Just how many of us are there in this relationship?
I have always thought of myself as a visual artist, and I guess that’s what three years of studies concentrating on the image has done for me, with the technical bit coming later, as I kept hearing. That was eight years ago now, and yet I still struggle with that ‘technical bit’, to the point of frustration not only for me, but I’m sure for others who know me as well.
There are three cameras in my life, my most treasured being my beautiful Mamiya medium format 645 which I got to know and fell in love with during those three years, where film ruled for me and I felt reasonably happy with the work I was producing in the darkroom.
© valerie dalling Mamiya Medium Format 645
Apart from bringing it out for a dust occasionally, the camera sadly now sits in a cupboard waiting to be loved again. It has played a big part in my photographic life and I wouldn’t let it go unless I had very good reason to do so. Besides, I have everything I need for my own darkroom now, so who knows, one day I may even get to know it again.
So I came to realise that it was time to teach an old dog new tricks, as the cost of those three years working with film took its toll, and digital would have to be the way forward for my art.
I have two digital cameras, a Nikon D80 and a Panasonic Lumix G3.
The Panasonic was only bought three years ago for a trip to Italy. I wanted something compact that would be an easy travelling companion for me, and I had only given myself a couple of weeks to get to know it, so to be sure I came home with some decent photographs, I admit that it was on auto for most of the holiday.
© valerie dalling Panasonic Lumix G3
I think the G3 and I have quite a good understanding of one another now, and although I’m still discovering new things about it, I know I can trust and rely on it to serve me well.
Finally my Nikon D80, which I bought in 2006 when it was launched, and of course it coincided with the end of my studies. We seem to have a ‘love hate’ relationship as although it is constantly by my side out in the field, I have never really understood it.
© valerie dalling Nikon D80
Despite ‘counselling’ I do wonder whether there is a future for us, but I don”t like to give in without fighting for something I feel is worthy. I’m steadily working my way through all its good and bad points and trying desperately to reach some kind of compromise before making any decisions as to whether I finally say goodbye and move on.
All the photographs I have made and chosen as examples in this post I am very happy with, and particularly the final image ‘Flow 1’ taken with my Nikon, so you see I feel there is hope for us yet, despite my doubts and ever nagging thoughts of a possible change in allegiance.