I shot these photos using the Bel-Aire ‘Special’, which is the new name I have given to my Belair X 6-12 Jetsetter modified to accept a 100mm Anastigmat Special lens mounted in a Compur Rapid shutter. After my successful attempt to shoot Instax Wide with the new lens and shutter,You can read about my modifications and see the photos I first shot with the Bel-Aire ‘Special’ in Modifying the Belair X 6-12 Jetsetter. I took a trip to Ralph Klein ParkFor some great photos of Ralph Klein Park, check out Shooting Kodak HCP 5369. to test a roll of 120 film.
It was a cold winter morning as I wandered around the park’s Environmental Education Centre taking photos. The Bel-Aire was loaded with Fuji Neopan Acros 100 film, one of my favourite black & white films, and the day was bright and sunny as I metered the light using my iPhone before transferring the settings to the Compur Rapid shutter.
One of the challenges of shooting in manual mode is the lack of feedback from the camera. There is nothing that tells you the photo you just took was successful. I had to trust my thinking as a photographer, I had to trust my light meter app, and I had to trust that the modifications I made to the Belair would work.
I’m quite happy with the way these turned out. I like the 6×6 format, although these photos aren’t exactly square. As with most folding cameras, unfolding the Belair quickly creates a vacuum which sucks air—and the film—into the bellows. This means that the film is not held perfectly flat and, as a result, the top and bottom of each frame isn’t exposed evenly. I had to crop every photo a little during scanning to compensate, so it isn’t really square.
Shortly after shooting my last frame with the Bel-Aire, I tried to swap camerasI had six cameras with me that day. All of them contained a few remaining frames and I had wanted to finish shooting with them. and put the Bel-Aire back in my bag. Recognizing that my hands were full and not wanting to drop any of my gear, I walked over to a park bench. Unfortunately, I never made it. With a camera in each hand, I slipped on some black ice. I valiantly tried to protect the cameras in my hands as I landed hard on my knees and the backs of my wrists. My cameras survived unscathed, but not my joints. I was in immense pain. I was lucky I didn’t break any bones (or cameras) that day!
Foodie, oenophile, traveler, hockey player, teacher, husband & father. I am many things, but at my core, I am a writer and photographer. Give me a notebook, a camera and a pocketful of film and I’m happy. Going Lomo is where I share my love for film photography, because a photograph not shared, only speaks silence.