(Note: This will be a rather incoherent post, but hey, better an incoherent post than no post at all, right?)
Working in a mass media industry has a peculiar effect on me: It dries out my desire to take pictures. But as that is just not the way to go, as I try to encourage other people to just go and shoot, to do SOMETHING photographic, I have to practice what I preach.
My mobile is with me at all times. It has a 3.15 megapixels camera. That camera has auto touch focus (which adds the very sweet bonus of potential impromptu macrophotography). When it finally dawned on me that it was the perfect excuse to just take silly photographs and not care about the result, not feeling self-conscious about pulling out a big DSLR to capture something that, to most people, will appear ultra-mundane, well, I just started shooting everything. Everything and anything.
That simple act turned out to be very refreshing, bringing forth a certain sense of possibility: “Yes, I can take good photos with just a bog standard cameraphone. Yes!”
That whole thing of having my camera in my pocket at all times reminded me about the 10 rules of Lomography and all those principles that state that a camera should be an inherent part of one’s life and not an event or a trigger in itself. That photography should be natural and everywhere… I agree with those statements, but as with lots of things in life, to have it become so natural actually takes time and effort; one has to walk the learning curve.
Crapcameras and erractic photography have always been interests of mine. Even in college, during our photography class, I would often voluntarily misprocess my films, just to get them grittier and to get a bit of unexpected from them. Also, when it comes to unexpected, film trumps digital BIG TIME. There’s only so much you can predict when you shoot with film. You can know your technique, you can master your equipment, but nothing can assure of you that the processing will go as planned. Even if the processing goes well, maybe something happened during the shooting process. Maybe the film had a lightleak, maybe the camera has a lightleak, maybe you forgot to set the ISO properly.
I love that lack of certainty. There’s something humbling to it. It makes me laugh (and also cringe a bit) when iPhone and Blackberry buyers ask me if I can assure them the phone camera they will be buying will “take good photos”.
I can’t assure you of that, as the camera itself doesn’t take the photo, YOU do.