It's been nearly three years since I jumped ship at WordPress and moved my little blog over to Squarespace. I've sacrificed some traffic in the process, but I like this platform and the Squarespace people are wonderful to work with.
When I moved the blog, I didn't really save any of the content, preferring instead to start fresh. However, while looking through nearly ten years of analog photography for my "Lightbox Wednesday" project, the images reminded me of the old WordPress blog posts I had written about them. Thinking back, I learned something new about photography or myself from those pictures. While I can't recreate the posts, I can remember what they taught me. So, every once in a while, I'll do a little film rewind here and share some of those photographs and thoughts.
The following images were shot with my Leica M6TTL. I only owned the M6 for a few months back in 2014, trading it and my M2 for a Leica M9 digital body. I regret getting rid of the M6 and realize now why so many Leica photographers love this camera--it's a simple camera with a truly great TTL meter.
I took these shots in November, 2014 during a Sunday afternoon hike along the Pacific Ocean at Sonoma Coast State Park. The day started off quite nice, sunny and mild. By the time I got to the parking area, loaded my film and headed off on my hike, a very dense, wet fog enveloped the ocean bluffs. There was so much moisture, I kept the Leica under my windbreaker while I walked, only slipping it out to take a shot here and there. Occasionally, the sun would break through the fog and give me the opportunity to squeeze off a frame or two, but as the afternoon wore on, I grew sullen over the disintegrating day and disappointing photographic opportunities.
When I got my scans back from the lab later that week, I was pleasantly surprised at the images on my screen. The Portra 400 captured the mood of the day perfectly. A bit gloomy but with nice soft pastels. The Leica's meter got the exposures just right and this was the day I fell in love with the 35 f/2 Summicron, a lens I still have.
The last photo is my favorite, a shot I took of a young woman who was one of the few souls I encountered on my hike that day. We acknowledged each other as we passed on the trail and a bit later, something made me stop and look back after her. When I turned, I was surprised to see her on a bluff overlooking the ocean. I remember feeling guilty raising the camera to my eye to take this shot, interrupting her solitude even from this distance. I also felt uneasy and a bit concerned. After I shot this, I stayed in this place for awhile, only moving on when I saw her turn and head safely back inland toward the trail.
The lesson I learned this day was that even if the weather or the light isn't right...press on. Like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates...you never know what you're going to get.