Let's start from the beginning...

by Piotr Matura May. 03, 2019 425 views

I already wrote 3 posts on this blog, and really enjoyed sharing some stories and photographs. It came to me that maybe it would be a good idea to tell a story about how I got there, and before that - how I got into photography more seriously, adding some photos along the way.
If you are interested, please stay awhile and listen ;)

I can safely say that I always enjoyed photography in one way or another. I appreciated some nice photos in magazines or on the Internet, liked when I managed to do a nice "snap" with phone or digital camera - but never really got into it. I did not care much for the proper technique or composition - photos were really just a documentation of events or travels captured mostly in automatic mode of camera.

A few years ago I started gradually developing interest in - so to speak - analog things. Maybe it's parts my natural inclination, as I always enjoyed reading books, listening to older music (no only, but lots of it) or never really got that much interested in social media etc. (even though my work revolves 100% around online business). Or maybe it's parts tiredness of said work and looking for something different. The fact is, that after many years I started riding bike again, got into listening and collecting analog records, etc. And I really enjoyed all of it.

Sometime in summer of 2017 I thought that photographing on film might be interesting. I remembered shooting with my father's Zenit E in the 1990s and started randomly searching for it on the Internet. After a while, among other listings I came across an offer on Minolta XD7 and man, did I like the looks of it! Then I read a bit about it and I knew that I want this little marvel of a camera.

Fast forward, I managed to buy it just before going on a late, mid-September vacation. Armed only with some basic knowledge on how to use it and (being on a budget) just 3 rolls of film, I took it with me. Here are some results (sorry for dusty scans):

"Boardwalk" in Novigrad, Croatia

"Boardwalk" in Novigrad, Croatia

Trieste, Place of Unity of Italy

Trieste, Place of Unity of Italy

Trieste Marina

Trieste Marina

Palace in Lednice, Czech Republic

Palace in Lednice, Czech Republic

Park around Lednice Palace

Park around Lednice Palace

Roman Colliseum in Pula, Croatia

Roman Colliseum in Pula, Croatia

They aren't the best, but I was really happy with them. There was something about these photos that made them completely different than digital. Maybe because of the colors or the range of them, or how the focused and defocused areas are rendered, or the overall athmosphere they have. Or just the fact that every frame was carefully thought through, composed, metered and then - captured.

Over two years and a few dozens of films later I still enjoy everything about analog photography (except maybe the wait for films being developed and scanned - only once a week in labs I have access to). It makes me look around with more attention, see more and stop and think before I squeeze the shutter.

My interest in photography overall only grows and I try to learn and practice as much as I can, just for the satisfaction of doing it.

I also like to share my photos with family and friends. Now I also enjoy posting them with some stories here. I hope you will sometimes find here something that will catch your eye. And I promise to keep stories shorter than this one ;)

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There are 12 comments , add yours!
Buster Bruce 1 year, 5 months ago

I love the Minolta. Many of my early travels were captured using this camera. Great post and images.

1 year, 5 months ago Edited
Piotr Matura Replied to Buster Bruce 1 year, 5 months ago

Thank you, Buster, I appreciate your kind words.
And I think XD is wonderful camera, pure pleasure to use. I also have Dynax 4, which I mainly use and would be happy to get Dynax 7 and/or Hi-Matic someday. I guess I became Minolta guy ;)

1 year, 5 months ago Edited
Fernando Bourgon 1 year, 6 months ago

#1I apologize for my English level. Congratulations for doing something that nobody currently does, analog photography. As you say, it's the colors they have or the absence of them that makes them totally different. I was in love with the Kodachrome 64, the best analogue film I've worked with, a pity that has stopped being made. Like your father my first camera was a zenith E and my last analogue was a Minolta Dynax 7. Then I had to switch to digital photography, first with Sony and then with Canon, but I still yearn for the analogical photography in which the "Photoshop." Congratulations for the photos.

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Piotr Matura Replied to Fernando Bourgon 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank you for your comment and kind words, Fernando. Analog may be a bit more difficult right now, given limited availability of film and services or their cost, but I find it so satisfying, it is worth it for me ;)
I will not be able to try Kodachrome, but there is still Ektachrome slide film available and I wat to try it sometime.
And I think Dynax 7 is amazing, I really want that camera! But recently I started thinking about medium format and maybe in future I will get some nice Mamiya for 120 film ;)

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Varsha Arun 1 year, 6 months ago

I simply loved the feel of these pictures, especially #5...!!! They are reminiscent of a simpler time when each frame had to be well thought of before the shot was made. blush
I can completely relate to you on how you developed a deeper interest in photography; I too have only recently started enjoying clicking...after coming into the possession of a good camera phone. Now I wonder why I never thought to do this before :-p

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Piotr Matura Replied to Varsha Arun 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank you, Varsha! I can speak only for myself, but think it doesn't really matter how you get into photograpy or what gear you have (even if for me analog photography was what "got" me). If you enjoy it, just keep doing it, and that is all you need smile

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 7 months ago

I stumbled here only because suddenly I noticed so many blog posts from people going analog. Must be a new craze? First we go back to old 33 records and turntables and now back to analog. I think it is great. ! enjoyed your intro and your photos. Thanks for sharing smile

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Piotr Matura Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 7 months ago

Thank you, Camellia, I'm glad you liked it!

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Jolien Dekens 1 year, 7 months ago

Nice post :) I'm interested in learning how to shoot film so I'll be looking forward to seeing more of your posts!

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Piotr Matura Replied to Jolien Dekens 1 year, 7 months ago

Thank you very much :) I'll try to remember to add info about camera, lens and film I used. If I remember (but it will be hard) aperture and shutter values.
Have fun with your new camera! I wait to see some pictures :)

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 1 year, 7 months ago

Nice intro. I have some old rangefinders from the 50's and 60's. Also using some vintage lenses on my modern Fuji. Love playing around with them.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Piotr Matura Replied to Berckmans Peter 1 year, 7 months ago

Thanks! Rangefinders seem very interesting and different experience than SLR, I hope to try shooting with one someday.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
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