Dear Brandon and Steve.
Thank you for a very inspiring web-site. I’m a loyal follower and picks up a lot of inspiration, which has also influenced me in my photographic life. I just want to share my short evolvement in photography. Both with regards to gear and subjects of photography.
Im’ a 44 year male from Denmark. Years back in the 1980’s I played around a little with analogue and developed a few rolls on my fathers equipment. After my kids were born 7 years ago I picked up photography again. I bought all sorts of Nikon DSLR and relevant lenses. At a certain point I fell in love with “being limited” by my gear, and now I’m “only” owning the Fuji X100s (on the digital side).
Subject-wise my DSLR and digital period was just about experimenting. I had no clear idea of what I liked to shoot, except for my kids. I was caught by the growing street photography hype, and felt it as a great challenge to photograph strangers. Although it was funny and educating it was no real passion. I found that the change to Fuji X100s made me shoot more of my daily life. And slowly I got away from street photography and into everyday photography.
Eventually I simply decided to narrow my photography down to the bare essentials: I only want to create photographs that I’m truly emotionally attached to. Period. What others think, is not important anymore. Of course it’s nice to get likes on Flickr, FB, Instagram etc. But that doesn’t compare to a print or book of something you REALLY feel passionate about.
A lot more can be said, but the whole process ended up with buying a Leica M6 with a 35mm Summicron to compliment the Fuji X100s. After developing only two rolls of film the Fuji turned into complimenting the M6. Back to where it all started for me. I have never been more in love with photography than now. I’m so limited by my gear with respect to manual focus, manual shutter/aperture and no other settings at all. I’m limited to 35 mm. I’m limited by the process of film development and the waiting time associated with it. I’m limited by 36 shots per roll. I’m limited by black and white. I’m limited by the unpredictability of analogue photography. And yet I feel more free and unlimited than ever…..
I’m sure there is 1000 ways to enjoy photography, both gear- and subject wise. This was my way. There will most likely be more turns down the road. Here are three photographs from this summer I feel truly emotionally attached to. All Leica M6, Summicron 35, Kodak Tri-X 400 and self-developed, no Photoshop or Lightroom.
“Quiet”. My father died recently. This is taken two days prior, in the hospice.
“Bedtime Reading”. My kids having their bedtime story, half way through “The Brothers Lionheart”.
“Morning Dance”. My kids having a blast one summer morning.