2016-0305 Street on Film

Street Photography; Full of Waterstones coffee and inspiration from their photography books it was off to Piccadilly Gardens and Market Street, both in central Manchester, to shoot some ‘street’ pics but this time with a film camera; not so easy! Oh, no!

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My beloved Olympus OM2n that I bought in 1985 with a 35mm f2.8 lens I bought from eBay last week

First challenge was no autofocus! I set the camera to focus at 2 metres and f5,6 and hoped the depth of field of 1.6m – 2.8m would give me sharp enough pics. I also tried f8 when the conditions allowed to get 1.4m – 3.25m sharp.

The second challenge was the fixed film sensitivity of 400ASA (ISO). When I have shot street on digital I set aperture and shutter speed and let the ISO adjust itself within defined limits to get exposure right. No chance of that happening wIth this camera! I therefore set the aperture, aperture priority, and kept an eye on the shutter speed the camera was choosing. All well and good if the light remains fairly constant but, this being Manchester, it didn’t! As a consequence I had to change aperture on the fly to prevent over exposure (fastest shutter speed on this camera is 1/1000s) or burred pics from camera movement caused by slow shutter speeds.

If all that wasn’t enough I limited myself to just one roll of 24 pics! So I had to pick my subject carefully!

Then, to top it off, there is no playback screen. I did find myself glancing at where it ought to be though! At the time of shooting I had no idea of the results and at the time and it was a week or so until we found out whether it was a successful shoot or not! The pics (straight out of camera) are below; I quite like them, just a little cropping required, so thats good enough for me! I learnt a lot!

That was hard! How did they cope ‘back in the day’? Cameras have come a long way! Makes the yesteryear masters of street photography I’d looked at in Waterstones earlier all the more impressive!

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