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In one of my works in progress, the protagonist is a photographer who uses a vintage twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera.

Back before I switched to digital photography, I dabbled in TLR film photography with a vintage Ricoh Diacord. When I started writing about operating a TLR, I realized I needed to brush up on the details.

How do you set the exposure again? And is the image on the ground glass reversed, or reversed and upside down?  

So I dusted off my Diacord, loaded a roll of Portra 400, made 12 exposures, and shipped the film off to the lab, all in the name of research. Then the scans came back. This photo of the dog of mischief was near the end and was my very favorite shot from the roll.

Black, brown, and white Australian shepherd lying on the grass

Loki, the dog of mischief, relaxing in the back yard on a hot day and much more interested in squirrels and his stick than in posing for a photograph.

I had forgotten how much I love the look of TLR photographs—the square format, the detail, the depth of field—nothing else is quite like them.

This was my first time shooting color film in the Diacord. My previous experiments were all done in black and white, which I still love, but I was surprised by how much I liked color TLR photographs. There’s a new roll in the camera and it’s over half full, so expect to see more film photos in the very near future.

Oh, and if you were wondering, the image is reversed left to right in
the Diacord, making composing an image a bit of a challenge.


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