Somewhat Analog Things About Photography

Waiting For Jāņi — Taking Part In 2022 Photo Competition; Part 6

I’m back! You thought that this day would never come but here it is! I have arrived and ready to type out nonsense surrounding photography once again. Or if I’m being honest — nobody knew that I was gone and nobody knows that I am back. I’m very similar to Terminator in that way. Apart from the fact that people were sad that he got melted and turned into a toaster and happy again when he returned. At least returned for the first few times — after a while it would’ve been better for Terminator to remain terminated.

Anyway — the best way to go back into writing things is to start small and simple. Small and simple is continuing my photo competition series. Whilst I stopped writing, I didn’t stop taking photos for the year-long photo competition. I took less photos but I took them!

Last time I wrote about this competition, I was taking photos of Bridges. I even got a shared first place with one of the photos I sent over. All thanks goes to my wife tough as she is the one that picks the photos I send over now! I just press the shutter button.

Now ( now being a generous term — it was a few months back ) I had to take photos with the theme of “Waiting For Jāņi”. It’s unlikely that you know what that entails. A more direct translation is “Waiting For John’s”. I can’t see that making things any clearer for you. Did I have to take photos of people who are named John? Well, kind of, but not really.

“Jāņi” is a summer solstice type of thing. It happens on 24th of June which is one of the longest days. In fact if there are no clouds, it doesn’t get fully dark at all. The sun does set but there is still some residual light around. On this day Latvians tend to:

  • drink beer;
  • eat cheese;
  • stay up late;
  • make bonfires.

To fit the theme a photo had to do something with either the pre-event, event itself or post-event. My plan was to take some photos during the pre-event and the actual event. As all my plans — they failed. A day or two before the event I got some insane fever so was bound to bed for the pre-event and the event too. Annoying. In the end I resorted to taking photos of my wife, dressed how she would be dressed if she attended the event. Not ideal but I had to do something.

I did not take too many photos but I got some usable ones that could be sent to the competition. I used Leica M9 and Pentax 6x7 with a 45mm lens. I liked the photos from Pentax but I used an expired slide film so the colors were not the best. Without having too much choice I did edit one to an acceptable level and sent that as one of the photos. The other one came from Leica M9. It’s also a decent photo but I’m really not a portrait photographer so they are not the best photos in the world.

I don’t have too high hopes for the photos but I’m glad of what I could do with the cards that I was dealt. Here are some that didn’t make the cut below. Maybe the next theme will be better. Spoilers: it won’t. As I’m writing this in the future I already know the outcome of the next few months. It’s a secret though so don’t tell anyone!

Photo of my wife in the field.
Pentax 6x7
Pentax SMC 6x7 45mm f4
Epson V600
A Shifted Look

Here’s a photo from Pentax 6x7. You can see that the colors are very wonky indeed. They can be improved upon but this wasn’t my favourite photo so I didn’t bother too much. I do, however, like the look of a wide angle lens on a medium format camera.

Another photo of my wife in the field.
Leica M9
Non Shifted Look

I like the colors and the photo in general but it doesn’t give me the ”Jāņi” vibes. I wanted something more raw and with a character where as this almost looks like it’s shot with a flash. It wasn’t though as flashes are the root of all evil.

You couldn't imagine seeing another photo of my wife in the field but here it is!
Leica M9
A Turned Look

Lastly a photo I really waned to take but didn’t succeed. I wanted a photo with movement but all the photos I took didn’t look good. I blame it on the illness that I still had inside of me.


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