Last weekend my family and I took a short road trip from So Cal up highway 395 towards Reno. My sister and I have been travelling the same route to Mammoth since we were our kids age, but we always went there to ski. Not anymore. My sister has completely sold me on how much better summers are when you're on a lake sangria in one hand fishing pole in the other.
Fourth of July we headed to the neighboring town of Bridgeport where they were hosting their 154th Annual 4th of July celebration complete with a rodeo. I could not believe my luck. I consciously decided to bring one camera, my Mamiya 645 AF, its easy and has built in metering so you can't really screw up, unless you are ME and leave the setting on M (for manual) with the ISO set at a whopping 6400. I also noticed after a few rolls that I had bumped the exposure compensation and darkened EVERYTHING ..... grumble.
Shooting film again has been a lesson in diligence, patience and contemplation but for every 6-8 rolls I drop off I usually get one or two keepers that I love, love LOVE. That may sound very low but like my husband likes to say, you can hit a homerun every time.
Here are my favorites.
Turns out my first shot that day would be my favorite. As we entered the rodeo I looked straight ahead and "saw" this photo in my head. I looked at the group and said, go on I will find you I have to get this on film. I knew I was going to have to step up my game and actually talk to strangers because in order to get this shot I had to position myself in between two dualies, I took a deep breath and waiting for a break in the conversation to ask if was OK if I took a photo with them in it. They nodded and quickly went back to their business as I composed my shot. I dialed down the aperture to 2.8 so I get the rodeo nice a painterly and then I waited for a few minutes until the gentleman looked forward just as the cowboy galloped by.
Always Check Your Settings
The roping contest was fast moving and full of energetic calves and waves of gravel and dirt. I set the camera to AV (aperture priority) and made sure I didn't go below 700 on the shutter speed. Unfortunately I had a few problems, two very different light readings, bright cloudy sky and dark horses, usually setting the camera to A-S I bumped the exposure compensation button and although I could see in the viewfinder there was a new set of numbers to the right I didn't take a moment to figure out why which left a lot of photos very underexposed and unusable. Lesson learned.
I brought my Mio instant camera, its basically an older Fuji Instax with the Polaroid Mio, it still takes great photos if you can get the lighting conditions just right, this camera does much better with high color/contrast.