Looking back: 2009

A short summary of my photographic year:

I shot over 50 rolls of film, over half of which were B&W. Of the rest, a bunch were colour negatives (burning up old stock, and just generic cheap shots1.) The rest was slide film.

I also shot a lot of digital images (at least until august), but I’m not going to count the frames there.

Equipment-wise, this year was less horrid than the previous. I only bought 4 lenses (three of them 50mm, how about that2 ), which were all second hand, and I got pretty good deals on them. Total cost was under €1000. I only bought one camera (the Leica)
Last but not least: Early in the year, I invested in a good flash + accessories, and learned how to use it.

Picture-wise, I shot several images I’m happy with, and several I’m very happy with. I also shot a butt-load I’m not happy with. Some of the pictures I’m happy with have been shown here, others might follow. Interestingly, most (but not all!) of the good ones were shot on film. This isn’t really surprising, as I tend to bring film cameras with me, and reserve digital for cases where I know I’ll shoot a lot, but still funny as people are always surprised when they see I’m shooting film.

It was also a year of firsts: I used slide film on a holiday for the first time (which was a success), I got my first TTL flash (which worked great), I shot my first wedding (which was very scary and very tiring, but went quite well), I shot my first B&W film, and shot with a rangefinder for the first time (at the same time, too). I developed my own film for the first time (which was a lot easier than I thought it would be), I guessed my exposure for the first time (which wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but also not very easy3).

Did I learn? Certainly.

Did I get better? I think so, but I’m still learning a lot, and I need to force myself to practice more.

Next: Looking forward.

  1. I had some problems with my EOS 30 locking up, so I shot some of my unused piles of Fuji Superia to exercise it. It worked, camera hasn’t malfunctioned since. Apparently, cameras need exercise too. []
  2. Also funny: all lenses had different mounts: Pentax K, Canon EF, T2 and Leica M. []
  3. And it needs constant practice. Stop shooting for a week, and you lose the skill immediately. []

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