Rather than drag it out for months and months, I figured I should probably get a photo of this guy. In an abstract way, he's responsible for a lot of the content I've shown for this series. More than that, it's the inspiration that I've found in such a small piece of equipment that he sold me near the end of June. My hunt ended inside the doors of his Antique Store on S. 1st Street, where I found the old Russian lens I've been shooting with lately. After nearly a year of searching for it, he had it and it was under 10 bucks.
I can't tell you how or what inspiration comes from, but when it happens, I can't stop until I've fleshed out the desire to create. This is why I had to photograph Tony, because even though he was just the salesperson, without him, I might have found myself lacking a creative force behind some of my images. Call me weird, but everything old inspires me, from my record collection, to the design of SX-70 Polaroid Cameras. Because of the expense of shooting film, my only realistic approach to capturing that old school flair, is to work with some of this old gear that can produce the kind of imperfect looks that I am so drawn towards.
As I sought Tony out, I had to figure out my approach to shooting his photo. I wanted to just come in, explain my story and his role in it, and ask to fire a photo off. The problem, is that I'm also a stickler about WHAT is in my image. The inside of his antique store, while charming, isn't exactly great for photos. But as I entered and casually started to browse his camera cases, I found another old screw-mount lens that I have the adapter for. The case was open, I pulled it out and set it aside. A few moments later, Tony walked outside to smoke a cigarette. There was my chance. I don't care what you think about smoking, I have always felt that a subject smoking is infinitely more interesting than the alternative shot I could have gotten. I grabbed the lens I had set aside and followed him outside, asking if I could put the lens on my camera to "test it out". "Sure, go ahead" he said, and I promptly did just that. As he puffed on his cig, I grabbed the lens and put it on my Nikon Df. Sadly, the aperture ring wasn't budging and I was stuck at f/16, providing the least depth of field. Oh well! I had one chance and one only a few seconds to get this "test shot" before he walked back in to help another customer who had just waltzed into the store. I rapidly fiddled with my knobs to set my exposure manually and fired one shot.
He walked back inside and I looked down at my digital screen. Mission accomplished. #UntilWeMeetAgainProject day 6. Tony Fernandez of Yakima Antiques.
I shot this photo with the Nikon Df, at ISO 500, f/16, and 1/125th of a second shutter speed. The lens used? A Super Takumar 55mm f/2 screw mount lens, with my m42 adapter ring for Nikon.