June 2017: After going on photo walks with Alex, curiosity got the best of me. I bought a Leica R4S Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera with a 50mm Summicron-R lens. Leica is most famous for their M-series rangefinder cameras which can cost a pretty penny. The R series was Leica’s entry into the SLR market. Because Leica is Leica, anything with the Red Dot is still expensive. In hindsight, I could have gotten a cheaper camera with a more pocketbook friendly lens, but I was blinded by the Red Dot. That being said, I still shoot with my Leica R4S along with my Leica Minilux Zoom point and shoot.

Beginner’s Mind (初心) is a term from Zen Buddhism that relates to having an eagerness, openness when learning a new skill. I hope what these pictures lack in technical and compositional proficiency convey a newbie’s enthusiasm into exploring the world of film photography. As I say this, I fully realize I still have a lot to learn. My goal is to keep learning at the pace that fits my personality.  Returning to Zen, Beginner’s Mind is something we should try to attain moment-to-moment in our daily lives.

Finally, the film used was Kodak Color Plus, the name sounded beautiful, so I went for it! There’s that Beginner’s Mind again! Since then, I have developed an affinity for the different brands of Kodak film. Ektar, Portra, Proimage are what I mostly shoot, but Color Plus is still a great film at a reasonable price.

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