Sometimes it’s only with retrospect that we can see what our actions have really been about. For me, with photography, that’s a tricky thing because I love photography and videography so much that – rather than having a plan – I often throw myself in at the deep end and try to do everything. It means I sometimes do too much, feel like I’m not getting enough of it done, and then everything goes a bit wobbly around the edges.
I’m not trying to be specific here, but there are a few things that have dawned on me recently: my Leica X1 is a different beast and I behave differently when I use it. When I started in photography, I was as far from a purist as you can get. I’d happily use sub-par photos, so long as I could edit them to perfection. As I’ve learned photography, the search for the most striking result has given way to an appreciation of quality, an urge to capture moments rather than the extraordinary, and a purist attitude to photography. It means my images are less striking, but of better quality; simplicity and subject being just about all they need. That’s how I shoot with my Leica.
But now I find myself in an in-between place, like the space between our world, the snow-dappled Narnia and the dying sun of Charn, wondering which way to jump to go forwards for the next adventure. And having looked back, I think I sort of know.
My Leica photography has always been about photography at its most basic. Composition, clarity, quality and subject. But the subjects have almost exclusively been my life. Things I’ve walked past and snapped a shot of. Things that I’ve been doing, places I’ve been visiting, stuff I’ve owned. It’s all been about my experience of life, which may be why I choose the Leica as my street photography camera of choice. My Leica work hasn’t always been good. Some of it has been mundane, some has been lovely; but it’s always been meaningful to me. Now that I’m moving forward, therefore, my Leica X1 will be my go-to camera for photography.
I’ve reached a space where I sort of know everything I need to about photography and videography and how they work, so now is the time to stop acting like I’m still learning and start doing wonderful things with what I have learned. My DSLR is my camera for photography when I’m doing a shoot. It doubles as my video camera. Both of these are skills I’ve learned and I pretty much know how to get the best results from each. But I need to stop making excuses. Often I wander round taking millions of shots with my DSLR, but being too lazy to actually sit down, prepare, plan, see through, and finish up a big project. The same goes for video. I’ve often told myself it’s because I’m not a professional – I’m still learning. But that’s not strictly true anymore. I have learned. And I will continue to do so, but I need to start making a supreme effort to get the things done that I’ve been dreaming about since I first started. So I will.
So, where does that leave my Leica in my life? My Leica is now the camera I’ll always have on me. It’s the camera I’ll take all my everyday snapshots with as well as street photography, portraits, product shots, architecture – okay, okay, I guess a lot won’t change after all. But this blog will be far busier than it usually is and the photos will be of an increasingly better quality. I’m upping my game. Challenging myself to a duel. Throwing down the gauntlet. It’s a fight to the death and only the most ruthless will win. And I want to win, so what you’ll see on this blog will be the best I can do and the rest will see no mercy! I hope this is how I’ll grow, get better. Hopefully, I will.
As they say, creativity is born from restriction. From now on, with only my Leica at my disposal for everyday photography I’ll have to be quicker, sharper, faster and more creative to get a good result. This is where it begins, guys. The next adventure.