Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Photographic Gear

Did you realize that the equipment that you bring along and use influences the way you see and work, as well the people see you and interact with you ?

With the DSLR equipment with big lenses I tend to shoot more, make 2..3 images sometimes of a certain subject always in mind "there is plenty of memory that I brought along!". Using zoom lenses I am used to select a viewpoint but then do the rest with the zoom.
People tend to consider you as professional, you get chased of faster by security guards. In some places people seem to hope to make a dollar out of your shooting, always thinking it is for commercial purpose.

The old fashioned way of photographing makes me think twice, also trying to look ahead. Appreciating the value of film and not snapping away. It puts more passion into my work and people seem to sense this when you work on the street. I get more out of the rangefinder working with people than with the DSLR which makes you look like a press photographer.

The serious stuff to use when doing stills, studio portraits or landscapes. You cant snap, but you select, prepare, measure, check before making one of 12 (to 15) images on a 120 roll.

Bringing the tiny digicam along, I am rather in the snapshot mode, making shots of my familiy or anything that crosses my way. Knowing with the results I will extend our huge photo wallpaper at home but not do any large format prints for the agencies.

I have a selection of panorama cameras including a mirror extension which requires shooting upwards into a mirror that looks a bit like gigantic soup spoon. The same applies to a full spheric camera which slowly turns around itself mounted on a tripod. This is a very scientific way of working, not very artistic. People think you are nuts looking in the sky for extraterrestial life or doing some spy stuff.

I always enjoy working with my equipment,hardly go anywhere without at least the tiny cam or the rangefinder. The more stuff you bring along, the less flexible you get. Normally I bring a big selection of camera stuff to an overseas trip, but on a day to day base on location I try to select and dont bring everything. It is distracting and it takes much too long to fiddle around with the truckload of lenses and cameras.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sven,

same experience here.

For streetphotography I prefer the rangefinder cameras (M6). It is much more discret and most people even do not realize that pictures are taken. And camera is very silent and not very bulky.

With the Digital SLR (D2H) it is different. Very bulky and "Pro-like".

When using the Hasselblad ArcBody with tripod full attention of people is guaranteed - people come and start smalltalk and ask questions. Mainly why taking pictures with such a strange camera when all this small and compact digi crap is available ;-))

So far no experience with the large format camera (monorail) in the field. But I am expecting even more discussions ... ;-)))