So Much For Diligence: Family, Anniversary, and a Rolleiflex.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

So much for diligence.

I tried, I really did. Tried to post often. Tried to shoot often.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

Then this happened.

One of my closest friends Nick came from California to hang out. For a month or two.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

Then this.

My mom came for a couple weeks herself.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

Then my brother and his girlfriend.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

Then another good friend, Junku, came from Japan for my anniversary.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

Then my anniversary happened.

Well, as you might well have guessed the last two months or so have been busy. I know you may be thinking this would have been a splendid time to document. You’d probably be right. Just I think I realized that I didn’t want to spend this time behind a camera.

My birthday present.

For my birthday (which actually hasn’t come yet) my wife bought me this camera. It’s a Rolleiflex T in grey leather from the late 1950s. I didn’t know what to make of this gift. It confused me at first. I know she got the idea from above pictured Nick who has a similar camera.

Still, I’d never thought about getting a TLR (this style of camera) ever in my life. I didn’t really get the appeal.

Jeonju, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

It was a struggle at first. I struggle to focus any camera that isn’t a rangefinder.

Then I started to notice something.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

People act very differently when I take photos with this camera. They relax more. They talk while I frame and focus. I talk while I do. I think the fact that my face isn’t obscured by the camera itself helps with this. I think the fact that the camera looks how it does helps with this. I know this has been written in the past by many people but it really is something one must experience for themselves.

My mom, for example, doesn’t like having her picture taken. Whenever I take pictures with a Leica or some other camera she shies away from it. She walks away or looks away. When I started taking photos of her with this camera she embraced it. She talked to me while I shot. We laughed about how she accidentally looked down.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

She was surprised to hear she’d probably just cost me a 1000 won by looking down right when I pressed the shutter.

“When you use that camera even though I’m looking at you I don’t even think about the fact that you’re taking a picture.. I’m sorry.”

This hit me.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

No problem for a smile on the next one. She didn’t want to cost her son 2000 won.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

My brother is basically the same story. He looks awkward and uncomfortable in most of the other photos I’ve taken of him. He never seems to feel comfortable being in front of a camera. Amazing to see this melt away.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.
Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

Basically the same deal for his girlfriend.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

My friends, well, they always look comfortable, ha.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

Even so though, they relax more. Nico here generally poses in photos no matter what. It is tough to get him in a “natural” state. Again, to this camera’s credit it does this amazingly well.

Maybe he was just too hungover to care.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

None of this even begins to mention the fact that 120mm film just looks… better. The negatives are spectacular.

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

I cannot thank my wife enough for this gift. I’m not sure I’ve learned more from a camera since the Sony point and shoot I found under my aunt’s car seat years and years ago. I’ve only shot two rolls so far but I am absolutely in love. I can honestly say it has changed the way I approach shooting.

And finally, things are starting to quiet down. Soon my wife and I will actually be able to relax. And hopefully, I’ll be able to finally..

be more diligent.

Iksan, 2019.

___________________________________________

Also, for those interested my second zine, Neverland Volume II is now available for purchase at the link below:

MAGCLOUD

Iksan, 2019. Rolleiflex T, Ilford HP5.

2 comments

  1. Well yes it’s been a while but boy was it worth waiting for this…
    Medium format are photos you make as opposed to take, and they are slow photos. Slow is good.
    Glad you found a different path to explore. I’ve been tempted for a while, and you have nudged me one step closer. Thank you, Josh.

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