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A few years ago, I had zero knowledge or experience in photography and film. I never considered myself technologically savvy, nor did I take much interest in it. Growing up, the only thing that sparked my creative interest was dancing. Dancing was not considered a social norm for my era, so I mostly kept it to myself. My pre-pubescent years were spent trying to make new friends and feel accepted. As an Asian-American living in the South, my family background was very interesting. I had a strict curfew and brought non-American lunch to school Because of my health problems, I also didn't have a similar skin tone to other Asians or even my family members.
Making friends and fitting in were the only things that I cared about. My own passions were left behind when the hobbies and interests of the people around me took priority. The fear of being alone and not being understood was enough to stop following my own passions at the time.
Fast forward to this past year and I decided to embark on my own creative path. I started off by learning the basics of Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Both applications helped me understand the fundamentals and principles of design. I soon found photography and filming as new mediums that I enjoyed working with to create my own original work. My first camera, a Canon Rebel T3i, was loaned to me by a friend. A month later, I found my father’s vintage Nikon FM 35mm camera in our family's storage. When I first learned how to use a DSLR camera, I enjoyed being able to take unlimited photographs to find the right composition. Still, I had difficulty with the camera’s manual settings. I was advised that vintage 35mm cameras are great tools for learning framing and composition because you have to be aware of the various costs attached to it. A roll of 24 films costs $15-20 and then requires an additional $15-20 to process the film for each roll. An average of $30-40 for 24-36 printed pictures adds up quick!
I find the value in these pictures that resemble the vintage photographs from an earlier era in photography. In my opinion, they look better than my usual digital prints. As a beginner, there has always been a steep curve to learning photography. Therefore, I find it highly rewarding when I am able to see the progress that I've made along the way. Whenever I can take a photo and then analyze the mistakes I’ve made within, I can reshoot the picture to get a more appealing composition.
Below, you can see one of my first pictures of the Monrovia Historical Museum Courtyard and Gardens Bell. This was captured with a Canon EOS REBEL T3i. I used a 30-year-old Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens from my family's stash.
If you want to purchase a similar adapter to the one I got, there's an Amazon link below. The adapter I got cost about $15, which is cheaper than the one advertised. It's a good adapter for the price, especially if you want to attach vintage manual lenses to your digital camera.
The adapter is easy to attach to the camera body and to the lens.
It can be difficult to remove from the lens. There is a pin/hole lock mechanism that is activated by pressing a switch. The switch pushes the pin from one hole and switches it into another hole so that you can twist the adapter off of the lens.
A word of caution: using an adapter changes your lens’ focal length. This means that it will make your existing lens longer and, to some degree, make your images smaller.
Example: If you have a 50mm lens and you attach a small, 1mm thick adapter, your lens is now 51mm instead of 50mm.
This photo style has a distinctive 80's look with a darker tone and slightly blended bokeh instead of a creamy meld. I learned that during a sunny mid-afternoon, you should turn your back to the sun so that the harsh light from the sunlight aren't blinding your camera’s LCD screen. So, I stood underneath a tree’s branches with the sun shining from above. I stood there so that it softened the harsh mid-afternoon light on the bell, the subject of my photograph. This prevented too much exposure and highlights in the picture. Unfortunately, my original picture was deleted!
Monrovia Historical Museum
Camera Body: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
Camera Lens: Vintage Nikon Series E 50mm 1.8 Prime Lens
Weather Condition: Clear/Sunny
Unavailable - LOST