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Missing my Film Gear

Published November 12th, 2011

Hey there,

Kale here, photographer (pro or exaggerated amateur is someone else's opinion) coming to you live from Singapore. Been here three nights now, with the family. That would be Mrs Kale Taylor and little 3-year old Spencer. A handful. To put it lightly.

Being a photographer who tries to turn a buck is never easy. Doing that with a child is even harder. In his book, 'The Moment it Clicks', Joe McNally speaks about the difficult balance between being a professional photographer and being a family man/father. Many times Joe lost precious moments of his family because work called. Though I am not in the same league as McNally, I can understand what he is talking about. The draw to head out a 5 in the morning to shoot FP4 in the Hasselblad or stay home and watch "Cars" for the 900th time is often times pulling in the opposite direction. Or maybe you have a client shoot that runs long and you don't come home when you thought you would and you feel the tension in the air because of it. For me, this is part of what it means to work in photography. But I am getting off topic somewhat here.

What I originally meant to say is that I am here in beautiful Singapore, on Sentosa island and am only shooting digital. This is partly by choice. I didn't feel like lugging my digital camera, and one of the film bodies. Because once you decide film, you have to decide which body, then which lens, then which film. Decisions, decisions. So here I am with the 5DMII, a beautiful camera to be sure, but not film. And for the past day and a half it has been overcast and rainy. I'm talking Ilford FP4 overcast. Perfect, moody, full-of-emotion black and white film kind of light. The kind of light I learned to shot film under. The kind of light that would make Atget and Brassai get excited. The kind of light where you want the 6x6 medium format. You want to be in the thick of it, feeling the mist and humidity; with one hand on a vintage Lunasix Pro meter and the other on the shutter release. The kind of light where you lose yourself while looking through that waist-level viewfinder. This is what I see when I look out the window. There are wild monkeys here, just a few feet from the balcony. Maybe this is why I brought digital. They move too fast to manually focus. Yes, maybe they are the reason I'm shooting digital in Singapore.

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