I think I’ve been a bit wrong…

AmIWrong

(I’ve been pondering this post for a bit–I even alluded to few of the themes during my recent “Best of…” post.  After talking with a certain good friend yesterday, I finally decided to put it up).

…So here goes:

My favorite camera lately has been the Fuji SP-1.

(That’s right: my favorite camera isn’t even a camera at all).

In fact, It’s a scrappy little battery-operated printer that spits out actual 3×2 Polaroids from your phone or tablet.  And my office is now covered with them.

And every single one of them makes me smile.

Sadly, most of the “stunning” ones have been taken by The Producer…

Why?

Because she’s there.  And she has “the eye“.  And she just shoots.

Fact is, she can shoot circles around me with her lowly little iPhone.  (Ok, yes…and Nikon too, Honey).

It’s a shame really: It’s probably all I actually need.  The talented Ming Thein has a great post on the subject here.  It is quite damning really…to me, anyway.

Truth be told, I like taking photos.  I like it when I take good photos.  I even like taking photos with all kinds of good gear.  I like seeing how different gear makes my photos turn out.  But some gear, I just like using.

So…While the focus has generally stayed on the photos (and the memories) all along, I do think perhaps I have occasionally gotten a little distracted along the way.  (Don’t get me wrong: This is not a lecture.  You probably all know this already.  I’m the crazy one here…this is me just musing out loud).

😉

While I’ll probably never truly cure my love of broad experimentation,  sometimes there is more to it than “micro-contrast” you know?  The very subject reminds me of a quote from the remarkable Phil Kneen: (first brought to me by the talented Bijan…)

There’s a lot of shit talked about photography, but you go out, take a photo of something you like, if you enjoy that image then it’s a good photo. It’s really that simple.

(And yes…The little Fuji printer taught me all of that).

Part two to follow…

-M.

14 thoughts on “I think I’ve been a bit wrong…

  1. bijansabet says:

    Great perspective. I’m so guilty of this which is why that quote was so impactful on me as well.

    Keep making memories and having fun along the way!

    -bijan

    • mewanchuk says:

      Thanks Bijan,

      …Actually, you’re one of the stable ones: Despite your recent foray into the Contax world, for the most part, you seem to have successfully chosen your gear, and stuck with it.

      It is great to see the images you continue to produce!

      -M.

  2. jkjod says:

    I couldn’t agree more on nearly all your points…1) I know my photographs will never be lauded in the annals of history as “great” (heck, somedays I strive for “good), but I enjoy them. And for me, thats more than enough, even if other people don’t get it. 2) In a day and time where an iPhone is perhaps as good as a camera as anybody needs, I still enjoy the actual act of taking photos with my M2 compared to anything else. 3) Prints, in any form, make the whole act of photography seem more real and tangible. I just started wet printing in a home darkroom (err bathroom…) and it makes me want to go out and shoot more just to see an end product. Way better than just scanning and posting on the interwebs. And 4) I married up as well 🙂

    • mewanchuk says:

      Thanks Jordan!

      I am VERY jealous…I have had a few ‘older’ friends getting out of development who have offered me their enlarger equipment…if it weren’t for a complete lack of space, I would totally get into it.

      (I even tried to rebuild my house around a new darkroom…but The Producer wouldn’t let me).

      😉

      …And yes: despite making no sense whatsoever, I still love shooting with the M6 and self-developing (despite all the potential for disaster…) more than anything else. If anything, this little printer has reminded me of the importance of, um…printing–I’m going to have be a lot more rigorous about it in the days to come.

      Anyway, I am glad to have found a few kindred spirits!

      Cheers,
      Mark

  3. Joe shoots resurrected cameras says:

    That’s a very humble thing to say!

    Now, I’ve thought about how I’m going to shoot film of my own kids when I get around to having some and I think that yeah, it is important to have something ready to go and on-hand at all times, I was thinking about using disposable cameras reloaded with Tri-X, Portra, etc. Put a few out around the house in a couple different rooms.

    With film as an archival medium, I’d say that what you’re doing with it is important. Really, when the kids are all grown up, out of the house, and have kids of their own, not only will they still have access to those pictures, but I think those pics are going to be pretty unique for people of their generation, so that already gives you a reason to do it, I’d say. You’re certainly good at it, too! But how long are Fuji Instax prints going to last? I think that’s anybody’s guess, but those Tri-X shots of your family will be around long after you’re all dead.

  4. Jason Timmis says:

    You can tell everyone that you do ‘direct to print’ photography. If you say it fast enough they might think you said direct to plate which usually brings about a sense of greatness and awe (I took a direct to plate workshop this summer so I know!! 😉

    I’m always glad when I see and hear photographers printing their work, however it is done. For me it brings a chance for deeper scrutiny and ultimately satisfaction with an image once it passes.

    Enjoy!

  5. Karim D. Ghantous (@kdghantous) says:

    I take your point and mostly agree with it. I do have quite a bit of equipment but it’s not like I have anything resembling a small camera shop, never mind a big one!

    I have a distaste for collecting cameras for the sake of it (I do collect film canisters and film packaging, but that is stuff that other folks would throw away). If I’m not going to eventually use it, I don’t want it. All of Peter P.’s stuff could probably fit into one average bag. I bet a lot of photographers would look at his kit and say, “What, that’s it?”.

    I do have a Pentax 645 with 3 lenses sitting unused but it cost me so little that I don’t care. 😉

    Ming Thein’s article was spot-on. I think that if people are focused on obtaining the latest techno-crap, they aren’t adventurous enough. If you’re busy taking photos, you’re not going to have the time to be indulgent about equipment.

    Yes, some full-time professionals, such as National Geographic photographers, have a lot of stuff, but they do actually use it. But some full-time pros have no more than a couple of bodies and 3 or 4 lenses. I dare say that a lot of equipment is bought by people who are more interested in being seen using it rather than taking great photos.

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