Thursday, May 21, 2009

Slow Photography

Lately I've been thinking about trying medium format (not Holga/Lomo). I carry my film Canon Rebel around all the time and snap quick shots during my free time. It's about speed and dexterity: capturing the moment by finding the right settings before the shot is no longer there. Even though there is a time and place for that, I'd like to slow down and take less photos and really focus on learning how to compose a good scene. I'd think I'd rather have fewer quality photos, than a lot of haphazardly shot photos, some good, some bad, most OK. But then again, I like to take lots of photos to document my life (I have a really bad memory and must make up for it somehow). I would probably use 35mm and medium format in conjunction. Gotta scrounge up a pretty penny for a decent camera though. And processing!

From a NYT article by a large format photographer:

"One advantage of using larger formats is that the process is slower. It takes time to set up the camera. It takes time to visualize what you want.

When doing portraits, it enables the photographer to talk and listen to subjects, to observe their behavior. A camera can trap a photographer sometimes. You can look so intently through a viewfinder that you are unaware of the picture in front of you. When I use an 8-by-10 camera for portraits, I will compose the picture and step back. Using a long cable release, I will look at the subject and wait for the moment. It's very liberating."

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