I’ve been obsessed with photography since I was 8 years old. My mom gave me a Smena 8 – an old Soviet-made rangefinder and I was hooked right away. While my friends played outside I spent hours (and sometimes days) in my darkroom. There is something magical and relaxing about developing film and printing your own photos. When I started photographing weddings on my own in 2000 I went for the Cadillac of cameras – Hasselblad. I borrowed money from everyone I knew and bought two used ‘Blads – a 500CM and an EL/M. In 2005 I got swept up by the digital craze and traded both of my Hasselblads for Canon gear. I never quite got over the loss of those beautiful medium-format hunks of metal. Don’t get me wrong – I love digital photography and I am not trying to start yet another film vs. digital debate. I simply miss film. In the past couple of years I’ve been shooting a lot of 35mm black and white film for my personal projects (and developing it myself in my basement). However, there is nothing that compares to the beauty of a larger negative. I kept telling myself that buying a medium- or a large-format camera would be a complete waste of money, that film is expensive, that if I start doing more serious work using film I’d have to buy a negative/slide scanner. All those were good reason not to buy yet another film camera. I decided to go with my heart. I really could not justify a Hasselblad, so I settled for a time-proven workhorse that is Mamiya 645. I already have some projects in mind, so hopefully I’ll be able to post new photos pretty soon.
Today I found a couple of large format film holders while cleaning my basement. I wonder how many photographers of my generation (for the record, I`m 34) have ever used a large format camera?