About Now

What I’m up to right now…

Photography

A longer term pattern is setting in with my photography.

I’ve only really used three cameras in the last three or four months. Lumix GF1 for M42 lenses mostly, but sometimes the native 12-32mm (24-64mm equivalent) AF lens. My little Lumix LX3 for black and white photography with its cracking Leica lens, and my Sony Xperia for family snaps.

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Sometimes I use one of my other half dozen compacts. I haven’t shot film in about a year and a half and am wondering about why I still have a couple of 35mm film cameras. Or a DSLR which hasn’t been used regularly at all this year.

Haven’t bought a new camera since the GF1 in July, which at five months is by far the longest I’ve gone without buying a camera in about six years.

Cycling

Enjoying my ebike (The Mule) for work, which reliably serves its purpose. I’m tracking the days I use it (you might have realised I’m a bit of a numbers and stats geek) and this week I passed 50 days. Which is 50 days I’ve had extra exercise and fresh air, and 50 days I haven’t used a car to commute, with the associated savings in cost and pollution.

After a minor purge I now only have two other bikes. A Specialized Crossroads, which is super comfortable and laid back to ride.

But the one I’m enjoying even more is a 1985 Raleigh mixte bike I paid less than £30 for and is so much fun, and so easy to ride, especially compared with the heavy Mule.

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Looking forward to doing more with in the spring as the weather is increasingly wet now.

Reading

Steadily working through The Art Of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum which isn’t heavy going, there’s just a huge amount it covers. Another six months and I might have finished it!

Also re-reading some Pema Chödrön, currently Comfortable With Uncertainty, which is on the surface beautifully simple, but simultaneously very radical (to me) and challenging. Worth taking one’s time with also. I’m reading a chapter two or three times over most nights, so it can sink and marinate while I sleep.

Enjoying my favourite blogs too, and recently tidied up my follow list to under 20 again. Check out Jim’s, Jennifer’s, Katie’s and Julie’s if you don’t know them already.

Music

Whilst most of my music listening is ambient works at slower speeds via YouTube (try Aphex Twin’s Rhubarb and change the speed to 0.5 or 0.75, or try Lichen 800% slower) I have recently been absorbing Bon Iver’s third album, 22, A Million. Especially this track.

What are you up to right now?

Updated Friday 7 Dec 2018

(The idea for this page came from the frequently inspiring Derek Sivers.)

2 thoughts on “About Now”

  1. “This could be the only camera I need…”

    Oh, come now, Sir!

    I’ve just read your … sensualist essays on those Contaxes and Minoltas and their sylphlike adapted lens, and was reminded of Lovelace (Sir Richard, not Linda). I’ve felt that way about a sleek, well-formed and balanced camera myself; there is a tactile pleasure in handling and using such, and you described it well.

    I like my phone, have gotten some solid images with it, and pleasingly tuned them with snapseed. But – ergos aside – it is not a beauteous top-drawer, purpose-built, perfectly-proportioned camera, where the glow of owning, holding it combines with the joy of what it may produce in a singular miracle of mixed pleasures.

    1. Well I completely agree, my favourite cameras I’ve ever used are probably the Contax 139 Quartz and Asahi Spotmatic F. Both with Takumar lenses (the Contax via an adapter of course). Both have an abundance of tactile pleasure – cameras and lenses – and are a joy to hold and use, even without film in. They are both of William Morris’s prerequisite’s of an object in one – I know them to be useful and believe them to be beautiful.

      But… In a perverse way there is even more pleasure in creating an image with a camera that is simple, pocketable and digital, like my Xperia. Currently the minimalist practical side of me is winning out over the lover of divine machines… And the direct simplicity of being able to shoot, edit, process and share in a matter of moments with my phone, rather than it take days or weeks with the old film cameras.

      But I still have the Contax and Spotmatic. 🙂

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