Recently, I spent more than a grand on eBay ($1321.90 to be very exact) for a M4-P, a 40mm Summicron, 9 rolls of Provia 100, and a photobook that really got my attention at a small bookstore in the city. I estimate that sometime late next week, I will embark on a new phase in my photographic journey - moving into film (not to mention, finally shooting with my very own Leica).
Since last year, after shooting with Daryl and watching the BBC photography series, I’ve been toying with the idea of delving into film, but never actually took the step, because I always thought I am not ready for it (I like to jump around and experiment with many shots from many angles with different exposures, etc.). I actually still am quite apprehensive about it, but it’s been a year, and if I don’t take this step forward, I might never do.
The thing about me is that when I decide to get into something, I immerse myself completely into it. So, by going into film, I’m likely to set my E-P1 aside 90% of the time, which is another reason why it’s been so difficult to make the decision to switch. But now that I’ve pressed the right buttons on eBay, the decision has been made, and I’m surprised at how excited I am to be moving into this whole new world of film photography.
I believe, at this point in time at least, that moving into film and shooting with a fully-mechanical rangefinder is a definite step forward toward my photographic ideal. It will make each image count, it will force me to understand light more thoroughly, it will slow my trigger finger down, it will make me think harder, look harder, see, and most importantly, involve myself more in the whole process of making the image.
The actual reason that really swung me over the fence was the intense want to acquire and shoot with something “eternal”; something that will not age badly, that is not fancy and complicated with all the dings and whistles, but something that is basic, fully mechanical in nature, something raw and pure, something that I can bond with and not worry about it crumbling apart. Also, it had to be compact enough, because I want to be able to bring it almost everywhere I go, just like my E-P1. The obvious choice was a Leica rangefinder.
Earlier this year, I was considering getting a cheaper film rangefinder just to start myself off with film, but after Cerise got her Yashica Electro GSN and I put my hands on it, I decided it had to be all or nothing, I was not going to settle for a “temporary girlfriend”. The result is the M4-P and 40mm Summicron I will be getting in a week’s time.
This luxury I’m affording myself comes with a hefty price of course, which is why I’ve been trying to sell as much stuff as I can on eBay too. So far, I’ve sold my old Wollensak C-mount lens, my Metabones M-m4/3 adapter (now that I’m getting the real thing), and Kingston 16GB CF card. Next, I’ll start listing my extra Canon FD lenses, and perhaps my Hasselblad 500C/M.
The Hasselblad will be the last to go, and only if I really have to, because deep down inside, I still want to complete the setup and shoot with it one day. Shooting with a Hasselblad and a Leica has been my dream since getting into photography, so I don’t mind selling everything else, but as much as possible, not the Hasselblad.
Recently, I’ve also been struggling with myself. It’s tough, trying to find my place in this world. I think I’m going through one of those times again. And a thought that just occurred to me: The last extended period of time when I was up (not too long ago…just before the exams ended and I left for SG/Tokyo), did I really make progress and unraveled a bit of the innate knot that is weighing me down, or had I simply been sailing over a thin film of euphoric denial? Or am I just being too pessimistic now? Chemical imbalance? Spiritual? God? What is the real truth? Is there even such a thing? Or is it simply really just a matter of perspective?
One of the things I regret not doing during this recent trip to Japan was visiting the tsunami site.
Raebo called me her husband today. It threw me off my socks, and all I could garner up in response was a half-stunned smile, while blindly looking to and from her and the other guys. Cheesy response, which preceded a real smile, an incredibly warm feeling within, and an almost irresistible impulse to bear hug her, throw her over my shoulder and take her home.