I am not one to put much score by gear technicalities but hold that thought. As for GAS I am not sure I can stomach it either , if you excuse the pun.
A lot has be written about the advent, advancement and coming wave of the cellphone camera tsunami. I have tried taking photos with a cellphone on a couple of occasions. By the time I have managed to find the shutter button on the screen , and not press some other function, and waited for the inevitable lag between pressing the button and the image actually being taken ….. well it just doesn’t work for me on the street or anywhere for that matter.
When it comes to street photography, my ordinance of choice is a digital device that actually reacts to the push of a button, that can be fired from the hip but still remains discreet and quiet.
As a street photographer high ISO noise , megapixels, pin sharp focus and fancy computational algorithms are meaningless. After all the showcase for my work is nothing more than low resolution display technology. Even if I were to print my work, which I have done in the form of a tome, it is highly unlikely it would even be as large as A4.
All of which brings me to what is in my arsenal. Pocketable and often mistaken as an old film camera, with a mediocre 4 crop sensor of 12 MP it is the Fuji X20. Although 7 year old technology it is one of the most under rated cameras for this genre.
I prefer to shoot on the wide side, have depth to my images and a consistent level of sharpness throughout them. Due to the size of the sensor, at the sweet spot of F/5.6 and shooting mostly at 28 mm equivalent this can be achieved without noticeable distortion.
Skew horizons , human fragments , noise , lens flare , blown out highlights, soft focus are all things I am happy to embrace in my images.
There is one little trick it has up its sleeve that I wish Fuji included in all its cameras. It is Best Frame Capture mode. This can best be described as a burst mode which stores 8 images. From the time the shutter button is half pressed the camera starts recording images to a memory buffer. One sets the pre and post shutter press no of images. For instance 3 images pre the shutter button being pressed , the image at the time the button is pressed and 4 images after the button is pressed , all of which will be stored on the memory card.
This is particularly useful if you happen to be a touch late in pressing the shutter button and is just that little bit different and more useful than shooting in burst mode.
At one time street photography used to be the flavour of the year and we were bombarded with sterile advice on it.
Is it still relevant ?
Is it a visual urge or pure voyeurism ?
Is it formulaic or freestyle ?
Does anybody care about your photography ?
Does an image require a caption ?
Is it vain or brand wise to watermark your work ?
I still don’t know the answer to the questions posed above or whether my photography even matters.
I simply shoot what I see in front of me.
It is for others to find meaning in my work.
A nod to William Klein
“Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn’t look like somebody else’s work.” -William Klein – ouch !
Gear matters – all images shot with a Fuji X20 – 7 year old technology – low tech 12MP crop factor 4 sensor. Would I change this pocketable super convenient miniature technological dinosaur for an Apple Iphone 11 – Give up passion for sterile technology – Hell no not even if you gave me the Iphone free of charge.
(1) Anti-Manual-on–Street-Photography – by Michail Moscholios – recommended reading.
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