This year I made a special new year’s resolution. I made a promise not to buy a single camera this year. This promise has been a best promise I have ever made. (And I have been able to keep it so far)
I get the sense that photographer is now more than ever, slave of a camera. World is flooded with the digital apparatus that are designed to create desire and make picture taking as simple and easy as possible. There are tons of new advanced features that make getting a technically pristine picture easier.
I remember the original Olympus Pen (film camera) advertisement, “Taking great photographs has never been this easy!”. Now in the era of smartphones the advertisement seems almost silly or ironic.
It is almost as if camera has became a fashion accessory for photographers. Then, I can’t help but feel sad about this situation. Because much potential for interesting conversation (and photo taking!) is being lost.
There is great saying, “Big minds talk ideas, small minds talk people”.
I say; big photographers talk photos, small photographers talk cameras.
Now as I have focused less and less in the photocopying apparatus and more in the photos, I notice my mind is lighter; I just use what I have. And I have more time to think about the mood of the photo, and setting.
In Finnish language, tool is referred as to having “jotain kättä pidempää” (something longer than your hand). This refers to having extended leverage at your disposal. Yes. I have a lever or button in my hands, sort of. And I’m there, you know, with you.
Of course some kind of camera is necessary to take a photo. However, as Araki said, if you have burning desire to write a love letter, it doesn’t matter if it’s pencil or ball point pen.
I don’t have Leica or anything really expensive or special. Just couple of normal cameras. I never keep any cameras what I don’t actively use. I have given some cameras to my friends before.
Then, honestly, these days I don’t particularly enjoy watching cameras or talk about them. No matter how great camera I would get, I wouldn’t be able to take it with me after I die. And we will all die, you know. But the feeling of being in some place and meeting some beautiful people, with my heart beating a little fast.. now that might be forever.
There is excellent article about GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) by Eric Kim. I recommend to read it.