A Digital SLR is a modern piece of equipment. It has nothing of the old-world charm associated with photography. No “wait till the film is processed“, no “did I get the exposure right“, no “oh, this is not good enough to be photographed“, no “Is the light right?”, no “I’ve got only 2 frames left. They’ve got to count“. Instead, you’ve got instant gratification, with nothing left to your imagination. You see the exact photograph that will be printed (or viewed on your screen) instantly, and if you want to change it, you can experiment till you get it right.
But why not try to experience the magic of not knowing exactly how your photographs are going to turn out? Want to try it? Simple.
- Set your ISO to 100, 200 or 400, and set your white balance to Daylight because these are the most easily available film rolls available.
- Set your camera mode to M so that all the aperture and shutter speed decisions are made by your brain, and not the camera’s.
- Set up your camera to disable image reviews after you’ve taken a photograph. If you don’t have this option, stick a Post-it Note on the rear LCD screen so that you can’t see the image. Post-it Notes leave no sticky residue on the camera once you peel them off, so they’re perfectly safe for your camera.
- Stick a cut Post-it Note on the top LCD so that you resist the urge to look at the number of frames remaining, shooting / AF mode and other details.
- Rely on your intuition, and try not to use the light meter readout in the viewfinder.
Any other suggestions? Leave ‘em in the comments.
Watch out for a Photo Project based on your newly set up Retro DSLR in the days to come.
Photo: Alex Dram
Susheel Chandradhas is a Photographer and cinematographer. He has been taking photographs and studying photography since he was a kid. His classmates all believed that he would write a book on photography... Instead, he writes this blog. His passions include photography, parkour, wide-angle lenses, blue skies, fire extinguishers and fast computers.