I used to photograph a lot in agricultural areas nearby my hometown. I love the pace their, the scenery, the light. It makes me feel relaxed. The area brings back memories of cycling there with my grandfather when I was young. The area also emphasizes simplicity. There isn’t that much we really need.
In the last few years I started to photograph different subjects – a lot of it with the genre street photography – that I like to call stroll photography. I still like that, just wandering around. I missed going out in the nearby rural country though.
So last week was such a moment again. Late in the evening, the breeze was getting chilly. The light however was gorgeous. I was almost running out of time. I took my bike, the camera, and a desire to capture some of that light. I had not forgotten it.
In more recent years it would have been obvious to me to go for B&W, but it just felt like I had to go for color photographs this evening. Just like my Panasonic GF1, the Ricoh GR draws differently than my Ricoh GRD3. I almost always go for B&W when I use the GRD3. With the GR it feels not strange to go for color. Like said before, the GR reminds me of my GR1. And in the past I mostly worked with color slide film in the GR1.
When I am here I go for the open spaces, the light and preferably long shadows. To me, those are magical. I guess I am not a typical landscape photographer. I see a scene, I judge what the best position is – I often already know that since I know the area so well – and take a photograph, possibly two. And I move on. I don’t think about conscious framing. From experience I know what to expose for. At these moments I feel no doubt. When I photograph, there is no doubt.
The doubt can set in when I get home, just like the worries you had after an exposed film roll. Did I get the exposure right, was the subject in focus? Will my compositions work? I gave it some days to rest. To work on different things instead. And working with a new camera and familiarizing with it, doesn’t help the process either. Sometimes I wish I could forget this phase.
The GR performed solid and very reliable. That the photography process felt intuitive and I completely forgot about the camera, made perfect sense in the end. A reassuring feeling and one that reminds me that the phase of adapting a different camera is over. How this process goes and how a couple of photographers are getting comfortable with the new Ricoh GR can be read here.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma