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Back to the basics: The complicated art of mastering historic non-digital cameras

J D Nolan snapped his attention to the world of photography when he was 56 years old. Since then he's focused on traditional forms of taking photos.
J D Nolan photographer
J D Nolan photographer
J D Nolan photographer
J D Nolan photographer
Posted at 1:44 PM, Jun 11, 2024

FISHERS, Ind. — Passion can find you at any age. Just ask photographer J D Nolan.

Nolan was 54 when he took his first photography lesson. Looking back over 26 years later, he says he's used that time to master an unorthodox form of photography in the digital age.

"I started using (my camera) in 2005, and it's the only camera I've used since," Nolan said. "This one was built in 1980 so it's not as old as you think it is, but it's the same type of camera that Matthew Brady shot the Civil War in the 1960s."

J D Nolan photographer
J D Nolan is a longtime photographer whose passion found him when he least expected it. He loves to use traditional, non-digital cameras to perform his craft.

Nolan began growing his photography career at local art shows, eventually hitting at least 17 shows in a summer.

He also says he prefers his subjects to have a more natural feel.

J D Nolan photographer
J D Nolan is a longtime photographer whose passion found him when he least expected it. He loves to use traditional, non-digital cameras to perform his craft.

"That's one thing I've never done: I have never taken a picture of people," Nolan said.

Watch our full video attached to this story for Nolan's take on historical forms of photography. You can find out more about Nolan's work on his Instagram.

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