We all know how passionate I am about wedding photography, but unfortunately I can’t shoot a wedding everyday *lol*. So what’s the next best thing? Personal projects, of course!! I’ve written a bit about my adventures with my Leica, and I love what it has added to my photography. Going Leica, is really going back to the basics. When I thought about “going back” to a more old school form of shooting, I started thinking about film again. I have always LOVED the look of film – there isn’t anything like it. And it isn’t just the look either! Does anyone else remember the feeling of picking up your developed film from the lab and flipping through with excitement for the next photo? Or the smell of developer and fixer (if you’re like me and like to take an even more hands on approach *wink*)? The same thing just doesn’t happen with digital when you can easily access the photo on the screen of the camera. Film adds a certain anticipation that you can’t get with digital. So, I took the plunge! I got a Leica M2 which is my film camera of choice.
Recently, on one of my personal shooting adventures, I broke one of the hooks on my FAVOURITE pair of winter boots. These boots are the bomb when it comes to trudging through the rain, sleet or snow and I was so disappointed when they broke. Now, we all know how much I love buying new gear *lol*, so I certainly was not wanting to spend money on a new pair of boots – I’d rather the money go towards a new lens *wink*. And besides, I loved these boots! So what was a guy to do? I thought, “are there still shoe makers??” And I remember that years ago I ripped my first pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes and took them to a place downtown. This shoe repair shop has been there as long as I can remember. So I decided to pay him a visit to see if he could fix my boot. The moment I walked in there I could smell the amazing scent of leather. All of a sudden old memories of after school basketball practices and playing b-ball at the YMCA across from the library (that’s right the retirement home downtown used to be the YMCA) flashed back. After picking up my shoes I was about to walk out when I got the courage to ask the owner if he would mind if I took his picture? He asked me why? I explained to him that I’ve been doing some personal work lately and, being a nostalgic kind of guy, I have a genuine interest in capturing things as they are and have been for years. It was so nice connecting with one of Cambridge’s original craftsmen…he’s had his business for 46 years!! When I call the cobbler a “craftsman”, I REALLY mean it – he does everything by hand with the help of some machinery. While I was taking photos of him at work, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities of it all…an old-school, fading profession being photographed using an old-school, (somewhat) fading format. I mean, let’s all be honest here..most people are no longer shooting film. While the digital age brought many advantages, we’re losing the craftsmanship of photography by leaving film behind. The same can be said for the cobbler, who is considering retirement in the near future. How many shoemakers can you name off? Everything is so disposable these days that people typically just go out and buy new instead of fixing something. It’s too bad, because my boots are good as new now *wink*…
Now for all you techies out there curious about my gears, I shot this project with my Leica M2, 50 summilux and chose Ilford HP5 Plus for my emulsion. Come check the rest from this series on my Facebook Page