Monday, March 14, 2011

A photographic story - #1 Prehistory

[EDITED on May 2nd to add a picture of my dad's camera]

My first real recollection of myself using a camera goes back to 1988, as I was 12 years old. I went to Mallorca on vacation with my school class for a week. My dad let me have his camera, which had always fascinated me and had not been allowed to even touch unsupervised until then. I remember feeling a little afraid of breaking it but, at the same time, quite proud of myself.

The camera was a Yashica Minister D rangefinder, sporting a Yashinon 45mm f/2.8 lens. The Minister D was a very beautiful camera, kind of professional looking in my eyes. I felt a little weird because all my classmates had point&shoot cameras that didn't need any focusing, metering or, in fact, any user operation other than the pressing of the shutter button. I remember being ashamed of taking the camera out in front of the others, because it was quite sure someone would say something to me or laugh at me for, you know, being different.

yashica minister d
(EOS 350D, EF 50mm f/1.8, 1/40, f/2.2, ISO 400)

I received a photography crash course from my dad. I don't remember the part about aperture at all, I guess it was something like "set f/8 and do not change it". What I do remember quite well was my dad telling me about shutter speed and how I should normally use 1/125 except for freezing a moving subject, where I could go up to 1/250. This one got stuck in my mind.

We were attending a show at a marine park and I remember thinking as a photographer for the first time in my life: if I wanted to freeze the movement of the dolphins jumping out of the water, I should set shutter speed to 1/250. I think I set it even to 1/500, but I am not quite sure. What I do remember was how proud of my "photographic thinking" I was back at home, as we got the prints and there was this one picture of three dolphins jumping in my direction, perfectly frozen in the air thanks to my remembering my dad's photo teachings.

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