Obsessed with abstracts and heart over head

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recently I've been mulling over cameras, and more specifically purchasing a high-end digital point & shoot or decent DSLR. I'd never really got to grips with SLRs, having more interest in low end point & shoots, toy cameras, polaroids and alternative photographic processes like photograms instead.

Taking the plunge into the world of SLRs isn't be a decision to be made lightly, not least because of the cost. The last few weeks I've been researching and pondering the merits and drawbacks and I finally made a fairly decisive decision after a lovely day out this Sunday at Avonmouth and Severn Beach taking photos and having a trial go on Chris's Nikon DSLR.

The camera was lovely, the weight of the shutter and solidity of the build. It had all the bells and whistles, but it didn't instantly grab me. I'd need to do an intensive course or lots of reading up to make the process quick and intuitive and I'm not sure that's a path I want to follow - at least not for the time being. After half an hour I switched back to my faithful compact and had lots of fun taking closeups and details from a fantastic mini-funfair that hadn't seen much fun for at least the last decade by the look of the decaying rides and weathered buildings. Amazing for photographs though.

Details of a weathered formica tabletop - nice contrast between the bright yellow and grey and the lichens growing in the gap

A detail of plastic sheeting leaning against a wall

Cherry motif on one of the fairground rides

Taking these pics made me realise that my little digital point and shoot is more than adequate for days out snapping and for taking my bag pictures between Toby photoshoots. Then Chris texted me to say our friend Sally had just bought a Diana mini. Curiosity piqued I checked out the camera and it was love at first sight.

Diana mini, 35mm film camera

Hello lover. An inexpensive little plastic camera that takes 35mm film, shoots square film and half frame and is basically cute as a button. I also adore the idea of going back to film, it feels wierdly subversive. So, I purchased one and it arrived today, yay! I dug out an old film in the back of a cupboard, loaded it up, snapped half the film before realising I hadn't taken the lens cap off, and managed to mess up the exposures on most of the rest. Still I rushed down to the nearest 30 minute photo lab and gleefully took my precious (and rather rubbish) paper beauties back to scan. The scanner was still in the box from last year but it didn't take long to get it up and running.

Metal table top photographed with Diana mini

And this is the reason I love film and crap cameras. Vignetting on the edge, abstract details, grain, wonky light leaks... it makes my heart skip a beat.