Yesterday I took a Mental Health Day. Lying in bed, cat at feet, sun in window; work was out of the question. I bailed on the kitchen boys and figured the new cook-in-training would appreciate the elbow room. I dressed and fast tidied, planning my day as I went. I wore my first little shoes of the season out the door to pick up a hot bagel at the end of my street (I am so happy where I live) and ate it with the back balcony door thrown wide.
It was wonderful to hear the first sounds of spring, birds, the Great Melt. One bagel, two poached eggs, some cowboy coffee in the early morning sun. Such quietness is a rarity these days. How I enjoy spending quiet hours in my own home. I wrote (read: stenciled) an EPIC letter (definitely the biggest stencil project of my life thus far) to the TC HQ on magical Factory paper and then decided to take my Kiev out for a walking spin. I cruised towards the East down Laurier with the Russian in my hands, the weight a delightful reminder of Creme and his own Russian. On the way to nowhere, I stopped in for an incredible coffee at this quiet place called Lapin Presse. My drip coffee was made to order, it took seven minutes to make. What? It was worth the wait. Liza, Lapin Presse reminded me of you sitting in the sun somewhere in Abbotsford. I also came across two potential yoga studios, a meditation place and a new bakery.
I shot around, my minds eye looking for lines to steady within the black beast camera.
Shooting with the Kiev (the giant medium format) is new territory for me. I find it incredibly hard to shoot straight (I am sure there is a correct term for this concept, excusez moi). With my Nikon, I tend to shoot off noticed line work, anything that I can level with, line up with in sight, to centre, steady, frame. That reads poorly, but I am at a loss for words. Framing a shot is not so simple to do with the Kiev, as the image in the viewfinder is skewed and reversed. This trips up the hands like nothing else! A little dip to the right or left and you have to start all over again. I am constantly reminding myself where my lens is pointing with the Kiev, as the mount is completely different from my Nikon. Mirrors, what tricks you play on my mind. No fast portraits with this thing.
I stood for a long while in an empty schoolyard, lining up my sight within the camera alongside an epic school wall mural of two weird looking children. People passed by, staring at the giant camera as I tried in vain to find a crisp parallel. Knowing full well that without a tripod to steady, all twelve shots will be blurry, but it was exciting to practice in the middle of the morning, alone with my thoughts. On a Sunday, nonetheless! Tres glorious. I felt no guilt whatsoever for lying.
Filled my first roll with the Kiev and after cleaning the house, I coaxed J Alba out of the work room and we took to the streets after a long hiatus. My favorite street to blast is St. Urbain. It felt so good to cycle again, me and my girl.