The cameras that make my favorite images

I rebuilt my portfolio pages, putting together four groups of ten pictures each, grouped as Automotive, Dance, Landscape, and People. As I was whittling my favorite images down to a core of top picks, I realized that a ton of the pictures were in square format, which meant only thing — those images were shot by my TLR, the only 6×6 camera I have in the entire collection.

It got me thinking: of the pictures that would make it into the first iteration of the portfolio, which cameras took which images? And was there a pattern to what cameras I preferred for different purposes?

The count of images in the portfolio, by camera:

  1. Mamiya C220 — 13 shots
  2. Nikon D7200 — 10 shots
  3. Nikon D700 — 7 shots
  4. Nikon D7000 — 4 shots
  5. Nikon FE/FE2 — 3 shots
  6. Nikon F100 — 2 shots
  7. Olympus OM-2n — 1 shot

For a camera that doesn’t see as frequent use as my digital or 35mm film cameras, almost a third of my portfolio images are from my TLR. I don’t know if it’s the slow shooting process that results in more keepers, or if I tend to bring out the Mamiya for special events.

About half of my portfolio is digital. Almost all of my landscape portfolio photos are digital, save for a single image that I shot with my TLR. I’ve tried shooting landscapes with 35mm slide film, and I’m simply not good enough to really get anything stunning with film when it’s light out, not to mention that the vast majority of my landscape shooting tends to be at night under the stars, making digital really the only choice.

Most of my dance photos are digital as well, with a few film shots (the only shots from my Nikon F100 film SLR that made the cut) in the bunch.

Interestingly, most of my people portraits are on film. Only two shots in the group are digital, and for someone who thinks to pull one of his medium format cameras off the shelf for portraits, I’m surprised at the number of 35mm film shots I have in there.

How about the split by film?

  1. Digital — 21 shots
  2. Kodak Portra 400 — 9 shots
  3. Kodak Tri-X 400 – 5 shots
  4. Fujifilm Acros 100 — 3 shots
  5. Fujifilm Velvia 100 — 2 shots

Outside of the predominance of digital, it’s no surprise that Portra leads the way. It is a surprise to me though that not more of the portfolio is shot on Portra, considering that that film is my main go-to, and is usually loaded in my cameras every three out of four times.

The real surprise is that 2 of my portfolio shots come from Velvia 100. I really only shot it for one Detroit Auto Show; I don’t know if it was the subject matter of that particular auto show, or if the film choice had a part in making me really like the images. I shot the Detroit Auto Show a couple of times on Provia 100, but none of those images made the top 10 in the Automotive portfolio. I guess I should order some Velvia 100, and maybe even some Velvia 50, for the TLR before the 2018 auto show…

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