200mm f/4.5 1/100s IS100
It's no secret that I skate. Skateboarding is not the average hobby for a grown man, but I don't see myself giving it up any time soon. I have yet to find a better or cheaper method of shaking off a day of work than skating. On every dry day I stop by a skatepark on my way home and skate until it's just too dark to see. In Salem Oregon, where they leave the lights on at the skatepark all day, this became a tiring venture, but in most places daylight is the only option, and since moving back to California, this is how I keep time.
I can usually get a good two hours of skating in before it's too dark to see. I have really good eyes. This is assuming that I don't work late, which I often do. Skateboarding might be a bit juvenile, but I'll take it over a treadmill any day. Nothing beats travelling at insane speeds through the open air with nothing to hold on to, and landing a new trick is the best feeling of true pride.
Skating is the only thing I do 100% for myself.
Look for me when you pass the skatepark. I'll be the guy with grey hair skating the rails.
80mm f/5.6 1/125s ISO100
Digital cameras are awesome, but I will always love everything about film. From preparing your rolls to enlarging your prints I love the feel of film photography. I love the look of it, the smell of the chemicals, the sound the shutter makes, digital will never match the pleasure of the senses that film provides.
The Amateur Photographer's Handbook by Aaron Sussman influenced me with his wonderful take on composition, seeing the world in pictures, and enjoying photography. If you are going to take up film, this book is a must-have. It covers all aspects of photography from taking your film out of the can to developing your negatives to making enlargement prints. The information on forgotten chemicals for developing, techniques for altering negatives, and many other "post" arts that have been lost in the digital explosion will help you understand film and work with it easily.
My film camera allows me to shoot at ISO speeds of 25, most digital cameras go as low as 100. You don't have to know what ISO means, you do have to know that digital is still not as precise as film. Film is simply older. Film has evolved over a century of tinkering, digital can not yet boast that claim. Someday digital will surpass film, especially now that innovations in analog are no longer a goal, but that day has not yet come.
Grain and high ISO's are another area where film crushes digital. Really high speed film creates prints with a nice grain, and enough detail to look good. High ISO digital looks like a Monet painting, it's great if your eyes aren't sharp, but to the rest of us it looks smeared.
If you shoot film, and you're not developing your own negatives, you are missing out. The things that can be done to negatives are only just now being rivaled with computer generated tools, rivaled, not equaled. Read this book and learn how to turn a photographic negative, a piece of sandpaper, and a Q-Tip into a work of art.
If you want to try your hand at film, but don't want to mess around with chemicals, try out thedarkroom.com, they can develop your negatives and even scan them for you so you can easily have digital files of your film photos! It doesn't get much easier than that.
The digital revolution has damned our photos to sit on memory chips, cd-roms, and harddrives. Photos are meant to be displayed, if you fancy yourself a photographer, even if you are 100% consumer digital, print your photos out and hang them somewhere or pile them in a box and leave it on the coffee table. The greatest gift photographs give us is the ability to touch an image, to pick it up and hold it, to feel. You can't feel a picture on a computer screen.