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Sunday, 24 September 2023


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How about just looking at photographs? Or is that too obvious? In galleries, museums, magazines, homes, albums, books, etc., etc. Looking at photographs, critically or uncritically, can be immensely enjoyable in and of itself.

Also: collaging; or incorporating into art, craft or other artifact.

I would say it is a bit unfair to single out that camera collecting is a way to show status in Asia. To me that would seem like one of the rarest ways to show status. Also remembering that there are collectors who keep their entire or at least the most valuable (thus most status related) parts in a bank vault, and sometimes in never opened shrink wrapped boxes. Strange way to show status.

Exhibiting photos is also a good way to enjoy photography-

Having your photos mentioned on the front page of the Sunday edition of the local newspaper is also a good way to enjoy photography.

Personally, I have a fascination for devices that can make images. In that sense, I have a little bit of a camera and lens collection angle, although without the display cases so you can call that GAS.

Also, I love making little experiments like adapting lenses extracted from some old fixed lens rangefinder, or making a tilt shift adapter for mirrorless with a bike inner tube.

There’s also photo books, I collect books on street and documentary photography and have a collection that, while probably not too valuable, does bring me joy and makes for an interesting photo room, where you can sit in a sofa and be surrounded by many of the greats from Atget to Turnley.

And some times, I even get out of the house and take photos :)

Photograph what you care about, have an end purpose for the photos.

Yesterday (Sunday) I went to a motorcycle event; there were lots of classic and vintage bikes to see, some over 100 years old.

I would have gone anyway, but I talked to owners about their bikes and took photos. I'll write it all up and send words and pictures to one of the classic motorcycle magazines. Even if the article doesn't get published, I still enjoyed the process.

It may be interesting to you, and to us, if you added a survey using Mail Chimp or Survey Monkey or something, to create a profile of TOP followers photographic interests. Don't know whether this is possible with a blog though or whether you would think it worth doing.

Love this list as a reminder of the many things that make photography so important in my life - from the guilty pleasure of simply visiting any well-stocked photo store to the feeling of spirit in nature to the enjoyment of processing and printing my images. It's good to occasionally reflect on the happiness it brings to offset the occasional frustration of feeling we could always be better. And of course, we could be.

Photography is enjoyable when you put out a photo book, and receive nice comments from photographers as diverse as Bill Jay, Costa Manos, and Robert Adams.


How about photography as a tool for exploring and learning about things that you find interesting.

I have always been interested in history. I have used photography to explore for example the little city states around Mantua in Italy. Local history books picked up in second hand book stalls fed the project and made for some fascinating reading, often leading to new photographs. One day I will make that Blurb book.

Right now it is Romanesque architecture, after a chance visit to a Romanesque church, with some strange sculptures. The more I read with my ever growing collection of books on this subject, the more subjects I have found, and I have learnt some interesting things about medieval art and life.

By building odd assortments of things that let you make photographs...such as pinhole cameras, odd lenses not meant for photography, grafting various camera parts together to make a new and different camera. Speed Graphics are great for hanging odd things in front to use as lenses because of the focal plane shutter. Developing film in coffee...I once used a drugstore magnifying glass as a lens. Got some interesting results. That sort of play helps develop an understanding of how photography works that can't be achieved with a cell phone.

Bill Brandt is probably the most well-known photographer to work this way.

My current motivation for getting out and shooting with my Voigtlander Vito B: taking your advice and loading it with Ilford FP4 Plus, developing that film with ID-11 (the D76 look-alike). My first roll (developed and now scanned) was so amazing that I reloaded and took another hike in the historical neighborhoods of Phoenix today, with the Vito B on its wrist strap.

The 50mm Color Skopar is a Tessar-type lens. My experience suggests it may be a notch above the Tessar in the Contessa LKE, which Ivor Matanle thought may "be of the recomputed type that performs so well in the late models of the Contaflex and on the Contarex." I own both of these cameras and look forward to a shoot-out. With ID-11 waiting I now choose subjects I once might have shunned, knowing that the tonality will be a subject unto itself.

I pursued photography as my career not just out of necessity but because it genuinely brings me joy. The entire process, from capturing images to the artistic aspects, is something I'm truly passionate about. Plus, I have a soft spot for the gear – I guess you could say I enjoy my photography toys!

However, the most profound reason I'm drawn to photography is the structure it provides for me to engage with the world around me. In my younger years, I battled with introversion, shyness (they're quite distinct traits), and struggled with self-confidence and self-worth. Thankfully, with age, these insecurities have lessened, if not completely disappeared.

Photography has always been my refuge, offering a comfortable and defined role in various situations. It allows me to partake in enjoyable activities, attend social gatherings, and be present at events without the constant need to justify my presence or entertain socially. I have a designated role and purpose. I can immerse myself in any situation, even taking the lead, and it's not only accepted but often welcomed in my career.

Having this place in the world, engaging in something I genuinely love, and having a reason to undertake activities that others might hesitate to embrace is not just 'fun,' it's a source of profound happiness.

My second favourite genre is food. Photographing dishes that I’ve cooked (and eaten) myself, with family or friends. Not the same thing as iPhone photos taken in restaurants!

Mike, How about collecting photobooks! Yikes, I can’t believe this wasn’t on your list… must be the up-state blues setting in at the approach of winter.

For me, documenting, print making and family chronicles are the top 3. Learning about the technology would be 4th.

One aspect that does not get enough attention is LONGEVITY.
Current inkjet prints are projected to last longer than traditional darkroom’s prints and that may become very important when all the material uploaded on line will not be available any longer.

Similarly, photography book publishing is declining which may make the few books still printed today, very valuable in the future.

I think I know a guy who likes writing about it…


Here I've been enjoying photography for all these years - and now I need to choose an apropriate label - apparently to describe something I'm already doing, without labeling it beyond photography?

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