The Lesser Photographer

adanac

Veteran
Sep 30, 2011
103
Vancouver, BC
I've taken the liberty of copying adanac's post from over on the https://www.photographerslounge.org/f16/time-sell-d700-16-35-24-70-70-200-replace-nex-7-fuji-x200-4564/ thread where flysurfer first brought up this blog and manifesto.

adanac, as I said over there - your response hit home so much both for me and for this Lesser Photographer manifesto.
Loved the manifesto.

The X100 convinced me that I need far less gear, so I've been selling off tons of gear rather mercilessly of late. Some nice gentleman in Sausalito now owns my absolute favourite medium format lens of all time, a lens I paid thousands for and until this year... until this very summer... I never once thought I would ever, ever, part with. Another in Michigan now owns my favorite big macro. Hopefully someone else will own my 3 pound portrait lens and another a big collection of bodies, backs and other things.

As recently as the spring I was still shooting 120 b+w film and still enjoyed it but wasn't satisfied with how the gear limited or how I let the gear limit photographic opportunities. Truth be told I hadn't been happy with what I'd been doing photographically for a number of years and while I can't completely blame a big case full of gear for slowing me down, when I pick up a nice compact camera today and look at what I can do with it, vs the 20 pound case anchoring me down, there is no question that portability plays a huge role in what drives me now.

It took me far too long to realize the gear I had - all great and wonderful stuff to be sure - and the related processing work had sapped from me the fun of photography, even though for quite a few years I had been over the top happy with what I was doing. Life changed - single becomes married, infants become teenagers, workaholic becomes rational about where important time should be spent - lots of things changed but I didn't adapt my photography so I simply didn't do as much and I really, really, regret that.

Old ways sure are hard to change though. Even as recently as mid-summer this year I still had no intention of changing course. I kept thinking "if only"... if only I improved the darkroom or if only I got through the rest of our renos I'd have more time to lug the "big" camera around or if only I had a better scanner that satisfied my desire for clean output or if only...

Silly thinking.

Thankfully something helped snap me out of my dumb-think. An off the cuff comment made by someone I barely know but had come to respect set me on a new course. Thanks to a gentle push I checked into this new breed of camera - advanced compacts - and I was seduced. Good enough output in the palm of my hand was enough to cause me to throw caution to the wind, uncharacteristically for me, and I bought an X100 in short order with only cursory research since it seemed like a safe enough bet. I came back from a three week trip a changed person, photographically speaking, and maybe in some subtle other ways too.

Several months later, all of them spent with the X100, has more than convinced me that less is more. Actually... I think it only took a week or two to accomplish the mind-shift! The ensuing months have simply cemented for me that I'm on the right track.

That little Fuji camera has made such a difference and I'm back to enjoying photography like it was all brand new to me again back in the late 70s when I first dove in hard on a poor student's wage.

One principle of my new personal manifesto is that the only gear that matters is that which you can take with you all the time. The X100 allowed me to do that and still get what I wanted out of photography.

To be honest I'm not entirely sure I've made the right decision but I've also sold the X100.

I can't decide if I'm insane or am still following the right path, but I'm determined to have just one small camera. Since I'm selling *everything* else off, I'm allowing myself the luxury of having a couple other focal lengths, which speaks to an interchangeable lens camera. I don't want to have to deal with other cameras, other makers, other software... I just want one and the plan is to keep it and focus on observation and making images, not on hardware discussions.

Hopefully I won't let this desire for a tiny amount of flexibility spiral out of control. If I do, I'm selling it all and buying the X100 again or whatever best represents the simple ethos of that camera at the time.

Keep everything simple. And keep it small so it can be close at hand, every day.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
As I said, I read the manifesto last night and it certainly hit home for me. I've passed it along to my daughter and will send it to a non forum member pal, too.

The blog is interesting and the writer of which actually wrote to me to find out how I'd heard about it, etc. Very nice guy and rather refreshing to have some interaction with a blogger who is interested in their readers.

adanac, I appreciate your follow up and look forward to seeing how things evolve for you - and others.

Thank you again, flysurfer.:drinks:
 

adanac

Veteran
Sep 30, 2011
103
Vancouver, BC
I'd like to thank flysurfer for the Manifesto link, again, as I've had a really enjoyable time diving into some of the links presented by the writer elsewhere and find the topic infinitely more interesting than how many megapixels of what pin-size fit on a chip of X dimensions.
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
123
Down Under
Mark
...and I'd also like to thank flysurfer for the link. Read the manifesto last night and it was eye-opening....

Also enjoying the blog. It's got some great segues and links.

Here's a favourite - Although a cartoonist, Hugh MacLeod's "Ignore Everyone" observations are just as relevant for us photogs...
Stuff like tis is simply priceless:
10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece on the back of a deli menu would not surprise me. Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece with a silver Cartier fountain pen on an antique writing table in an airy SoHo loft would SERIOUSLY surprise me.
Again thanks flysurfer....:bravo-009:
 

flysurfer

Hall of Famer
Aug 31, 2011
123
I've been frequenting The Lesser Photographer, thanks to you flysurfer, and found the latest article to be very thought provoking: "I Just Want to Capture Images". I think you'll like it...and just so you know, no one camera is held up as The camera. Here is the direct link to the article at pdn online (Photo District News) called Compact Cameras: Keep It Discreet by Dan Havlik.
I read the article a few days ago, it's complementing similar texts like these:

15 Digital Point-and-Shoot Cameras Used By Pro Photographers ‹ Photography business insights & tips – photo sales & marketing discussion | PhotoShelter blog
Rob Galbraith DPI: Alex Majoli points and shoots
ZORIAH - A PHOTOJOURNALIST AND WAR PHOTOGRAPHER'S BLOG: Photojournalism With a Point and Shoot Camera - Becoming a Photojournalist With Budget Camera Equipment
 
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Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I enjoyed it too. And aside from the Leica, which is just too expensive and occasionally unreliable to take into the situations the one guy was using it in, I like the choices of cameras those guys were using. Some of them really ought to try an X100 and/or a Ricoh (GXR or GRD) if they want even better purpose built cameras for what they're doing with them. Regardless, their philosophy of gear is very similar to mine, but those guys put themselves at risk in ways I'd never get close to.

