Am I going to do what everyone else ever has done and write about GAS? Probably. I won’t say the gear isn’t important in a lot of kinds of photography. But for the reasons I shoot I’m really not convinced. My want of a camera over a phone is the feel of it. I love the weight (not too much) of a camera in hand. I love the shape, the dials, the thumb rest. I could ruin my credit card and buy a digital Leica. I could solve the one ‘problem’ I have with my camera – the size – and buy the GRII or an X100F. Until I kill this camera though, I won’t. Even then, it’ll be time for debate.
I’ve been enjoying photo diaries lately. In particular Matt Martin and Matt Gomes‘ super sweet feeds. I wrote before about how I was feeling stoked on just shooting all day every day. On Wednesday I took my camera out with the intention of just shooting my day. It was pretty freeing to point and shoot and think about my Wednesday and my life in general.
Here’s what I got. In chronological order:
A few weeks ago I was getting a little bogged down by life and finding it harder to get out and shoot. For a couple of weeks my days off became a love ritual to my A/C and Tsutaya’s 5 for ¥1000 movie deal. At best I wanted to study. Maybe hitting the shutter once or twice on the way to work. Then we went to Guam. I’m a big believer that travel is a) wonderful and b) not necessary to a great time in photography. I believe you absolutely can make photographs you love without moving more than a couple of feet. That said, sometimes I just need it.
If you look through my portfolio on here or at my Instagram, it’s pretty obvious I rarely shoot in the dark. There’re multiple reasons: I work until 9, 9:30, then I’m hungry, then it’s 11pm and I’m in my apartment full of food being my most common excuse. Usually when I am out after dark it’s because I’m with people. People have plans. People get fed up of me stopping to take pictures of things. I usually want to hang out more than I want the photo anyway. Being dreadful at shooting in the dark is my number one thing to fix at the moment. Second being dreadful at portraits – more on that later I’m sure. So, when Cody invited me out shooting, I happily went along.
Buying gear gives me a headache. Whenever I need to buy something or replace something it does my head in and I almost never buy anything. It’s easy for me to visualise my camera as a necessary part of my day to day life. I can’t do that with any other item I own – maybe my glasses or fitbit or this watch my parents bought me before I moved to Japan. Buying a new camera is annoying, but fortunately something I rarely have to do. It’s also easier. I know what I want. I know what I need. My current source of frustration is my bag. I’ve had it for five years. It used to be waterproof. The coffee stained pages in the bottom of it tell me I need a new one. I’ve since picked up probably 15 bags in different stores since I realised that. They all went back on the shelf. I’m not interested in bags.
In Japan, April 29th in the start of Golden Week. A whole week (if you’re lucky) of national holidays / paid leave and mine and Yuka’s first holiday of the year. It was the first holiday of my first year in Japan and it’s the end of the longest holiday-free stretch I do at work. I love Golden Week. Maybe lifted by the weather I shot a lot of colour. I also made a zine entirely in black and white.
Sometimes I get weirdly into those ‘my camera bag’ posts. I’m always interested in what people feel is necessary to make a photo and why they always have it. I don’t think the camera is particularly important – DSLR, mirrorless, compact, iPhone, whatever, it’s all good. A camera is a given. I know a lot of people love their gear and a lot of people don’t give a shit about it. Here’s what I take when I go out to shoot.