You can only lose what you cling to

You can only lose what you cling to – Buddha.

Napoli - July 2015
Napoli – July 2015

Bam! How’s that for a quote?

A lot has changed photografically for me in the past two years and and i think i kind of “woke up” from my previous state as a “roaming clicker” And i’m not talking about skills, because i think i generally take very average photographs. I’m also not talking about taking snapshots for which i also rediscovered a lot of appreciation. I also have still not found my perfect medium yet and i’m really not even trying to hard. Non of the cameras i have (except maybe for the Spotmatic) generate in me the need to pickup that one camera and go out. So if nothing of what i just wrote has changed, then what has?

It’s my eyes.

I’m learning to see. I have a more critical view of what’s around me. From this to taking a good photograph it’s a looming way to go and i’m not even sure i’m gonna get there. But being able to distinguish what can be interesting and of (potential) value is making me feel i’m making a big transition towards improvement.

The drivers:

Film

I haven’t converted 100% to digital by any means. I still probably shoot 30%film and 70% digital. But film has helped me learn the value of the shot as one of few you can bring home with you. Also it has taught me to wait. Unless i  start developing at home (which good thing i’m too lazy to do) i always wait a long time, i become detached from the pictures, forget about em, and it becomes easier to pick the valuable ones.

I still shoot a lot and can go home after a morning shooting with about 250-300 pictures. Digital gives you the advantage of when you do find something interesting, you can really start to have fun, go crazy and discover different options within a certain subject. You can still do that with film but my wallet would start to complain, plus i see it as kind of a waste.

Books

I got off GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrom), and started with photography books… i guess everybody has to satisfy their own addiction. And plus i also quit smoking recently…. Anyways, i started filling my living room with the best books i could find at a reasonable price. Slowly i built a small collection of good classics and some more. Looking at these books (sometimes multiple times) helped me educate myself on what works, what doesn’t, and how pictures go together. I could do a better job at just shutting everything around me and just sitting with one of them at least once a week. Right now it’s all random…but still good.

Comparison

Either digital, live but confronting my work with others has really helped me understand that we’re all facing the same difficulties, let downs, small gratifications. But also realise that if i want to get better i have to step up my game. Go for workshops, meet up with friends that shoot, read street photography forums, find a club near you and see where you stand.

Sooooooo…..

….I’ve had a troubled relationship with Flickr lately and decided to clean it all up. I’ll post something about it next time.

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