Planning and considering


A new year has started, everyone my best wishes and the best of light for 2010. And the beginning of a new year is for me a good time to make some plans for the upcoming year. This year I really want to finish my first photo book, hopefully January or February (March). Secondly, I might want to join a local photography club to meet other photographers, sharing ideas and learning new stuff. Related to learning new stuff, I want to go old school again. I am seriously thinking about going to do film again and even thinking of developing it myself.

Why? I want to fully understand the differences of the different medium and become more thoughtful about my photography again. Nowadays many people are proud of taking more than 10,000 photographs a year, while Robert Capa for instance took something like 50,000 photographs in his entire career (which lasted 22 years). I know that learning to become a better photographer is all about practice, practice, but large quantities doesn’t necessarily improve the quality either. Thoughtfulness might be emphasize.

I not only want to use film with my Ricoh GR1, but also with some of my older cameras. These cameras are all about simplicity. No matrix or multi-pattern metering, but just good old center weighted. In fact, the sunny f/16 rule will often be enough too. Just ISO 400 B&W and nothing else. No screen for confirmation, no face detection, nothing of all the fancy stuff.

When I got my Ricoh GR1 in 1996 it was all about simplicity. Aperture mode, EV compensation when needed and that is it. The current line up of the Ricoh GR cameras are still great, but they have turned them into very specialist tools. It kind of looses the magic of the original GR1 for me. And yes, I liked using the Ricoh GXR, but while trying that camera I realized it has all become to advanced. It can manual focus, but trying to do without a focus limiter is a pain in the ass. Zone focusing can be done, but just isn’t as reliable I think with a lens that has a focus-by-wire system. When I focus my older legacy lenses for the 10D at 3 meters I know it will be 3 meters. So I can only hope some manufacturer understands that wish for simplicity without the price of a Leica M9. A simple Nikon FM with a full frame sensor would do the trick for me.

Joining a local photography club will also mean more printing again, which is I think a good thing too. Holding the print in the hand is still so much better. And joining a club will probably also force me to do more project-minded photography. I think you don’t need to travel to take the best photographs. Photographs are everywhere and projects will probably make me realize that even more.

So again best wishes for 2010 and many photography opportunities for all of you. And that everything might become more photography related instead of more feature packed stuff. And to put up the heat even more, all these photographs are just extracted jpegs from the RAW images and edited in Nik Silver Efex Pro. I kind of like the texture of these jpegs.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma