photo of the month
from randy kato

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Happy New Year!

Continuing with last month's nostalgia trip, this month's choice is yet another example of "old-world" photography.

Around this time of year I am usually back in my hometown visiting family and friends and staying in the house where I grew up. On one of those trips many years ago I was rummaging through a closet and found some of my dad's old camera gear.

There was a beautiful leather camera bag containing three lenses, and all the bells and whistles for a Leica IIIf - the 1950s camera that many consider to be the godfather of popular 35mm photography. Except, there was no IIIf body, only everything else to go with it.

Well, that was nothing that a little research and a bit of eBay-ing couldn't solve, and soon I had a complete kit, along with a learning curve that would take me back in time. I had to learn about screw mount lenses, stand alone light meters, rangefinder focusing and composition, and even just how to load and unload the film.

Finally, a year later, I was ready to put it to the test. On a trip to a friend's house in the Adirondacks for New Year's, I loaded the little Leica with a roll of black & white film and tried it out.

This month's photo is of my friend Thilo, and it's the first image I shot with that camera. I was so excited I couldn't wait...we'd just arrived and hadn't unpacked or even taken off our coats.

I really like this shot for the image itself, for it's special nostalgia, and for the memories of that trip, but also for the fact that I surprised myself getting the exposure right on my first shot with an old (new to me) process and tricky lighting.


Photo of the Month archive