My first ever TLR Pictures using a Yashica Mat and Kodak film that expired in 1999.
I bought my first TLR last year, a Yashica Mat that was in reasonable condition and fully working (this was followed by a Mamiya C220 and then a Rolleiflex 3.5e Planar, I quickly grew to TLR’s and if I had more money spare I’d probably have a cupboard full of them by now). The only film I had at the time was some Kodak expired in 1999 so I used that and set about learning exactly how the thing worked.
I made quite a few mistakes (although quite often I like the results of mistakes) with focusing and exposure. I was using a light meter on my phone and read it as one would normally read things on a phone, with it pointing at the floor. This was wrong. I needed to hold it up in the direction of whatever the camera was actually pointing at. It seems obvious now, but at the time it didn’t occur to me. I use the free beecam Lightmeter app on a Samsung Galaxy S3 and have found it to be very good so far, now that I’m using it correctly that is, it’s not fancy but it seems to work.
Here are the very first photographs, in the order they were taken (I don’t know why there are only 9, must have messed up somewhere):
These were about learning to use the camera, and I think it is interesting to see images where people have not been entirely successful. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I had them developed but this roll of film, or most of one anyway, was enough to keep me going and to strive to do better and produce images that were more closely aligned to the ideas I had in my mind of what they should look like. They have made me think harder about focusing, accurate metering, framing/alignment, and to a lesser extent, film choice. This is all good, even if the results themselves are a bit wibbly wobbly.