Re-start

2010, Photography

I am not directly saying that I left my inspiration bumb behind, but I am getting new ideas though for my photography. I have been reconsidering some of the directions my photography took. Some feel good, like my photography with the dSLR. The usage of longer focal lengths. I will continue to work more on isolation in combination to what I feel do best, landscape photography. I really miss it, the calmness I experience when I am out in the great outdoors. The search for great isolated subjects.

I will be focusing less on street photography and more on portraits and still life. Street is fun and I enjoyed it, but mostly to step out of my comfort zone. I do feel that the progress wasn’t as fast as I wanted it to be, but I have to be realistic. I don’t live in a big city. My hometown is a sleeping suburb and I just don’t have enough time to pay more visits to larger cities. I read somewhere the suggestion to lock yourself up in a room in your house and only leave it after you take 50 photographs inside that room. I like that suggestion and will try that more often.

When it comes to gear I keep on using the Ricoh GRD1 as a sketch book, but want to use my dSLR more extensively. In fact, I really want to go full frame and will try to get myself a Canon 5D this year to use with my Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 lens. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

To more easily find some of my articles I am slowly changing some of the lay-out of my blog within the limits/restrictions of WordPress.com. As a starter I added a new page called Impressions with a list of cameras I wrote about. The list of camera impressions will be extended soon.

And a final note, at RedBubble I have some prints for sale and will add more photographs this year to see how that works.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

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22 thoughts on “Re-start

  1. And again you are apparently stepping out of your comfort zone by going towards the dSLR. I sincerely hope you find it a pleasant diversion photographically-speaking.

    I confess it’s kind of funny to read from the guy who eschews gear talk that he wants a full-frame 5D. You always manage to surprise me Wouter.

    1. SLR’s have been my comfort zone for many years, but at some point I hated the bulk. I took the compact route and it served/serves me well. It is just that I want to explore new directions within my current photography and that involves more isolation. I believe that a larger sensor camera will help me with that. And I don’t want the Mark II, but the version One!

  2. The term “full-frame” was probably introduced by the marketing departments. 35mm film was definitely not considered “full-frame” when it was launched where medium and large format cameras were the systems of choice for photographers. Practicality and “good enough” quality lead to the success of the 35mm format.

    While bigger sensors have the edge in terms of very low light performance the APS-C sized sensor deliver stunning quality and DOF in most situations. I would not worry about the camera itself so much but decide on the camera system. Look at the lens choices, speed-lights etc. The camera is the least important part of this system. If you think you need a 35mm sized sensor go for it but keep in mind that in about 1-2 years time that camera will be old in digital terms and a new model with better image quality will be available. In fact,the 5D is already old and has been replaced with better performing models.

    1. Marco, lens choices and speed-lights are not at all the things I worry about. In fact, I use legacy lenses and never use speed-lights. Good low light performance, greater tonality are what I am looking for in combination to affordability. That is where the older 5D fits my bill perfectly. And I want to use a very limited amount of lenses. Keep it simple, no AF, manual exposing and without all the video features and trillion buttons and menu options.

      I think APS-C sized sensors can be compared to the 35mm format in terms of “good enough” quality. 35mm full frame sensors come closer to MF I believe.

      1. Hi Wouter, I agree with you. Your explanation makes sense. Canon has the advantage of a shorter lens mount allowing lenses of other brands to be mounted via adapters. This is something that cannot be done afaik with the Nikon F mount. The only other type of mount that can do this (I believe) is micro 4/3 but here you end up with a poor high ISO performance. Go for the 5D and don’t look back.

  3. I’ve been loving your work for quite a while now, especially the landscape stuff. Have you considered going to 4×5 film? It is a bit bulky, but is more contemplative, and you’ll get all the shallow DOF you would probably want, and the format is also great for portraits. Just a thought.

