Recently I’ve taken a short trip down memory lane. Going through some of my medium format black and white negatives of our family, in particular of our sons. It is no surprise that these images have stirred up the realization that our children are rapidly growing up or that I myself am growing older. Either way time continues to fly by.
My wife and I had our lives changed on April 7th 1999 when our first son Michael was born. Then life changed again on May 4th 2002 when our second son Max brightened the world and it has been an amazing ride with these two guys since. Michael who is now gracing the halls of our local high school and Max who is rapidly approaching high school only confirms that college is in the near future.
I have many favorite things in life and one of those things are family photos. Big, larger than life photos and that is why I enjoy medium format photography. In our ever changing world of digital photography where the camera you just purchased has now become obsolete there lurks in the dust filled closets of America a beast of a time past. Most medium format cameras were big and bulky and their shutters when pressed make a very loud Cha-Chunk sound making your presence known to all around. I have several medium format cameras in my arsenal.
My go to camera is the Mamiya 645E. This is the SLR of medium format cameras in my opinion. It is easy to use, creates amazing images and has the Cha-Chunk sound that gets you noticed if the camera itself has not. It is big, bulky and I love it. 645 or 6X4.5 CM actual image size is about 56x42mm where traditional 35MM is 24x36mm.
Next in line is my Fuji 645 Rangefinder which has an razor sharp lens on it. the camera is light, packable and for the most part quiet.
Fuji GS645S Pro 60
These two are my work horse medium format cameras. Then there is my two toy cameras, literally. First is Film Photography Projects plastic Debonair. Followed by the ever popular Holga 120N. This camera takes some funky pictures and has a cult following. It comes in all sorts of color combinations. And yes I do have the yellow one!
To be honest I very rarely use the two “Toy” cameras for family photos. Actually yesterday was the first time I used the “Debonair” to take a few snap shots of the boys. They were much cuter when they were younger..
No matter what you use (Cell phones do not count) enjoy the moments that you capture because they can never be repeated. For me personally pressing that shutter is gratifying in the sense that I have just frozen a piece of history, our history a story that will be told for generations.
FPP Plastic Debonair 120
Film format size comparisons.
Summer time fun in the pool. Ilford’s HP5, Mamiya 645E.
Max Weirs Beach, NH. Fuji Provia 100F slide film, Mamiya 645E.
Michael Ilford’s HP5, Mamiya 645E.
Shot with FPP Plastic Debonair 120 on Kodak’s Ektar 100.
Max and his cousin. Double exposure on Fuji Reala film, Holga 120N.