I shot a roll of film this morning with my OM-2 (the one that was supposed to be damaged, and only good for parts). I wanted to talk today about the process of capturing images – and the differences between all manual cameras and all automatic cameras.

Now, don’t think that I’m ready to give up my modern camera and completely change to the old way of doing things. I love my new cameras, especially for my sports photography. I’ve done things the old way, and for action photography, I don’t think I want to ever give up auto-focus, especially Canon’s AI-Servo mode.

That being said, let me step back for a minute, to 1975. While I was shooting with my OM-2, I was remembering how it used to be. I took some photos of my roses after a couple days of rain – and enjoyed the way I could focus on a point, and then really think about the composition. Maybe it’s because that’s how I learned, but there’s something about controlling everything manually that helps me to concentrate on the scene and my composition more carefully. I seem to be looking at the whole scene in my viewfinder more carefully – and more intentionally.

Now, I can do exactly the same thing with my newer cameras – but I don’t usually think the same way when I’m using them. I’m hoping that the experience of going back, and doing things the old way, will help me remember to think through this process with my new cameras as well.

There’s my thought of the day – I’m going to take my film to my local photo store to get developed soon. Maybe I’ll post some samples. We’ll see how they come out – and if my camera is really in the good condition I think it is. Maybe I’ll pick up a few rolls of Ektachrome while I’m there! Is that available yet (it’s coming – see the press release here)?

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