week 13 | 2012

2012, Photography, Project

For a year I almost exclusively photographed with the Panasonic GF1, I acquired last year. As a result I hardly used my Ricoh GRDIII. Since it is still a special camera to me, I wanted to restrict myself this week to my Ricoh and it’s 28mm wide angle lens (only the first photograph was taken with the GF1).

With the wide angle and the small sensor (which allows for huge depth of field) I found it absolutely more difficult to compose and still avoid to much framed. Especially when I usually (prefer to) photograph with a more moderate wide angle to nearly normal prime lens. I still wanted to know whether the GRD is up to my expectations.

And admitted, I had a hard time. I always felt comfortable using the GRDIII for my B&W photography, but with color it is a very different experience. I miss some of the color depth and the highlight clipping is a lot more annoying. Even with the raw images there is hardly any highlight recovery possible. After a couple of days I got the feeling back and noticed that I had to be even more careful with exposing.

As a result this week the series likely has a different feel to it. After photographing more aesthetically for a while I wanted to photograph more explicit and critical. Experimenting more with more contemporary photography and the new topographic style.

I want to accompany this week’s photograph with a list of 7 items.

1. Why actually a list? I do so, because I don’t like them. I however see them pop up just everywhere and on so many website and blogs. Top 100 of best photographers, top 10 of best cameras, top 10 photographers to ignore, 50 best places to photograph, 15 tips how to edit your work better, top 99 of what ever. We humans are generally lazy and want to be entertained. Reason why there are theme parks, movie theaters, parades, fairs, shopping malls, festivals, you name it. These lists should entertain, excite, and inspire you, but in my opinion they kill all of it. Therefore my list of 7 items. Seven, because there are 7 days in a week. Seven, because most lists contain mostly more items. So next is number 2.

2. I have thought extensively about this. I really miss a place where photographers can openly discuss and criticize photography, but I fear that still many of these places will turn into some sort of gear freak show. This has maybe to do with the previous item about laziness, but if a camera can provide you instant look and gratification, why bother studying photography and art in the first place? So forums for people with a syndrome (those with gear acquisition syndrome) and hopefully more inspiring and meaningful blogs about photography for others.

3. I wrote this one before a couple of weeks ago, but when you really want to understand photography and it’s relevance check out these incredibly meaningful articles about desire, trust, and doubt in photography by Jörg Colberg.

4. Take notice of the previous item. Be doubtful. I had a hard time deciding the Wednesday, day four, photograph this week. I shared a print screen with two photographs on twitter. It provided me helpful thoughts and insights. About such editing decisions I will dedicate a blog post later this week. So make friends, meet similar minded people, no audience.

5. Want to become a better photographer? Get out, take photographs (a lot), learn to edit properly. Meet other photographers, share your thoughts, discus photographs, and respect each other. Make fun, but don’t take it too serious. Just remember item 1 and all the lists. We always structure our daily lifes, so let it go with the flow.

6. Accomplish progress, because you want too. There is nothing wrong with being good, but remain honest with your intentions and desire. Competition is good, but it can kill creativity. Becoming a member of a local photography club can make perfect sense (don’t mix that up with a camera club) to meet similar minded, but don’t do it to gain recognition and earn priviledges. It is amazing how photographers who earned some (inter-) national recognition decades ago still give meaningless paid lectures. Become a professional photographer, because you want too. Not to be a more respected photographer.

7. Ignore everything that has been said before. Be prepared to learn things your self. Trust your self and: “Say what you do and do what you say!

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma