A few weeks ago, I took a newly acquired old-school Minolta film camera out on an adventure. I thought it would be like riding a bike – once you get the hang of it, you never forget. I’ve slowly come to learn that it doesn’t always work out this way. You see, my experience with my “new” camera ended up having strange parallels with the mountain bike ride I embarked on with my friends Aaron and Erica. All of us are mountain bikers – and have been for a while – and *should* know how to ride a bike, any bike. Our ride ended up with more than one healthy crash, a few supermans over the handle bars, and some serious bruises. Vancouver’s North Shore effectively got the better of us.
As for my Minolta? It was a similarly rough go. I had trouble loading my coveted black and white film, couldn’t read the light meter at first, and most of my images were destroyed when I got them developed because of a light leak. My 30 year old out-dated, analogue camera had outwitted me. My initial reaction – just like when I take a bad fall on my bike – was anger. I had done this before, it should be easy! I sometimes forget that learning to be good at something takes practice, and practice implies making mistakes.
As for the frames that didn’t get destroyed on that roll of black and white – they are what you see above. Imperfectly perfect practice shots that, in the end, document the spirit of the day quite well. A couple of friends, learning how to get back on their bikes.