Back in the day, when I was learning photography at university, I had an AE1 Program Canon, my very first SLR camera. My AE1 was special because it had extra program features, which set the aperture and exposure automatically. Many other models of the time didn’t offer this benefit. Yet, I was prohibited from using these and made to learn the hard way. Flung in the deep end, I had to work everything out for myself with a volatile analogue light metre. Seriously, that thing had a mind of its own! What was even more challenging, was being coerced to shoot on positive colour slide film.
The film was a completely unforgiving medium. There was no predicting how my shots turned out, until after a long train trip to Richmond, Melbourne and waiting around all day for my rolls to be processed. If my images were over or under exposed, there was no tweaking them. Nor was there any mercy for getting the focus out. Yep, no automatic focus!
Yet, this experience not only taught me the essential foundations of photography, but it also allowed me to have a greater appreciation of the privilege of the digital age that we have today. These days I can hit that button a few thousand times before I have to change cards! Hoorah!
Although I am not completely reckless with the quantity of shots I capture, with digital these days, I can afford to take a few extras, just in case someone blinks or doesn’t point their toes. Any undesirable shots only result in pressing the delete button and a bit of wear and tear on my camera sensor. No big deal.
In addition to extra snaps of the shutter to make sure that photograph is captured to perfection, it is also fun to muck around and take some silly shots just for fun! This is just what we did when we christened the new seamless backdrop after building it in my newly acquired Mornington Peninsula studio, a couple of years back now.
After getting shots for my flyers and still wearing a beautiful anchor print Vivien of Holloway dress from Christine’s, I decided to drag my better half in front of the camera with me. If you haven’t guessed already, I love being on either end of the lens. Spontaneously, we came up with an idea for a kitschy couples shoot, with no real intention to do anything with the resulting images. After all, who cares, it’s digital!
Since my bloke absolutely loves fishing and I love shoes, we tied one of his old boots to his fishing rod. Yes, hiking boots are not quite my cup of tea, but this one was sentimental to him. He had worn it when he walked all the way across the Pilbara Desert, so it deserved to be in a photo shoot too! Plus, I thought it looked more authentic. I’ve never pulled a nice cowboy boot or stiletto up from the pier, that’s for sure!
We had a ball pretending that we caught a stinky old boot off the pier, but I never really did much with the images after that. That was until PinupSkool Magazine sent me an email regarding submissions for a ‘castaway’ themed issue.
I had a flick through my archives, but there wasn’t much that I hadn’t published or used before… then I saw those photos we took and that I’d forgotten. Subsequently, I edited one, submitted it to them and thought nothing of it.
To my utter shock, PinupSkool actually decided to include it on page 43 of the 8th (May/June/July) issue of their fabulous quarterly magazine! I was extremely surprised. I didn’t expect that at all. Hence, I ordered a copy from Stars and Swallows to see it for myself. Seeing is believing, right?!
P.S. The stunning anchor print full circle 1950s reproduction dress that I wore for these photos has just been re-released by Vivien of Holloway! It is available in vintage sizes 10-24 UK, which are equivalent to sizes 6-20 here in Australia! Hence, if you need one like I did, you can adopt it from Christine’s at 362 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne. Alternatively, you can simply email Christine Bitomsky at email@example.com or call her on 0417 144 169.
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