I scanned a roll of negatives I got back from Popeye Camera today looking for my keepers. Earlier in the week I took my new Mamiya for a walk to practice a bit more with it. I am struggling a bit with the focus and need to work on getting things sharp in the prism before I press the shutter release. I am so use to focusing with my Leicas now that I can nail the focus in most shots without thinking about it but I can't say the same for the Mamiya yet. It is interesting how things just become second nature and equipment can become an extension of you that you use without consciously thinking about it. When I am shooting with my Leicas focus, setting the right aperture, etc isn't really something I think about anymore. I know the shot I want to get and the settings my camera needs to be at to achieve that shot. My left hand moves the aperture and focus rings into place while my right adjust the shutter speed and depressed the shutter release.
I have also decide to be more critical about my photos and which ones ultimately make it on to ShootTokyo. I need to start to pick my keepers. I am scanning and processing these with a lot of care and I want my best work to show through. As I was preparing these images tonight I kept remembering my time at the Jay Maisel Workshop in New York City. The reviews in Jay's workshop are brutal. I think his instructions were something like "put up what you think is your best photo and then be prepared to defend it with your life".
Jay has a lot of wisdom to share in this workshop but here was a few of my favorite bits from him:
“If you're not your own severest critic, you're your own worst enemy.”
"I want you to be aware that failure is an option. Not a problem, but a step, a progress towards success."
"You are still responsible for every square mm of the image. This is often overlooked by many photographers who see only the figure, not the ground."
After making my contact sheet, checking focus, framing, foreground, corners of each image I decided to scan 5 images. The other 11 didn't make the cut. As I examined them on my screen I cut another 2 and 1 was a personal photo of my family. 2 made the final cut to processing and posting here.
Today's configuration: Kodak Portra 400VC shot on a Mamiya 645
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