  4. I am actually surprised your now talking about new gear and a 5D? Wasn’t it your blog saying it isn’t all about the gear but about….

    anyways, no offense, but great readings and excellent images I like! You are the only one I follow that makes such nice black and whites….

    Cheers,
    //Dave

    1. Don’t be worried Dave. I have to admit that most people read my “Impression” articles. The additional page helps navigating to this articles. But I am also preparing a new page that will only have photographs. In fact, many of the photographs I have already posted, but now organized as a real photoblog.

      And while the 5D is all about gear it is nowhere a new camera (and I kind of like that). It will help me to get even more from some of my lenses that I want to use considerably more for my B&W landscape photography.

      1. I understand it now better Wouter! I look forward to more, actually please visit soon my flickr page cause I have to say I copied one of you famous images, only your B&W’s have so much more drama in itself while mine remain flat, more like greyish 😉
        To be continued…
        //Dave

  5. It’s great that the ideas are starting to flow. From simplicity comes room to think. I think you have thoroghly considered your environment and circumstances very well. Good luck on the full frame. Before I obtained the D700, I considered a refurbished 5D. I think the lenses make full frame DSLRs shine.

    1. That is exactly what I want James. I am surprised that you got the D700, since you had so much doubts about your D90. I want things I can’t do with my small sensor camera. More low light, more shallow depth of field, different focal lengths to different perspectives.

  6. Hello Wouter,

    its up to you, whether your photography glass is half filled or half empty. Good luck to you and make the best of it. Since one week i like to use a DP2 very much. Time will tell what the future will be. Thats life – sometimes, and sometimes not…

    All best.

    titus

    1. What will come is always an uncertainty. What we have done is history, memory, experience, success and failure. But we learn, I do. I know what I want to do and time will tell if I did right.

      I noticed you now have the DP2. The focal length is pretty much perfect for you I think. Closer to your Rollei. Good luck with that.

  7. Hi Wouter,
    I think one of the advantages of blogging is that it forces you to come to terms with what you’ve been doing and why and what direction your photography will take in the future. All this while sharing the process with others. I’ve been inspired by both your photography and this blog.

  8. “Confessions of an opium-eater”: changing cameras too frequently is detrimental to one’s photography. It takes time to learn to use a new camera well and my experience when changing cameras — different types of cameras, not a newer version of an earlier camera — is that one tends to shoots more conservatively when using a new camera. I found when I started shooting with the new Ricoh GXR/A12 that I was shooting more colour and going for a more “exquisite” look — generally I like a more “expressionist” look — because I was exploring the high image quality of which this camera is capable, rather than going for the “edgier”look towards which I want to go.

    While it is sometimes desirable to change to a different type of camera the way Wouter is now doing, it’s is the frequent changing of cameras that is becoming common in the digital age that can be a problem.

    —Mitch/Bangkok

    1. I have been constantly mentioning this on my blog. The only real reason in my opinion to change a camera is when you want to change your photography. Where the small sensor cameras allow for huge depth of field, larger sensor cameras enable the option of shallow depth of field.

      I usually never feel really exited about new cameras, unless it is a completely different format.

  9. Knowing your dilemma’s, I think what you wrote here and shown in the two pictures, I should agree on your chosen path.

    It looks as if you found a natural desire, not a forced one. The camera choice is wise and affordable (i think).

    I love your landcape shots, wide or closer up. Good luck and enjoy the journey!

  10. I too find myself in a somewhat similar situation. I have really enjoyed shooting with APSC digital slrs since 2005 and 35mm film slrs since 1993. I have just recently placed an order for a Mamiya medium format TLR camera. I am really looking forward to start shooting with what will be a a completely new format for me. Much larger negative, nice luxurious tones of various color and b&w films, and composing in SQUARE. I wish you all the best with your camera shopping and looking forward to seeing your results.

    1. That is a very interesting change of format Jay. Such change will give you new possibilities and also restrictions that can challenge and inspire your creativity. Good luck.

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