-Ray
 
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Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
123
Dallas, TX
Lili
Fascinating Article and Manifesto.
For year my only film camera was my Hexar AF and I thrived.
I got into digital, flloundered about for a bit thne got my GR Digital and thrived again.
It died, I bought several DSLR's and high end compacts, I did nice work but the gear and the quest for bigger better and faster blinded me.
I have been yearning for the "freedom of constraint", the elegance of simplicity again.
My GRD is being fixed or replaced, but lately most of my work out of the house has been with the simplest of gear; my phone cameras.
And I feel free again...
 
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Susan Sande

Veteran
Aug 3, 2011
68
Upper left USA
Wasn't sure where to post this. My love is waffling. I love my G12, the small size, the ease of use. I took both it and my 60D on my 10 day trip a month ago. My 60D never left its hiding place in my rental car. I took shots with my G12 and even though my brain was saying it would be a better shot with the 60D, I never walked back to the car to get it. I came home with shots that needed a wider lens here, better DOF there all because I wanted to take the shots with my compact.

Last night I harvested the last 3 dozen Criterion apples off our tree before we get a hard frost. The camera closest to me was the 60D (heck, it was too far to walk to the garage to retrieve the G12 out of my car). I took dozens of pictures of those apples, with a smile on my face the entire time. And realized the artist in me (or whats left of it) loves the 60D more than the G12. I will keep my G12 but I want to spend more quality time with my 60D.
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
123
Down Under
Mark
Very interesting Susan.Can I plumb a little further as to why? I mean is it the limitations of the small sensor or lens of the G? What is it about the 60D that couldn't be satisfied by something with a wider choice in focal length or maybe even the bigger sensor of a NEX or mu43?
 
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Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
123
Dallas, TX
Lili
Wasn't sure where to post this. My love is waffling. I love my G12, the small size, the ease of use. I took both it and my 60D on my 10 day trip a month ago. My 60D never left its hiding place in my rental car. I took shots with my G12 and even though my brain was saying it would be a better shot with the 60D, I never walked back to the car to get it. I came home with shots that needed a wider lens here, better DOF there all because I wanted to take the shots with my compact.

Last night I harvested the last 3 dozen Criterion apples off our tree before we get a hard frost. The camera closest to me was the 60D (heck, it was too far to walk to the garage to retrieve the G12 out of my car). I took dozens of pictures of those apples, with a smile on my face the entire time. And realized the artist in me (or whats left of it) loves the 60D more than the G12. I will keep my G12 but I want to spend more quality time with my 60D.
I completely understand, despite my XZ-1 being far more capable in terms of specs I much would prefer using my GRD or my E-PL2 with a fixed focal length lens.
They fit my hand and mind and eye. On both cameras the in-camera B&W jpegs are superb...
 
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iau

Rookie
Sep 11, 2010
3
I'm thorn between my Nikon DSLR, my mirrorless and P&S... I went from Nikon D70->D300 (to use MF glass)->D7000 (to reduce size) and have been very happy with my Nikons. However, I still think they are too big for daily walk-around shooting. So I bought a GF1 which I loved, but it really never could replace my DSLR. At the same time I have also been using P&S. With my recent aquistion of a GF3 the mirrorless has more or less replaced my need for a P&S (except for special occasions when I want it to be pocketable).

The Nikon DSLR continiues to live it's special life as my "real camera". I'm only an enthusast - not a pro - and use it mostly for daily captures. I used it a lot on a vacation recently, and only brought out the X100 for night shots. The P&S I brought (LX5) was only used a couple of times. I prefer the feel and handling of my D7000 over my smaller cameras and it is not too heavy (or too big), but the lenses are. My problem now is deciding where I want to go regarding the mirrorless cameras. M43 or Sony NEX (more curious about the NEX-5n than the NEX-7)? Or perhaps the X200 (or whatever the Fuji interchangeable lens system will be called)? I love the X100 for its IQ and the fact that it is so quiet, but fixed focal lenght have its limits and it has slower AF. I often regret not bringing my DSLR if I leave it at home, but if I bring it I rarely use it (unless travelling). I guess I will be thorn between DSLR and various mirrorless systems for a few more years.

Now I will read the article...
 
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Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Interesting to contrast this thread with David's thread on the Nex (bar of soap....). Very good shooters expressing very different points of view. I guess there's room for all approaches and all levels of IQ. I'm glad I'm of the "lesser" bent. More affordable, at least if I didn't insist on trying every piece of "lesser" equipment to come down the pike. :biggrin:

-Ray
 
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ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
124
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
Just to put in my two cents...

I am very pleased with the results I am obtaining from my m4/3 gear. However, on the rare occasions I use my Canon 50D, the files always bring a smile to my face. I just cannot bring myself to carry it around. Plus, I like the inconspicuousness of the m4/3 gear, especially the GF3 with a pancake. it's nearly invisible.

Cheers,

Antonio
 

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