We live in a digital age. No doubt about that. But, having come from an 'analogue' age and having used film cameras, played my music on vinyl and climbed trees instead of computer game levels, I wanted to get back to that time and age. That nostalgia.
Today, with digital photography, we can take hundreds, if not thousands of photographs and choose from the 'best one' to display (usually on a social media platform). I remember all too well, the discipline of only having 24 or 36 available shots per roll of film. If you messed up, you messed up, simple as that. There was no second chance.
I feel that today, all to much of that 'discipline' has been lost, or at least never learnt. And I'm not just talking about photography, I think it is true for many things in life. Patience, deferred gratification and focus, are at least to me, some of the ingredients to success.
Back in 2012 I was working on the Olympic Games in London, with a good friend of mine called Justin Fraser. He had recently been married and showed me (on his iPhone) his wedding photographs. They looked to me like something from a movie set. They were in black and white, the blacks were a rich, dark inky black and the whites softly graduated off, rather than being 'clipped'.
Later, he told me the photos had been shot using his 'Widelux' camera. An old school 140 degree panorama film camera. I was intrigued... fast forward to 2018 and I find a group of gentlemen in Qatar using Leica cameras and developing their own film. This all coincided with my photography exhibition in Katara Cultural Village, the "Desert Rose". That nostalgia came again, this time in a way all too powerful to resist.
I emailed my friend Justin and asked his advice about purchasing one, his reply was both knowledgeable and well written, and he pointed me to the direction of the great actor Jeff Bridges. He was and still is an amazing actor and, an incredibly gifted photographer. He used the Widelux. I read an article he had written about the camera here, and I was hooked. I had to have one!
Jeff 'documents' the films he works on from behind the scenes using his Widelux, and creates a book of his work to give to cast and crew after the filming is finished. Imagine that! What a great guy! One of my favourite is his behind the scenes photographs of the making of Iron Man, shot using his Widelux. You can see it right here.
There have been some great articles written on the use of this magnificently designed camera. Some of which I will share shortly (I am about to take my lovely daughter swimming!). This particular model, the 'F7' was manufactured between 1979 and 1988 in Japan. I was lucky to find one (and had to dig deep into my pockets!).
I'll be posting some images taken with this beauty over the coming months... keep an eye out!