photographs as art ::monet::
i-photographer was born through immaculate conception one saturday afternoon about 2 years ago
on an otherwise non-descript, bleary, dusty hot day, my world suddenly sprang into technicolour. i stumbled across a video of someone shooting a picture, using a never-before-seen-in-my-lifetime camera. it was a real picture. you lined up the subject (pink flowers), you zoomed in and out till it was in focus, you pressed a button, heard a click and then released the shutter (the what?)... then a picture popped out and lo and behold, about 5 minutes later, you peeled away the backing paper to reveal a photograph! i was equally dumbfounded, fascinated and everything in between.
in the gazillion times i re-watched the video, i discovered the camera was called a Mamiya RB67 ProSD, it took something called 120mm film (and is therefore a medium format camera), it had bellows (!) and the picture that popped out was actually polaroid film using a special holder. i discovered it was completely manual with not even a battery to its name, that it was a workhorse and a beautiful camera to boot.
and so, without an inkling of photography in the 'proper' sense (i was great at point and click), manual settings, film-anything or even this camera itself
i found an amazing Japanese seller on eBay who took $290 and sent me a ***mint*** camera with a beautiful 90mm lens.
i didn't know it weighed 4kgs (on a good day with a little lens) and i didn't know i could fall inexplicably in love in a heartbeat.
in the last two years I've learnt a lot and know that i know very little about this gentle giant. i've taken a lot of terrible pictures, some bad ones and some stunning ones. when you get it right (some technical skill, some artistic eye and a whole load of luck) its breathtaking.
i love trundling the Beast around, but it is a Beast and so, i decided last year to buy a little Fuji X100T to give myself some flexibility, not realising i was adding complexity to an already complex setup. i struggle when it comes to the technical aspects of both cameras and the mental shift required between the two. the Fuji is pretty much left in auto P mode to my eternal shame, but the feedback is instant which is great. with the Beast im fiddling with the aperture and shutter speed, trying to manually focus a reverse image and hoping to God i've got it right. because when i've shipped the film off to be developed i have no idea whether ill get back blurry nothings, pictures that looked like a good idea at the time but are questionable now, or something that makes me remember why i fell in love with this camera.
i cannot imagine my life without photography with all the pain and glory that comes with it, particularly that of the Beast, which truth be told, i feel more like myself with.
and so, after all that history setting we come to the real question which has plagued me since that topsy turvy afternoon: