I live in one of Canada’s largest cities, Brampton Ontario, but for a photographer it unfortunately has very little to recommend it aesthetically speaking. There’s an old (late 19th Century) downtown core which is rapidly being replaced by modern offices and the City Hall. But Niagara on the Lake it is most certainly not. The rest of the city is a growing, sprawling mix of suburbia, apartments and low-cost housing. Brampton is one of those cities whose demographics change with each new generation and therefore it has little real, permanent, identity. However, one of the local attractions is the Saturday Farmers’ Market, held each year from June until October and somewhere where the old rural nature of the area is still in evidence. This weekend I took the camera down for a walkabout and picked up a few pictures from some of the stalls. Enjoy.
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I don’t know why I would go back to shooting film again. A couple of months ago I found my old F60 and it still had a roll of film in it, only half-shot. I wondered, this last decade of shooting digital, of learning how to shoot, had it actually made me a better photographer? Remembering the years that I shot only film, because there was no alternative, I also remembered the anticipation of waiting for films to come back from Boots the Chemist or wherever else I had sent them. That anticipation often didn’t measure up to the final product, sometimes I had blurred the shot, or shooting with flash I had never understood the concept of sync speed, leading to a portion of the shot being blacked out by the moving shutter. Had I actually improved as a photographer? Well, at least I now understand sync speed and can recognise the problem for what it was, so maybe the rest of my ‘skills’ have also improved.
The F60 is a pretty lousy camera by comparison with some of the others out there, and you can pick up a great film camera for very little money these days. When I knew the bug was back I quickly bought a F90x (N90s in the US) and a Nikon FE for next to nothing. Poles apart, but both in great condition and fully functional. It took me a while to stop looking down at the back of the camera after each shot (seriously!), but I realised that I do understand f-stops, and ISO, and exposure in general and I think this will be more than just a passing fancy.