6/14/2009

David Burnett


I keep reading about people missing film and it comforts me to not be alone in that boat. I miss shooting film. I miss using those old film cameras. i loved my Nikon F5 and I still use my F100, Hasselblad X-Pan, Yashica 124G, Canon T-90 and T-70 and my ever trusty Olympus Stylus Epic.

I fondly remember in the old days when we used film in the PR office at HU and we had our own darkroom. I shot mainly with 35mm Nikons. I started with a 8008 and soon moved up to the 8008s. The s was for spot metering. I bet I took a million photos with that body and as I remember I don't think I ever had to send it in to be repaired. I had a Nikon FE-2 as a backup. Thinking about that old FE-2, I had the motor drive attachment for that camera and one day Gary Elliott mentioned that he had that camera and always wanted the motor drive. Well he had a 55 F3.5 Macro lens and we traded. I so got the sweet end of that deal. I still use that lens today even though it is manual focus. In the old days when I wasn't feeling creative I would switch to a different camera. I would usually shoot with the office medium format camera, a Bronica 645 with a 40mm, 75mm, and a 150mm lens and 2-120 film backs. On occasion when I didn't want to change cameras I would go to the bookstore and buy some Tri-X and Plus-X film. That changed things up in the darkroom as we normally used TMAX 400. Sadly I never new how great TrI-X was, I used T-Max because it had much better grain. I didn't appreciate the latitude of the old grainy film. I was reading the current magazines of the day and they were about the new better films. I didn't spend time learning the old great photographers until much later and we were already changing to digital.

David Burnett is an interesting journalist because he has used film all throughout his career. He shot the 2000 Presidential campaign with a Rollieflex and today he shoots a good deal with a Speed Graphics. Here and here and here are links describing his 4x5 work.
Here is a link to David Burnett's website. Here is a link to his article in this months Digital Journalist web page that got this post started. Don't for get to read Bill Pierce and Dick Kraus while you are over at the Digital Journalist.
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