Progression and development are probably in most of our ideas of what a street photographer should include in their practice but it is often enough because we enjoy being recognised for ‘such and such’ whether that be black and white or colour, from HCB school of romantic imagery or more gritty urban of Boogie we fail to change until change is brought upon us.
My change was brought upon me just last week. The turning dial switch on of my beloved Fujifilm X20 stopped working and therefore wouldn’t turn off and wouldn’t autofocus at 28mm which is a place I like to be in my shooting. So to the repairs it had to go.
‘As an estimate, how long do you think it might take?’
or rather I said ‘FOUR WEEKS!! you could build a camera in that time, do you know how many shots I will lose because of your substandard workmanship…MY life is on the LINE!!” etc etc.
I borrowed a camera last time my own needed repair but this time I decided to solve the problem as cheaply as I could. I am in favour of smartphone photos , although I do have the most rubbish camera phone so it was to the pawn brokers to buy something second hand.
What did I get?
I am now the owner of a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS28 – if thats the name – a tiny plastic point and shoot. The camera is lighter than my wallet, smaller than my hand and with fewer options on it than a McDonalds burger menu. It has a couple of mode buttons – intelligent auto, normal, special (portraits, night,etc) and motion picture. It shoots only in Jpeg but hey comes with Optical image stabiliser!!
This is my personal nightmare. I need/want/love RAW,need/love/want ISO settings, need/ want/love barrel focus, manual settings, a viewfinder BUT!!
For this month I will shoot with nothing else and so convinced I am that nothing good can come from this I am going to try and break the parameters of my photography because it doesn’t matter; this is a rubbish camera, a junk shop joke…. I am a little dubious about it’s qualities in colour so am going to at least process the photos into black and white.
Will I be surprised? Will my practice improve because I don’t care what shot I get because it is bound to be rubbish? Will this camera out perform my thoughts?
At the end of the month I shall blog post some of my results and whether seeking the bad shot, with a bad camera has helped me grow as a photographer and whether I would recommend for every street photographer to try a month off and push their own boundaries to improve their practice.
Wish me luck!