It's not often I give my impressions of modern digital cameras because, frankly, it's not often that modern digital cameras impress me. So hold onto your socks, because this article contains impressions of not one, but two modern digital cameras — the Olympus OM-D EM-1 and the Ricoh GR.
It might be a film. It might be a slide show. It might be a music video. Or it might just be me trying to grunt and babble my way to a new visual language. All that's really known is it's a collection of 47 moody, melancholic, phantasmagorical photos of rain, sequenced into an ebb and flow and supported by a suitably elegiac musical score.
I make no money writing these articles for ULTRAsomething. So I moonlight by writing the f/Egor column for Leica Camera — a gig that pays me... umm... actually it pays absolutely nothing. Obviously I haven't completely grasped the meaning of "moonlighting," but I do understand the meaning of "respect." And so should anyone else who photographs on the streets.
Self-doubt is a bottomless quagmire from which escape is difficult. We are who we are. If we’re lucky enough to have a vision and to feel passionately about it, then we owe it to ourselves to persevere. Slavishly adapting my style to match current trends would likely bring me more admirers, but then they wouldn’t be my admirers — they would be the style’s admirers. I’d rather have detractors. When we try to be something we’re not, we’re destined for mediocrity. When we’re true to ourselves, we give ourselves a chance to transcend it.
In this, Part 2 of my lengthy look at the classic Widelux F7 panoramic swing lens camera, I discuss the anatomy of the camera, its various eccentricities, and my ultimate delight with its unique view of the world around it.
The Widelux F7 takes WIDE photographs. It delivers DEEP focus. And, apparently, writing about it requires LONG articles. In this, Part 1 of my look at this classic camera, I discuss the various photographic needs that drove me to consider panoramic cameras, and my rationale for choosing this particular model.
The classification of photography as an "art" has done it a great disservice. Art demands that the viewer appreciate the technique behind it. It calls attention to its technical merits. A good photograph should never do this. Rather, it should just be. In 1951, Robert Frank told Life Magazine "When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice." Frank knew then what I've only just figured out — photography is language. And the language of photography is the language of the poet.
Most anachronistic people were fashionable once. One day, they're the epitome of style. The next day, they're passé — victims of passive indifference to the fickle tastes of humanity. Me? I’ve been a photographic anachronism in every time. Twenty years ago, I jumped through flaming hoops to photograph digitally. Today, I'm jumping through a whole new set of hoops to photograph on film. To be unfashionable throughout one's entire life takes dedication, thick skin, dogged determination and more than a touch of masochism.