I was so excited to receive my new Belair X 6-12 Jetsetter that I dove right into shooting! Now that I have my first photos back from the lab I'd love to share them with you. Read ahead to find out how it went and what I learned!
I excitedly and carefully opened the box of my Belair Jetsetter the morning of November 23rd, and although I should have been getting ready to head out of the house and start my day, I absolutely had to take some time to marvel at the beauty of my new camera. I was overwhelmed with a rush of creative ideas and knew that I would be thinking about my Jetsetter all day at work.
Once I got home it was time to start shooting: I quickly loaded my Belair with some Ilford HP5, put in the 6×6 mask, and took it to dinner with me. My boyfriend and I went to our favorite wings bar, but by the time we got there only one thing was on my mind: I had already lost the lens cap to my 58 mm lens! I spent a good 10 minutes searching the restaurant and our path from the car to the door, but no luck. When I got home I couldn’t find the cap there, either. That’s how I leaned my first lesson: the Belair lens cap is somewhat reminiscent of the Diana caps in that they’re not very secure. I switched to my 90 mm lens, and put a little black electrical tape around the inner rim of the cap and that problem was easily solved.
My best friend came to town that evening and we spent a little while admiring the Belair before I made him pose for a couple of shots. I wanted to test the auto exposure in the dark with some ambient light, so we did one shot with sparklers and one with some string lights. I chose not to put the camera in bulb mode just out of curiosity. The next day I shot with my Belair on a lomowalk in downtown Austin, finishing off the Ilford HP5 and also using some Lomography 100 color negative film. Later that night I switched to the 6×9 mask and used some Ektar 100 with the colorsplash flash.
My biggest lessons came when I picked up my processing from the lab. Looking at my rolls I realized a couple of things. First, I noticed I was having a little trouble framing my shots, but know that I know how to compensate, I’m hoping I won’t chop off all of my friend’s heads in the future! I guess I was so excited to shoot I reverted to “newbie lomographer mode” kind of like when I first began shooting with the Diana, and I did not pay much attention to framing.
Secondly, I learned was to pay more attention to my light surroundings and consider how much my hands will shake during longer exposures, such as when I was out on my lomowalk and shooting in the shadows. I noticed was that I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have to focusing, as well. I used the f8 aperture setting a lot and could have been more careful to consider focusing, DoF, etc. Duly noted!
Overall I really love my new camera, and everyone around me seemed to love it, too! I received many complements on the Belair Jetsetter. I feel more confident that I’ve learned a few things about my shooting habits with the Belair. Now that I’ve tested it out and know what works best, I’m looking forward to shooting some 6×12 photos and really making the most of using my lovely AE camera!