February 23, 2011

Canon AE-1: First Results

Drumroll... the first images from the Canon AE-1 are in! I didn't run a dedicated test roll through it but simply started taking it along on certain photo trips. So far, the camera has accompanied me to Washington DC, to the beach, to one of my favorite lighthouses, and even on a quick walk through the snow... familiarly chilly surroundings for this solid, sturdy camera that has withstood the tests of time and extreme temperatures.

It was a beautiful morning in DC, sunny but cold, so armed with a hat, gloves, and a few cameras, I set out to go exploring for the day. The destination at the top of my list was Washington National Cathedral.

It wasn't easy to get the entire facade into one frame, but I'm happy with how this photo turned out. I was glad to be there in winter, with the bare trees allowing the rose window to show through a little bit.

My favorite part of the cathedral was the labyrinth of chapels, corridors, and art exhibits in the space below the main basilica. Above: the Chapel of Joseph of Arimathea, photographed with a Polaroid Spectra camera and Impossible Project Silver Shade film.

From Washington National Cathedral, I walked up Wisconsin Avenue. In the above photo, I'm looking down Wisconsin Avenue back toward the National Cathedral, whose bell towers are visible in the distance.

Next Stop: Arlington National Cemetery. I had never been there before and planned to spend some time walking around. And I was prepared for the bone-chilling wind: I had slipped toe warmers into my shoes and hand warmers in my coat pockets to warm my fingers between photos.

I walked around the cemetery for a while, then escaped the cold by ducking into Arlington House. Arlington House and its plantation were associated with the Washington, Custis, and Lee families, and it is now a memorial to Robert E. Lee, whose family lived here for 30 years. The history of Arlington National Cemetery begins in this very spot, as part of the plantation property was used for Civil War military burials.

Back in Hampton Roads, the Canon AE-1 and I went to one of my favorite local spots: New Cape Henry Light...

...and the nearby sand dunes.

Washington DC's cold weather isn't the only cold air the Canon has faced lately. When it snowed earlier this season, I couldn't wait to head outside and take a few snowy photos. The camera did great!

A normal neighborhood, transformed into a winter wonderland.

But not to worry, the camera didn't always have to work outdoors. I also used it to take some through-the-viewfinder photos in the comfort of my home:

For this set of photos, I used black and white film, which I then scanned in color for just a hint of cream tone. I had a great time with the camera, and I can't wait for round two!

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