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Camera Stories: Grady Mitchell and his Mamiya RZ67

Camera Stories is an on-going series where we ask photographers to tell us about their favourite camera, and give us the story behind one meaningful image they captured with it. This instalment features Vancouver-based photographer Grady Mitchell.

Yes, Grady realises this is not how to use the camera.

The Mamiya RZ67 is my workhorse camera. I love how close it can get in to the subject, how quickly you can swivel the film back to shoot landscape or portrait, and how big, bright, and beautiful the ground glass is, so I can see exactly how the final image will look.

photo by Grady Mitchell

Portrait by photographer Grady Mitchell

This is a photo of my friend Tom, in Berlin last summer. This bee landed on his shoulder and hung out with us for a minute before getting on with its day. Nobody was hurt in the making of this photo.

I usually shoot as fast a shutter speed as possible so I can bring down the aperture and take advantage of the camera’s depth of field. Since it was daylight, this was probably shot at 1/250th. The mirror in the RZ is massive, so you’ve gotta shoot pretty fast if you’re going handheld to avoid camera shake (technically the RZ should probably be used on a tripod). The aperture was probably 4.0 or 5.6 to blast out the background. I only own the 110mm 2.8, which is basically a 50mm equivalent, and I almost always shoot Portra 400.

 

Grady Mitchell’s Website

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