to the inventory in photography, and still doing a little bit with photography, albeit looking over old pictures may be about as little as one can do in this field — one-third of my unexpected bid for a personal trifecta — before doing nothing in it at all.