Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Russian.

I hooked my Russian at last.

My computer is dying a fast death, so I will write quick while the Petit Poulet sleeps on. I am happy to announce that I have purchased my dream Russian medium format camera at long last. I rarely cruise Ebay, but for some reason I did today and the camera called out!

The latest addition to my stable is a Kiev-60 TTL black bodied beast; heavy as SHIT, as big as a truck, a two hander shootin' machine. No fumbling, rookie shooting or fast advancing with this thing. One great thing about the Kiev is that it has the same lens mount as many Pentax camera bodies, thus a myriad of lens options are now on the table. Wide angle? Fish eye? Okay. My F3 will pale in weight comparison to this honker. Creme said his weighs around 4 or 5 pounds, depending. Looking forward to sore wrists after 12 shots! Crazy!

I found it for a song and sometimes--debt or no debt--purchases of these nature cannot wait. School, here I come. Wedding photography, here I come. Portraiture, here I come.

Ever since I shot around with Creme's SLR MF, I have had a very specific camera body in mind. For two years I have been on the slow prowl for a MF camera that shoots like a 35mm SLR camera would, but with larger film. Waist viewfinders have their expensive charms, but I was holding out for something with a little more character. Lucky for me, I held out hoping we would find each other and like great love, we did. There are a shit tonne of wedding photographers out there (especially these days with the blog world exploding with cutesie-wedding mayhem) and someday, I too would love for wedding photography to be my Bread and Beurre. But different of course. How? I continue to struggle with articulating how exactly I would like to market myself in the future. While it is quite obvious (by my messy Flickr and my slop personal blog) that I am not nearly ready to launch a business or my own website yet, the Kiev definitely feels like a step in the right direction.

For now, I am pleased as punch to continue shooting the weddings of my friends and loved ones. What an honor to be asked! Such trust. In retrospect, I have learned some hard lessons in photography this year. Failing to check the batteries before my OWN SISTER'S wedding resulted in about one and a half rolls turning out of a whopping fifteen shot. Fuck! What a dummy! Thankfully, there were two amazingly talented hired photographers covering the wedding circus (not to mention a handful of talented wedding guest photographers! What a day). But lesson learned: baby one's camera. After two weddings like this (you think I would have realized after the first, but nooooo), I ditched batteries forever. Manual ONLY for this girl. I look forward to learning the feel of the new camera. While I hardly know a technical drop, I know the feel of my F3 like I know my own hands. We have a pretty good connection (not to mention the spirit of Aunty Marj whipping through that body every time I pick it up), I trust my eye, I trust my lens.

Who knows about this new camera though. I really like the fact that I will now have the option to look through it or to look into it. Flipped and upside down or straight on images, ohhhhh baby. Exciting learning curve ahead, folks.

Drex and Danika, you are up next! My only booked wedding for 2011, can't wait! I have a date and he is Russian. 120 black and white candid portraiture only. PAR-TAY. Get ready!

So psyched to shoot and so incredibly hungry to learn. The idea of holing up in a darkroom alone at Concordia late at night in just a few more months excites me to my very core. This is what I am supposed to be doing! DARKROOM! My color days are slipping away. Excitement fills me.

Below, meet my new Russian. Willa, get ready. Aunty Madge just ordered some new gear!


  1. Whoa, kick ass. Can't wait to see what magic emerges from this black Russian.

  2. Jer, I crawled through the mountain of things that fill my continuously moving home and found you a stack of prints including the No. 1 Fan. Some for the girls rooms too! Thanks for the comment, I am thrilled (and further poor)! I will keep you posted on the Russian's arrival. Hope you and yours are well!


  3. You rule. Too cool for school.

    We're in the January doldrums, thinking February will bring new light and energies. I was the lone photographer in the local gallery's recent 10-day challenge, and flopped hard. The theme: "c'est la vie". Easy, right? You would have totally nailed, I'm sure. Not me.

    Was that German Bessa just a fling? Didn't work out?

  4. I shot around with the Bessa, one roll processed with a so so turn out. I don't know how to use the damn thing! I need to get real about using a light meter rather than winging it all the time. Although, I did manage to take the best self portrait with an external trigger and a mirror. So who knows, now I just need to find it!

  5. this is lovely! excited for you....