We generally define what’s normal by what we do most often.
Three years ago, for me a normal photowalk involved loading up one of my Contax film cameras plus an M42 lens with colour Fuji Superia 100 film, and photographing flowers, decaying doors and rusting gates.
Today, normal is using a digital compact like my Lumix LX3 or Ricoh GRD III to shoot contrasty black and white shoots inside and around ancient churches.
Three years ago, my processing workflow was taking the film to be developed at my local Asda photo lab, then uploading the best of their CD scans to my Flickr. For the occasional digital shots I wrestled rather unhappily with LightRoom and a hundred and one “film emulation” presets, found I didn’t much like any of them, and wondered where the last three hours of evening had gone. Again.
Today, I mostly shoot with cameras that can either make pictures I love straight out of camera, or with a subtle 13 second tweak in Snapseed. My LightRoom subscription ended months ago and I haven’t thought twice about it. In the evenings my computer time is mostly writing new posts for 35hunter, or just unplugging altogether and enjoying a photography book.
Just two years ago, normal was owning 17 M42 lenses, even though at least 12 were all 50mm. Additional lenses in other mounts (Contax/Yashica and Pentax K) also lined my overcrowded shelves.
Today, I have four M42 lens, and one of those I’m debating selling. With none in other mounts. Using a select few digital compacts with fixed lenses has become my normal.
Everything evolves, and we needn’t be afraid that our photography will evolve too.
Each day we incrementally redefine what “normal” means, not just with our photography, but the rest of our lives too, just by moving ever closer toward what we love best.
What’s normal for you these days? How would you like to redefine your photography normal?
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