Pushing Practice (Part 2)

Pushing Practice (Part 2)

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Moon on a stick by Casper Macindoe


Welcome back readers, to the second part of ‘Pushing Practice’. To recap. Due to unfortunate circumstances I had to send my beloved Fujifilm x20 to the repairs and was quoted 4 weeks repair time. What to do whilst I wait? I bought a second hand Panasonic point and shoot. This is what I thought.

‘Oh my god, will that flash stop going off man!!!’
‘Hmm no changing ISO then – humpf’

It was a difficult and slightly irritating switch between cameras although I don’t blame the Panasonic for that, sometimes getting into a new car can throw out your learned skills. Eventually, well 20 minutes later we were as one!

How did it go?

I have a habit of warming up on the streets with a few hips shots, and did with the Panasonic…I missed everything. I was going to have to use the rear LCD screen if I was going to get anything, and so true to tourist form I stood in the middle of the main shopping street in Shrewsbury discretely snapping at the characters shuffling about their day to day business. A couple more adjusts of settings and I was beginning to feel this beast had potential. A couple of shots captured when I thought it would have had no chance as I leave shooting right to the whites of the eyes. Although with this camera and the chance of producing compositions within the screen I found I was taking a step or two back, and then another step or two to get what I was seeing into the frame. Much more of the environment and strangely, much more time waiting for the shot to park itself in front of me.

It still didn’t have the ‘seething throng’ feel , maybe a bit of blur that I normally enjoy but it was taking the pic.

In editing a large pixel jpeg was all I could play with and this felt very weird and I wasn’t able to stamp the images with usual processing . Although RAW stands for unadulterated pixels you can play with, these images felt raw, almost how I imagine film must feel like – this is what you have, if you want a better image, take a better one in the first place because you can’t rely on post processing.

I also began to take ‘waste of time’ shots…’Oh look a bird’ snap …’mmm pretty moss on a wall’ snap …..’brooom broom fast car’ snap. It felt funny to have fun, but it didn’t matter , both the camera and the pictures felt expendable so I could have just fun. It was from this fun time I managed to bag my favorite photo from the experience. In the UK there is a phrase…Either ‘ I want the moon on a stick’ or ‘I’ll get you the moon on a stick’, which roughly translates as reaching for something beyond attainable. Well although in the beginning I wanted the Panasonic to be my fujifilm x20 I realised part way through the tiny plastic princess couldn’t deliver ‘ a moon on a stick’ but it was never meant to in the first place. I love this photo for it’s silly spontaneity, rough jpeg look and hideous post processing. In some images content means more than quality.

And then all was right again…

The repair shop rang me on Saturday 9 am. My camera and I were reunited an hour later. MMMM it felt and still feels good but I have slowed image taking down a bit, gotten a little wider, learning to tell a better story when I can and all because of my run in with the Panasonic point and shoot, and I think when shooting begins to feel lazy of my own shots begin to bore me, I’ll take it out again for a month, nah scratch that…I’ll take it out for a couple of days.


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