Every now and then I get reminded of the passage of time. I recently ran across these old slides of flowers in my mother’s garden that I shot as a 15 year old in the summer of 1977. I had just gotten my first SLR, my Yashica TL-Electro (which I still have!) a few months prior. This was my first time shooting colour slide film, some private label pre-rolled Ektachrome. The lens was the Yashinon 50mm f1.9, using extension tubes for close focus.
Today, one of the film images from the session with Jennifer this past Saturday. This shoot marked the first time I used a recently acquired Helios 44/2 lens (58mm, f2). This lens is a Soviet Russian era copy of a Carl Zeiss Biotar, and has quite a cult following in certain circles. The fact that its focal length is slightly longer than normal for a “normal” lens makes it great for portrait work. In this shoot I had it mounted on my Yashica TL-Electro. The lighting was not bright, so I was shooting wide open at 1/60th of a second, on Ilford HP5+, pushed to E.I. 800. I like the gritty, documentary look I got: it is a good match for Jennifer’s intense expression. She is a master at bringing emotion into a shoot!
Today’s image was created using my Yashica TL-Electro: my very first 35mm SLR camera, purchased in 1977 when I was fifteen. It has sat idle for almost 20 years until I recently decided to pick it up and see if it still worked. (It did, once I sourced non-mercury batteries). The image was taken inside the Eaton Centre is downtown Toronto of a man who appeared to be watching and waiting. In fact, the somewhat melancholy mood of the photo reminds me of the Moody Blues song Watching and Waiting.
(Yashica TL-Electro, 135mm/3.5 Pentax Super Takumar lens, Ilford Delta 400 film developed in TMax developer)
Today’s image is from the summer of 1977, and I again go back to my grandparent’s acreage outside Truro, Nova Scotia. This old see-saw, like everything else there, is long gone. Only the silver in the negative seems to be immortal.
I don’t remember if I ever printed this negative back in the 70’s, and certainly never looked at it all that closely. What amazes me is the sharpness of most of the image. My old Yashica TL-Electro was very much a budget model, a few rungs below the Nikon, Canon and Pentax classics of the day. But the 50mm f1.9 lens that came with the camera had a reputation for amazing sharpness, and that reputation was deserved.