Using the Mamiya 7 and Light Meter

On Monday 8th October 2012 I decided to hire the Mamiya 7 and Light Meter from the Media Loan Shop to use throughout the day. I had never shot with a film camera before and was insanely excited but also horrifically nervous!

Once I had got the two pieces of equipment home, I sat and watched through the YouTube video that we used during the Mamiya 7 workshop. This enabled me to remember certain aspect of the camera’s structures and settings that I may have forgotten. By following the video instructions, I managed to successfully place my 120mm film into the camera without exposing it, which was one of the aspects that I was most nervous about!

I then went out on a walk around Coventry city-centre with the Mamiya 7 and light meter. Because the Mamiya 7 120mm film only let me have 10 frames to shoot, I actually found that I was planning and pre-visualising my shots in a lot more depth than when I had my digital camera. I finally made the transition from a reactive photographer to a proactive photographer.

I also found, after my workshop on the light meter where I learnt about Ansel Adams’Zone System’, that I was looking at light in a completely different context. I was interpreting the natural light and trying to imagine what the image will turn out like in ‘Zone 5’.

This experimental day, for me, was very inspiring and incredibly enjoyable! I found that I was looking at the world in a completely different light and genuinely felt like a ‘good’ photographer!

I am already planning on having more of these experimental days in the future and have now seen an improvement in my digital photography merely through the use and experimentation of something completely different! I cannot wait to learn how to use a variety of different cameras and equipment and the theories that can be associated with them.

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