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May 13, 2007

First day with Ricoh GR

In preparation for an overseas adventure I bought the Ricoh GR camera - known as 'the professional's compact digital'. I took it with me today for a test drive.
It got me thinking about the difference between photographing something beautiful which in essence is true documentary. (Relies on seeing and feeling and looking) VS The real zazazoo finding of something more than what's there.( A fleeting moment perhaps or a new perspective.) This might mean patience or timing or creativity.

It's this second one that I aim for because I'm becoming tired of just photographing the beautiful. It has to be better than that.

So, Ricoh and I went on a short walk.
These are not examples of my idea of great photography (ahh! hard to follow up my ideals with images) but instead just a little tour of my Sunday morning.


I had 20 minutes until my lift arrived so I walked down the street looking for inspiration. Then saw the gate to a property for sale. I knew no one was living there so I pushed my way in. And I was welcomed in mosaic.


I looked around at the mess of a garden for something, anything unusual or special. This is the only view I found that caught my eye. I think it's okay if there isn't always something to photograph. It doesn't mean I'm a crap photographer, I can accept that there is no inspiration.
Technically, I felt limited by the camera's fixed wide angle lens. It makes the view feel 'cheaper' by distortion. I started thinking it's a camera for photo-journalism, travel and people. Not this.


I wandered down the side and wasn't seeing anything worth a shot. The Ricoh also has a fixed f-stop so I can't choose to have a long depth of field, it's always at 2.4 which is very short. Maybe a limitation I have to work with, and choose the right subject for, not force into being my everything.
(A bit like people hey.)


Then I found a mirror on the ground that I photographed in various ways and eventually plonked myself in front of, quite wary of neighbours finding me in such a compromised position. Thought about how I'm wearing a lot of black lately - and here I resemble a cat.


Well, it was time to get my lift so I raced out to jump on the back of Chris's bike. I wore my Vietnamese hill tribe boy's jacket - not quite adequate protection from more than just wind. But to have a scarf floating in the wind and little bell buttons tinkling is a far more stylish way to ride pillion.
Note how wide this lens is because I can photograph myself on a motorbike without distortion!


I did envisage myself accidentally dropping my new camera off the side at high speed and so I chose a lap-safe angle.


We arrived at Tarts Cafe for a little business but mostly pleasure.
This was before Chris shooed me away. The camera appears to work great at low and unusual angles.


Then, as is often best after Tarts, a stroll around Hyde Park. Mid life-disassembly, we discovered the old jetty that usually lives under the water. But the water is so low right now that I was able to walk out on the jetty and take away images of leaves and reflections.
If I could have one tree it would be a Liquidamber.


This photograph reminds me of the first photograph I ever took - down in Riverview, Sydney when I was 13. I'm still drawn to exactly the same things. Water and leaves...

[current mood] Chamomile & Chocolate Cake

Posted by natalija at May 13, 2007 12:58 PM


Don't know about this..maybe something to do with being colour-blind but it's really hard to see the word "Welcome" in that mosaic.

Posted by: Smokie at May 20, 2007 8:46 AM

You are right - it is very hard to see.. thus I felt barely welcome in my trespassing!

Posted by: Nat at May 20, 2007 12:07 PM

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