Photography Slumps, Magnum’s Mistake, Image Theft and Bigger Faster Cameras.

Unslumping one’s self is not easily done. I think that’s a Dr. Zeus quote, if not, it should be. I have been in a photography slump of late, sometimes you’re in the zone, framing shot after shot with wild and wacky characters wandering in and out the frame. Sometimes, it just does not happen. Fortunately, there is an easy way out of a photography slump, the solution is always to buy a new camera. Armed with my new beast, I will capture the most glorious of shots and work my way back to the zone. Landscapes will be laid bare and cities will sparkle. Maybe.

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Cities will sparkle…

 

Things have been going on in my life outside of photography – yes there is one. I am in the last throws of my Master’s degree, while at the same time learning (about learning) on a course run by Harvard. On top of this, I am still battling with paperwork for my upcoming move to India. If anyone knows about moving countries with a dog, please hit me up! In between all of this, I still have to do my actual job. Meanwhile, my photography has focused on a long exposure challenge… not my thing, but it ‘s nice to be challenged. Looking back at my best photos from the last two months, I cannot help but notice they are all a bit dark. It is time to snap out of it and seek the smiles and laughter in life.

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A Time for Laughter

Back to MYNEWCAMERA. I headed off to Luban Lu Camera Mall to purchase a Fujifilm Xt2. I picked it up, held it in my hands and it was…. a little too heavy. So I went smaller, lighter, smaller sensor, fewer megapixels and purchased an Olympus EM5ii. In fairness, this will not completely replace my larger Nikon, which I still love, but will replace my much abused, and now broken Sony N5. Why did I not upgrade to a new Sony? I look at a lot of photos, and just find the Sony ones a little too crisp, although processed in the right hands excellent results can be achieved. The Olympus looks promising – I will post a review and some pics in a few weeks. It does have a flip screen which could be useful for Vlogging, something I have threatened to do for a while. It is also dust and rain proof, so should survive living in India.

Back to other news. I have entered Lens Culture/ Magnum Photo Awards on two occasions. It would appear they have just stuffed up. To market the latest competition, they featured a photo of a man raping a young girl. Yes, you read that right. They have apologised, it was a mistake, but really? And what of the guy that took this photo, is there a point where you have to say enough is enough and intervene? I do think that shocking photography is necessary for action and can help positively transform society. However, photographers, just like any other human being should draw personal ethical lines. Lens Culture runs its competitions claiming that participants will get exposure. The guy who took this photo certainly got exposure, and someone noticed one of his images looked a little too familiar. It turns out that he cut a character from someone else’s photo and then pasted it into his own. There should be a photography equivalent of a doping ban for people who do this kind of thing, two years of not being able to post anything online.

Lastly – what is it with bigger faster cameras? I wanted to update my Nikon D7100 with the D500, but guess what, it’s enormous and cumbersome. It takes 1000 images every second (I made that up – google it if you want the real specs). Henry Cartier-Bresson once said your first 10,000 photos are your worst. With this monster, you can take that many photos in less than a minute. I looked at the Sony A6500, hold the trigger down and it fires like a machine gun. The new Sony A9 is apparently even faster. Camera manufacturers have obviously reached what they can claim is necessary on pixel count, now they are selling us speed. Speed is not what I need more of; my problem is slowing down. Finding that decisive moment with a single click is super satisfying, how many of these moments will now be captured by those that spray and pray?

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Right, I’m off to learn how to work my new camera. Wish me luck. I’m seeking smiles and laughter.

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