A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

The Enhancement of Usefullness With the Help of Technology
Saturday, October 22, 2016



As a serious reader of my daily delivered NY Times (hard copy) I was instantly affected by this sentence in Opinion Pages columnist Roger Cohen back in September 19. The column was called The Age of Distrust and the sentence in question was:

Technology is a wonderful thing if you are putting it to use, less so if it is putting an end to your usefulness.


My tech friend Paul Leisz who helped to drag me into the internet and digital age often makes fun of my obvious backwardness. I laugh it off but one night recently it occurred to me that it is not entirely the case that I am slow to incorporate the latest into my life.
Photographically even thought it was my wife in August of 2013 who pushed me into buying my first digital camera (the Fuji X-E1, still current and the only digital camera in my arsenal) I have come to the conclusion that if my photographic career prospered (and it did) it was because I was always ahead of the pack.


It all began in the late 50s when photo magazines where arguing as to the merits of the then ubiquitous rangefinder cameras as compared to the new kid on the block, the single lens reflex. I purchased the latter, an East German Pentacon F from Olden Cameras in New York while boarding at St. Edward’s High School in Austin Texas.

I bought a second camera in 1961, a used Pentax S-3 in Mexico City and until I was bopped over the head in Buenos Aires (and all my equipment was stolen) the Pentax (by then I had graduated to the MX with its bayonet mount) was my editorial magazine weapon of choice.
But what really helped my photographic career was the purchase of a 6x7cm format Mamiya R-B67 in 1977. Its revolving back (vertical to horizontal) meant that my photographs for magazines were never cropped and art directors liked the larger format with its sharpness to detail.


In early March of 1985 Vancouver Magazine writer Les Wiseman wanted to write a story on glamour wrestling. The event was coming to our Coliseum. I had never ever attended such an event and I felt that this was a situation where I could not control. I would miss my stationary Mamiya on a tripod and my big lights. I would have to shoot from the hip under low light at a sport I had not experience in at all. Vancouver Magazine editor Malcolm Parry had a friend who was the head guy at Minolta Canada. He suggested I call him. The man told me that just out (and he had an advance unit) was the Maxxum 7000.

The Minolta MAXXUM 7000 (7000 AF in Europe and α-7000 in Japan) 35mm SLR camera was introduced in February 1985. It was the first camera to feature both integrated autofocus (AF) and motorised film advance, the standard configuration for later amateur and professional single lens reflex cameras.
Wikipedia

I picked up the camera the morning of the wrestling event and loaded it with some very fast Kodak colour slide film.

I was able to shoot the wrestlers in a little makeshift studio before the event but the photographs I took with the Minolta on auto-focus and auto-exposure were not all that bad!

And now to keep beating on my own drum. I took the pictures in this blog last Thursday with my Fuji X-E1. I thought about taking my photographs (I was sitting front row centre) in the sly (even though I would have been given permission). So I placed the camera on my lap and zoomed the lens to wide angle (18mm or about equivalent to 35mm in film cameras). I then chose a shutter speed of 1/30 of a second knowing I could dial down without looking to 1/15 or 1/8th second to get movement. I turned off the display on the back of the camera so that the only light that might be visible would come from the eyepiece which I covered with my left hand. I set the camera to automatic. In this way I amed the camera centre or to the sides while pressing the very quiet shutter.




The technology of my Fuji has not only not ended my usefullness but also added to it!



     

Previous Posts
Music of the Spheres - This Crazy Show - Noam Gagn...

Mirrors - Speculum - Mirages & Espejismo

When Editorially You Could Dream

La Cucaracha - Aji-No-Moto & My History With Drugs...

¡Una Mamacita Burger Por Favor!

That Funky Cascadia Reed Quintet

Pathos - πάθος, ους, τό

You Want Me Pale - Alfonsina Storni

Mirada de Soslayo - Cortísimo Metraje - Julio Cort...

Tu más Profunda Piel - Julio Cortázar



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6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16