Winter in South Africa is generally a bit more relaxed for wedding photographers, not always a good thing. Gives me time to think about stuff, that can be dangerous. As you start thinking about gear and that can lead to GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). This year I decided to explore other avenues of business and self improvement rather than spending my hard earned money on more gear. Then I came across a British TV documentary that over 10 episodes introduces us to the Masters of Photography.
I was very excited now I would be able to see all the greats and their work it was going to be awesome. It wasn't after episode five I was some what amazed and some what disappointing in many aspects, even though I enjoyed the history of photography and the birth of the camera and its first steps. I could not wait to see the masters at work and this is where the disappointment came. I would not pay most of them to take photos of my dog, now don't get me wrong. I started watching this program with a picture in my mind of what a great photo should look like. We see them every day on photo sites and social media and they are getting better and better every day en my own work is way better today than it was 10 years ago. I use all this fancy equipment like strobes, speed lights, soft boxes, triggers, reflectors, ND filters and and and... To be honest I felt sorry for them as they actually thought those photos were great taken by the masters.
Then somewhere during episode 5 it hit me, first off all they probably did not have all the equipment or knowledge about lighting setups and gear we have today. (I am hoping in the coming episodes we move into this century to see today's "masters" ) As I sat there I realized that most of those original Masters ran around with a single camera shooting on film, they did not have the option to peek at the screen to say yes I got it or no the focus is of or the light is not perfect. They actually were masters of photography. Yes some of the subjects they covered in their work was not always very tasteful or main stream and to be honest most of them were street photographers. Then it hit me and I said to myself "self can you do what they did" challenge accepted. Now some of these guys and gals took thousands of photos over their careers I was not going to expect myself to go and take a The Pond/Moonlight taken by Edward Steichen 1904 on the first go.
Now you must keep in mind that I am a gear junky and I always have at least one off camera flash and 2 lenses with me. The challenge would be to go to the street with a single camera and and limit myself to 36 photos (That was a big roll of film) but I wanted to at least see how well I could do in a single go. Then the opportunity presented itself for me to fetch my awesome wife at the airport and I desided that this will be the defining moment and that I will use the airport and its travelers as my subject.
Big decision what gear to take... Not so much I needed something that I new that could do the job so I grabbed my trusty old Fujifilm X-T10 with a 18mm prime lens and off I went. The X-T10 is small enough to not intimidate the people in the airport and the photo quality is exceptional and having shot over 50 weddings since moving over to Fujifilm I had a lot of faith in this little machine of a camera.
I spent about 90 min walking around the airport inside and outside and shot my 36 photos and I am the first to admit some of them came out crap but some I am happy to share with you, okay they are no master peaces but I think if I do enough of these I might just get one or two, if they will ever sell for a million dollars will have to be seen.
Just for those of you that don't know The Pond/Moonlight is not a street photo it is just one of the top 8 most expensive photos ever sold, and as far as the actual photo go's its not that great in my opinion but that is by today's standards there are a couple of landscape photographers around today whose work is head and shoulders above that photo. But that is a discussion for another day. So below are my first official street photos with only one camera one lens and limited 36 exposures. All I can say is that in the future I will try and do it myself first before I jump to conclusions.