Sunday, September 02, 2007

Still adjusting to my new camera.

Of course only now that summer's completely over do I find myself getting the urge to take photographs. It's too easy to put it off for another day when you have unlimited time. However there are some other factors at work as well. Getting the new camera really did end up curtailing my creative drive. Learning the functions of my new camera, and fussing around with a detachable lens, have ended up distracting and even discouraging me. I was anxious as soon as I bought it, and I have probably exacerbated the situation with my own self-doubt.

My process has changed drastically due to the lack of option to frame shots using the LCD screen. I knew this was going to be a radical difference, but I might have actually underestimated just how much it would affect me. I spend a lot of time struggling through the viewfinder to get the right composition. The camera is heavier too, and that adds another tricky variable. There have already been quite a few occasions that I thought I lined up everything just perfectly, only to later discover that I was off. Obviously it's extremely frustrating to miss out on photo opportunities when you were actually prepared, camera in hand. Meanwhile I find myself more often without any camera, because I don't think to lug the damn backpack around with all of its attachments. It takes all the spontaneity and much of the fun out of the entire endeavor.

I've also learned that the auto function on the new camera does not give me the kind of results that the old one offered. It's not that I relied on that setting often, but if I felt the light was ideal I'd occasionally switch out of manual and let the A.I. maximize the quality of the shot. I don't know whether it is my imagination or not, but I'm not as satisfied with the current results. Certainly it's ideal to get into the habit of making manual exposure adjustments... I just get lazy sometimes. There are also situations that present themselves so quickly that I don't want to risk missing the opportunity while fussing with the settings.

Anyway, it was such a nice day today that I felt compelled to take a drive in search of interesting imagery. The light was sharp, the temperature was mild, and there was nothing I needed to take care of. I figured I could find my own space in my head and let fate take its course. There's an irrational voice inside of me that tells me that I am not creating anything myself, but merely channeling a guiding force or muse. The challenge is to put myself in the right frame of mind to clear out any obstruction that could potentially stem the flow. That requires more than viewing the camera as a natural appendage... it also means that I have to attune myself to the signs and signals along the way. I get in my car and drive without conscious intention. I keep my eyes open and stop when I feel that I'm being called to do so.

This all smacks of new age nonsense, but I've been pleased with the results in the past. Today I ended up looking at several building that were slowly decomposing. I wanted to examine St. Boniface from the inside, but it was locked. I found another facility in back that is obviously no longer in use. I also took a trip over to the North Side to shoot a crumbling house that I have had my eye on for awhile. I finished up on Hatfield Street, where I photographed the Heppenstall Plant that is finally being demolished. I lived across the street from this abandoned behemoth for years, and the sight of its ruins has a deep effect on me. I remember scrambling around the grounds back when I was wild and had friends who would join me on such adventures. Unfortunately I never had a camera back then.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home