In looking around on the site I found many interesting links to some things other people have to say about photography that Mr. Risk and I have discussed. This piece about camera snobbery is a great one. And oddly enough Mr. Risk's beloved Canon AE-1 (Bill) is this photographer's #1 35mm SLR.
There was also a link to this in which the writer makes a point about how people sometimes give the camera more credit for the photo than the photographer. By-the-way the pinhole of the ferris wheel is gorgeous.
This morning there was a piece on CBC Sunday Morning News (or whatever it's called) about a professional photographer who learned or rather unlearned through meditation and some spiritual dabblings to see. Apparently he had been working as a photographer for years but during that time had been paying more attention to the rules than to seeing. Now he teaches other people how to see. I've had a similar experience although in my case I am not and have never been a professional photographer and I'd say the photography is my version of meditation. I already saw, but the more I saw, the more I saw and so on and so on (yes, just like the shampoo commercial).
I often think about the balance between how much is the camera and how much is the person using the camera. Frankly I have specifically choosen cameras that have a quirk. In that sense I am placing some of my reliance on the equipment. However, at times I have had to learn how to use that camera in order to exploit that quirk. For instance with the LC-A I find I have to position the camera on a certain angle or use the light in a particular way in order to maximize it's tendency to create vignetting. I also know that in certain types of light, certain colours will be more vibrant. I can't tell you how many times I have heard people complain "I bought an LC-A but I'm not getting that Lomo look." That's because sometimes happy accidents happen but most of the time you've got to make the magic happen! The magic is inside you not the camera.
When a certain something captures my attention, I often pretty instantly have an idea of how I want to capture it and I know which camera to use based on it's certain something. At that point I've taken over. I'm taking the photo and the camera is just the means to an end.
This is all very disjointed and scattered but overall the point I'm making is fuck the camera and just take the friggin picture already.
Keri Smith also recently wrote something about "seeing" in her blog. I'm telling ya, "Feel more. See more. Think more." has got to be the slogan for 2004.