I made several mistakes getting ready for this festival. As it was a somewhat overcast day, I had planned on taking the 50mm f/1.4. As clouds were rolling in, a solid light meter I thought would be an advantage. So I had planned on taking the FE2. I had left the 50 on the F3, and when I grabbed the camera, what I thought was the FE2 in one Eveready case was, in fact, the FM, in an identical Eveready! No worries, as that camera as of late has been really nailing exposures accurately, And, as it turned out, the 135mm was in the lend bag, and, a better choice for getting up close at this type of event.
Yet another mistake, I was maybe 6 frames into the roll of Delta 400, before realizing the ISO had been still set at 125, accommodating the roll of FP4 that was in the camera before. As the violin player was heavily backlit, in a high contract lighting situation, it worked out really nicely, as seen above.
This turned out to be a fun combination of camera and lens. The only regret was not taking the MD-12 motor drive, to balance the extra weight of the 135mm glass. But the exposures might have rivaled those that the F3 or FE2’s excellent meters might have calculated. But without aperture priority, and completely manual, twisting the FM’s shutter speed dial while trying to zero the LED’s was a bit fiddly.
The centerpiece of the festival was the stunning Saint Mary’s Assumption Albanian Orthodox Church. Located on historic Salisbury Street, across from Assumption College, it was consecrated in 1983. It truly is an incredible, beautiful house of worship, which must be seen to be believed.
One more “oops”- when you leave the Hoya yellow filter on the 50mm lens you leave at home, you don’t have a yellow filter with you. Even still, adequately stopped down, the metering of the FM did a great job of not rendering blown out skies.
These events are a blast to photograph. And with a film camera around your neck, you are guaranteed to start conversations. I had some great ones on this Saturday. Worcester, Massachusetts has one of the largest Albanian populations in the United States. But this was a festival for people of all backgrounds to have a lot of fun.