Friday Film Part 2: Olympus OM-1 by Sharjeel Javaid
It’s no surprise that photography has become a mainstream affair, everyone wants to be a photographer of some sort. And the most mainstream type of photography appears to be street photography. It’s almost like playing guitar in a band, so of-course every kid wants to be cool and belong to a cool “SP” collective. One drawback of this mainstream-ism is that the line between inspiration & imitation has become invisible. It’s one thing to like someone’s approach/style but to become a carbon copy of someone else, results in the impediment of your own creativeness and consequently uniqueness starts to disappear as we become busy being someone we’re not. I realized this in early 2013 when I purchased a camera that completely changed my photographic outlook/approach and no it was not a Leica!
Initially my limited knowledge of a fully manual film camera presented some challenges and I almost gave up on it. But once I got the hang of the basics and I literally mean the basics; I started to photograph my four-year old daughter. This photographic experimentation made me realize that it’s not the light/shadows I am interested in photographing or blasting a flash in people’s faces because I am not Alex Webb, Ray Metzker or Bruce Gilden. Most of all this process made me feel as if the results were a true representation of who I am.
The Olympus OM 1 and my daughter made me realize the true meaning of what Steve McCurry once said – “life is too short not to be doing something which you really believe in. Whether you’re photographing for yourself, for your job, whether you photograph on the weekends or every day or once in a while, the main point is to be having fun and to be exercising your curiosity and to be really in love with what you’re doing”.
Sharjeel J. Javaid