“There is so much in the fridge, but I don’t know what to eat.”
There are so many interesting subjects to photograph, but they currently don’t inspire me. I wanted to refuel it with a new photo a day project, but felt unhappy and unconvinced with the first results. I am not there, yet. I do know that the sun rises later and sets earlier. The heath is purple and leaves gradually colorize again. The breeze from the sea already challenges the summer heat and the nights get colder. These changes normally bring back the inspiration. The strolling days are returning.
Photograph by Wouter Brandsma
Recently I have frequently adressed my issues with purchasing new cameras and how I think about improving photographic skills. I have raised my concerns that changing cameras (and in particular for those who do so very often) might not at all improve their photography. Adopting a new camera takes time too.
But there is another thing with changing cameras. It will change your photography, whether you like it or not. If you did portraits with a MF camera, your photographs won’t be the same when you pick up a dSLR. The format (1:1, 6:7, 3:2, 4:3, etc.), size of film or sensor, different lenses, experience, all add up to that.
It used to be simple in the past. You were glad to have the money for one camera. You hoped the camera would last as long as possible (and they often did), and replacing the camera was only done when necessary. But now, people have more money to spent and they are trying more gear. Getting Canon gear and later replacing it with Nikon or whatever. Some replace their cameras now every year. Every camera has something distinctive and it will influence your photography.
When the loan DP1 arrived earlier this year I had a very good creative moment with the GX200. I tried to use the DP1 in the same way, but it was a very different camera. I had to change pace, find the flow again, and it affected my creativity.
Earlier this year I had some interest in a dSLR with a prime lens. When the DP1 came in the spring I kind of lost that interest for a while, but I have currently a new interest again. But the requirements are tough. The camera still needs to be small, I want to use a prime lens, and it should have a viewfinder. Autofocus is no priority, but the price should be low and the camera should still be rugid. Therefore I will try to work now with different focal lengths on my Ricoh. Instead of 35mm I will try something like 40 and 50mm lens.
A different camera often means different lenses too. It will change your entire view. So I need to be ready for it to make such a transistion a success. I often think it is much better to stick to your current camera. Make it work for you, grow into it, and explore your current creativity with the camera you have. And only switch or add another camera when you are really up to it.
Probably the most important criteria to change a camera, is because you want to make different photographs. I believe when you take photography serious you don’t need to replace cameras. I like it when a camera blends in with my photography. In fact you hardly realize how the camera looks like, it all feels natural.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma
Some might already have noticed a shift in the subjects of my photography. Less landscape, less street, more personal matters. Why, maybe my landscape photographs where an escape for me. In fact, I believe it was an escape. But there is no reason to escape for me. The worries for my son are real and will always be there. Coping with the situation and learning to express myself is maybe more important for me, certainly now.
As a result I am trying new things to process my photographs. Deeper and darker shadows, less tonalities and subtleties. A bit harsher and rougher. For me Lightroom was not really suitable for that job so I returned to Photoshop, my previous workhorse and darkroom.
It all feels like a journey for me and I don’t try to think about where it will lead me in photography. Despite the burden and emotional difficulties I am proud of my kids and wife.
9: 06 AM.
A shadow tries to get out of my frame. And I loved the fact that fellow blogger, Cristian Sorega, was inspired by my shadow photographs.
My hand tries to capture the light, I try to capture my hand capturing light. A recent photograph from my friend James Tolbert jr inspired me to convert his photo to a B&W version. He posted about it on his blog. Thanks man!
Lindsay, my daughter.
My family had great fun while my daughter hugged and tickled her bigger brother.
Family fun and our dog claims his attention too.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma