Analog Photography

I have a secret love for analog photography. Secret, because I don’t think my friends know I’m into shooting film. Maybe they think I like taking photos because they’ve seen me with my Nikon D3300, an entry-level DSLR. I dare to bet they’d be very surprised if I told them I also own a Russian wayfinder from the 70s and a Minolta X-700, back in the 80s quite state-of-the-art SLR, though! 😀 I believe I love analog photography so much because it juxtaposes art and technology, exactly what got me into video games too.

This love for film started during my stay in Prague. It was a windy day in June, about a week before I would go back to the Netherlands. While exploring the city I stumbled upon a flea market on the banks of the Vltava river. There were a few tables on a boat, and my eye fell on a table filled with vintage cameras. The guy behind the table saw my DLSR and we started talking. He was so enthousiastic, so in the end I did what I could never have guessed I’d ever do: I bought a Zorki 4, a Russian Leica clone, fully mechanical, build in the early 70s.

I bought it not just for the looks, I wanted to use it too. The reason I bought a DLSR was partly to learn to shoot in manual mode, adjusting the shutter speed and aperture by myself. Up to now I had been lazy, shooting all my photos in auto mode. With the Zorki, there is no lightmeter or program mode to help me decide which settings to use. This thing doesn’t even have an on/off button!

The first film I shot through the Zorki was on holiday with my family to Ireland. Sadly, the shutter had some issues, so only a few photo’s turned all right from that roll. It made me wonder, did I have to have my Zorki checked and cleaned by an expert? Understandingly, the thing is fifty years old, one cannot expect it to work flawlessy anymore. On the other side, a CLA (Clean, Lubricate, Adjust) would probably cost more than I paid for the camera itself.

I decided to roll with it, see if the problem persisted. I tested the shutter at different speeds with no film in it, and after a while it was behaving normal again. It also did it’s job with a piece of test film. Problem solved?

The real test came a month ago, when I decided to take my Zorki to a weekly holiday to Maastricht. This time I used a black and white film.

No shutter problems anymore! I have to say there was one photo on this roll of 36 that did have a white bar over it, but the photo was so dark I couldn’t figure out what it was again I tried to photograph. Either way I’m very happy with the results of this second try!

These photos here were my favorites, some turned out too dark or underlit. But that’s part of the learning process! After all, I have to calculate the right combination of shutter speed and aperture for each photograph individually, bound that I get it wrong sometimes. Next time I’ll try a roll with my Minolta, can’t wait!

Prague’s Jewish Quarter

Last week I visited the old Jewish Cemetery and the Spanish Synagogue.. Also other things but these two stood out the most for me!

I wanted to be there at 9 am because it was Sunday and it sure would be crowded during the day, so I got up early at 7 and guess what? No water and no light! 😀

So I ate breakfast with the little water I still had from yesterday, but at 8 am we still didn’t have water. In the end I went out without having brushed my teeth or taken a shower. 😀 Later I heard from Penny that it took until 10 before we had water again XD

Well, for 185 euros rent a month you can’t be picky, haha!

Tours and food

Last Wednesday we had our first meeting at school, which was great! So many people from all over the world! <3 We got a tour through the school building, but I haven’t made any photographs (yet).

Thursday and yesterday we’ve been on a guided tour through the historical center of Prague, Thursday around Malá Straná (west bank of Vltava) and Friday through Staré Město (old town) and the Jewish quarter. All organized by the school, so great!

What’s also great is that we can eat in the canteen from the Charles University with our UMPRUM student card. It was a bit of a hassle to set up, but in the end it works! UMPRUM has it’s own tiny school canteen all down in the basement, but it’s really cramped and there’s not much to choose from. At the Charles University we can choose from a whopping 8 menu’s, all about 2 euros!

I first thought this bread-vanilla sauce thing was a savory dish, but it is indeed sweet. It’s very nice though, and you get good value for your money!

Monday will be my first school day, exciting!

Arrived in Prague!

This is my new home for the coming four months! 😀 My roommate hasn’t come back from her adventures yet, but judging from her food supplies could she be very well the Taiwanese student that’s going to study Film and TV Graphics with me!

The view isn’t that bad either: