Back into Photography…


The other day I wrote that I had got fed up with photography in recent years because everything had got so ‘digital’, and more photography just meant more time on the computer. I think this was exacerbated by a change of camera a couple of years ago to a highly-advanced, pocket-sized, fixed-zoom wonder-camera that practically took photos for me. The height of technology, and for me the height of boredom.

Then my father gave me an even more advanced camera, a Sony A6000, that he found a bit too much as well – it has about 1,000 possible settings! This I gratefully received as it meant I could get back into putting different lenses onto a camera again…

Then my super-photographer friend Mike showed me how you can put almost any, old, manual-focus lens onto these new cameras with an adaptor, and gave me a lovley sharp Yashica 50mm f1.7 manual-focus lens from the good old days. Leica, Canon, Olympus, Nikon, whatever old manual focus lenses you’ve got lying around or pick up 2nd-hand, can go on these new cameras. Amazing! The adaptor for the Yashica cost me 8 pounds.

So, with the latest in camera-tech combined with a good-old manual-focus lens, (and a quick lesson in ‘focus peaking’ and ‘focus magnifying’ from Mike – how these new cameras help with the manual-focus part), he and I spent the day wandering old Madrid, and I haven’t enjoyed photography – in this case street photography – so much in years (…see photos above and below). It’s wonderful to be back into photography again.






18 thoughts on “Back into Photography…”

  1. Ben, these photos are amazing. Your sensitivity shines through in each image. I am particularly fond of the school children in front of El Estragon restaurant. I hope you will continue to share your photos.

    1. Thank you Peggy, I think that is going to be the plan for this site going forward – photos, art, words – lots more creativity! A bit less philosophising! (But still a bit 🙂 )

  2. Excellent news Ben. I envy the street photography opportunities you have in Madrid. I especially like black and white. Keep it up, some great photographs there.

    1. Thanks Ian, I actually envy the street photography opportunities you have up there in Asturias too! Not to mention the landscapes!

  3. I really enjoyed all these photos–in addition to being beautiful, it’s nice to get a look at street life in a place so far away from my daily life. I especially like the one with three children atop three cement posts. I also have a digital camera that I am using an old Olympus manual focus 50mm lens on. Something about manual focusing zones me into what I am looking at. Of course you lose the occasional shot while focusing, but it’s worth it. Happy to see you enjoying photography again! (I too have a rocky relationship with digital photography–love the instant viewing but feel somewhat disconnected as well. I have a Yashica rangefinder from the 60s for shooting film. It’s awesome.)

    1. Hi James, My friend Mike tried to persuade me to run a roll of film through the old Yashica SLR he kindly gave me along with the lens, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to go that far back down the road! But I’m totally loving manual focus lens. The problem is it’s waking up the old materialist in me as well, and I find myself creeping onto eBay to look at old manual focus 28mm lenses as well! Well, no harm in looking.

      1. Yes Yes! I find myself going to eBay to look at old lenses–and vintage cameras as well. While I’m doing this I try to remind myself of those “five hindrances”: desire being one of them! The old materialist in us all dies hard! Or perhaps does not die, but with time and effort becomes much less potent. Oh the hours I’ve spent on Amazon, eBay, and craigslist . . . 🙂

          1. Ah! Yes! We struggle with the same sites! Don’t look at B and H photography either (hope you already knew that one, or I just gave you another challenge!)

            1. Too late, too late… I’ve been struck with the ‘gear’ bug, but have a plan to save myself, I think I’ll write about it soon!

  4. Ah, that picture of the plaza made me feel like I was there! Glad to hear you are inspired! Now, I’m inspired, too!

  5. These photos are amazing! and I love street photography in particular, it reminds me that i actually love people in times that I feel I’m mad at all the humanity!
    I’m happy you are enjoying photography again and that you are going to share it.

    1. Wonderful James! This is just the sort of project the world needs more of! I’ve posted it to our Notes in Spanish Facebook page for a start.

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