Was an interesting week or two. I wanna start by apologizing for not having posted frequently over the past several months. It still surprises me when I get emails from people asking me why I haven’t posted. It still surprises me that anyone even checks these things. To be perfectly honest, the reason I don’t post much is I don’t really feel like I have anything interesting to say. So, take today’s post as a bit of an update.
There are a couple of things I have to talk about. The title of the post might be a bit of a hint. As I mentioned in the title I have recently started using a Fujifilm camera again. I tried hard to go back to film full time but it just isn’t worth it anymore for me. The time and money involved is just too much.
I basically now have two cameras that I have been using for some time and feel quite happy with them.
The camera I have used for most of the past several months is the ancient Ricoh GRD. It is the original GRD from 2006. I am in love with it. I feel like hiding it under my pillow when I sleep. I refrain though, being a Ricoh it is too fragile for that.
To this point, it couldn’t really be the ONLY camera I have. While it has always worked very well whenever I use a Ricoh I am plagued with this constant feeling of its impending demise. It always happens. I love the GRD so much I bought two more. I have basically decided to buy any one I see. Would really love the special edition crazy anime one as well, ha.
This is only the first problem with the camera. The second, is that I find it to be a little “harsh.” In the past, I loved this. I love the strong contrasts and deep blacks. More and more I find myself wanting to get away from that. Nowadays, I appreciate a dreamier look. I never did like things to be too sharp and that is even more the case now. The look of the files from the Fuji kind of remind me of the couple of years I spent with the M5 and an old Summicron.
In fact, right now the cameras I have perfectly feel like the digital version of that time. When I had the M5 I was also using a Ricoh film camera. Probably why I feel pretty content now. That was the last time I felt content with my gear. I don’t particularly like talking about gear, but it seems relevant now.
On the topic of high contrast black and white photos. For a long time I liked that look. I shot to make that look. Lately, it is just too overdone. People have started to use it as a crutch for shit photos. I’m sick of seeing it. People often use my name when talking about that type of photo. Honestly, my photos aren’t and I’m not sure they ever have been “harsh.” I process as I do because I want them to look as much like the pushed film I used to shoot. I used to push my film by compensating the exposure not with the iso dials. I do the same thing with digital. I do the same thing with the Fuji. I underexpose a stop and push it back with Snapseed. The look is very similar. I’ve had enough of seeing photos with the clarity slider jacked. Especially shite photos.
I am not saying my photos are any better. For the most part I don’t think they are. I am just sick of hearing my photos look like someone else’s. I want them to look like mine. We all mimic to start. Mimicry is a way for us to find out style. But at some point people need to forge their own style. That is what I have tried to do whether I’ve been successful or not.
Tangents. That should have been the name of this post, ha. On a side note I want to thank all the people that checked out the video I posted in the last post! As a bit of an update I am currently getting read to launch the YouTube channel I have been talking about for a couple of months. The plan is I will release a video along with a blog post every two weeks. This with the hope of making it weekly eventually. I need to blog more. I want to, in fact.
The first video is a bit of an introduction. Expect it to be rough! In the video I talk a little about Seoul and living in Korea as well as a bit about the cameras I use. We didn’t have much time to shoot it but it was fun for sure.
I did the intro to the video while sitting in the old mayor of Seoul’s desk, ha. The secretary kindly let us hang out there for a little while on a Sunday afternoon and film our video.
The second, third, and fourth videos will probably be a little more interesting. As planned, the second will be about taking photos of strangers, the third about my editing process, and the fourth about a challenge I made with my buddy Matthew. The challenge involves a George Constanza portrait of one of us, ha. Or at least it may 😉
Probably the last bit of news is that I was kindly given a portfolio page by the ladies and gents over at Lensculture. My photos from Korea were recently given the editors choice there and there will be an interview soon so stay tuned for that!
For those interested you can find my portfolio from their site here:
Figured I should include the photo I took while sitting in the desk.
If you’re curious, the flash I use on the X100T is the Contax 140. Works a treat so long as you’re okay with manually exposing for it.