Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rummel Lake: Through the Viewfinder

One of the best parts about shooting with a medium format film rig like the Hasselbald (or in my case, the poor man's Hasseblad - the Kiev88) is the ability to use a waist level finder. Rather than bringing your camera up to eye level and looking through a small pentaprism or a digital LCD, you get to compose your shot by looking down on the scene as it enters your lens and is projected upwards onto a focussing screen. The first time people see this, they often think they're looking at a digital image, which it's not. I know the first time I encountered this on a Mamiya twin lens reflex camera, I felt like a caveman seeing his first TV - 'What kind of charlatan sorcery is this?!'

Shooting with a WLF takes a bit of getting used to, as the image projected is right side up, but inverted left to right. It really forces you to slow down and think about your composition (you have to check the digital mentality of 'shoot first, edit later' at the door). While this may not be convenient for fast moving scenes or subjects, you will learn so much more about photography and composition this way than just by snapping a million photos and hoping one turns out.

Sorry to get all preachy on you. The point of this post was to show you some images shot through the viewfinder (TTV) of my Kiev last weekend, while out snowshoeing. For you newbie photographers, TTV is a technique where you use one camera to shoot a scene through the viewfinder of another camera. If you want a visual of how to do this, see the last photo - point digital camera down at the WLF of another camera. It's THAT simple, and also gives you some interesting images that you don't have to 'filter' with Instagram or other crap to make it look 'vintage'. The scratches, dust, and other imperfections in the focussing screen all show up on your TTV shot.

Rummel Lake TTVs

Rummel Lake TTVs-5

Rummel Lake TTVs-4

Rummel Lake TTVs-3

Rummel Lake TTVs-2

Rummel Lake TTVs-6

If you feel you need a bit more instruction on how to shoot TTVs, drop me a line in the comments. Cheers!

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