Last week, I had a short break from the normal. I travelled to the San Francisco bay area to visit family and friends and I threw in a bit of photography as well. I took the Voigtländer R2A and the Nikon D3, with a bunch of lenses. Well, I used the D3 a couple of times, but took the R2A nearly everywhere. Hmmm, if only the Voigtländer were digital, I don’t think that I would want/need to travel with any other camera. (I actively looked for a Leica M8.2 for sale while I was there, without any success.)
The trip included some museum going, to the SF MoMA and the de Young, in Golden Gate park. As MoMA has an incredible photography collection, it was clearly my favourite. I believe that I mentioned this in my last post. Traveling to the City afforded me many street photography opportunities. I use the word “street” loosely, as I shot on the ferry to the City as well as on the street.
An interesting aspect of shooting in northern California in the Summer, is that I should have shot with different film. I used Delta 400 and Kodak T-Max 400. I should have used a lower ASA film for the outdoor shooting. I frequently had to stop down to f11 or f16 to stay within the 1/2000 of a second shutter speed maximum on the Bessa. Digital shooting allows so much more flexibility with a broader range of aperture and shutter speed and the ability to switch ISO to accommodate changing light. I was happy to have the faster film for shooting inside as well as the Voigtländer 35mm f1.7 lens.
In any case, I enjoyed the bright, hard light and shadows, which makes for contrasty black and white images. My only opportunities to shoot at sunup or sunset met with limited success as the sky was relative hazy without any clouds to add interest.
However, my friend, Scott Sawyer, has been doing some very nice low light photography around San Francisco.