I’ve not been out taking photographs recently, because I’ve been busy organising old photographs for the family archive. We have maybe two thousand photographic prints, but the ones I’ve been focussing on are what I’m calling the ‘historical photos’. These were taken before the mid 1970’s. There are three hundred and ninety one of these, dating from the late nineteenth century onwards. These are mostly black and white pictures, and some of them are getting elderly and need to be handled as little as possible. My tactic with each of these is to photograph them, (scanning’s no good, the quality isn’t right), catalogue them and then store the originals in acid free archive quality sleeves. It’s a slow job, but I want to protect them and make a collection I can use in this blog.
To make this as speedy a process as possible I’ve made myself a little desktop studio, with my camera mounted on a mini tripod. I can photograph the originals fairly quickly, and touch them up in Adobe Lightroom later.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the results, using a minimum of equipment, and it made me think about how I take pictures when I’m out and about. If I’m going on a ‘serious’ photo session I tend to take so much kit with me that I lose all sense of spontaneity. And because I use zoom lenses a lot I have become quite a lazy photographer. Having the ability to stand in one spot and zoom in or out on a subject means I’ve stopped thinking about what’s in front of me.
So, for a while at least, I’m limiting what take with me to my camera body, a 35 mm fixed focal length lens that doesn’t zoom, and a spare battery. So no zooms, not tripod and no flash. I prefer taking hand-held photos in natural light anyway, so why take so much with me?
So far I’ve been out a couple of times with this setup and I’m really enjoying it. The lens takes really sharp pictures and the 35mm focal length takes images similar to what you would see with the naked eye, so the pictures just look ‘right’. Here’s Bruce Up at Leavening
I was going to publish this article as my main one of the week, but on Tuesday I went to a village called Kirby Underdale. It was an unplanned visit, but I was so taken with what I saw that I’m going to publish a photo essay this Friday, 16th November. The scenery was great, but I also made a discovery that should interest the history buffs amongst you too.