Thinking of photography it is a just another form of communication. And one that is also restricted by our own vocabulary. I mean, I don’t consider myself anything of a writer although I still try to do so on my blog. But I do also notice that I very much often stick to the same words, the same kind of sentences. It is what I am familiar with, even more so with a foreign language. And that same thing also applies to my (and likely anyone elses) photography. We have our own vocabulary to in photography. Formed by what we know, what we like and dislike, what we have, and who we are. So often I see photographs I wish I would have taken them, but no matter how hard I try I still see and feel differently.
I still try to extend my vocabulary, but the routine of doing so is often restricted by what I already know. And from there on I try to grow gradually. Does that sound logically? Take formats for instance. Most of my photographic years I have always photographed in the 3:2 format. And while some think 4:3 works better vertically and is therefore better I can’t really be bothered with that. And to be honest, I hardly shoot in portrait mode anyway. So do I want to stick to 3:2? Nope. More than ever before I have some interest to shoot in square format.
I have this option to shoot in square with my Ricoh cameras, but I almost never used it. It is now with my Panasonic GF1 and the small electronic viewfinder that I think it is something I really want to use. You can twist the viewfinder and use the camera like a medium format camera. Pretty amazing. And even though this viewfinder is pretty low on the pixel count I am still surprised how well it actually works. Still hope that Panasonic updates this viewfinder with a new one that is comparable with the Olympus electronic viewfinders.
Well anyway, at square format I was (I started using it this week). And the vocabulary. There is nothing wrong to excel in what you are good at (very good in fact), but it also makes perfect sense to learn new words or visual means to express yourself. It enables us to extend our horizon with new verbal and visual languages.
The photographs of this ongoing project will also be updated here.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma