The Office

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Do our Work Conditions Affect Us?

Old Woman Selling Vegetables. Vibrant Red

How many of you work at home or go to an office? Unless you live in a cold country, there is a strong possibility you have an air-conditioned office. Sometimes work conditions are easy, and at other times they are difficult. When I came to work in Delhi in 1987, I shared a desk with another gentleman. He was a grand chap, but we always scrambled for desk space. We didn’t have air conditioning those days. Instead, we had a desert cooler, and it was often difficult to hear ourselves above the sound of the cooler. My heat tolerance is low, so I used my seniority to insist on my chair being next to the cooler.

My Time in Consumer Sales

I worked in consumer sales for several years and often went to the market with my sales representatives. The two of us traveled around using their scooters, with me perched on the back seat, without a helmet. I learned not to buy white shirts: they always became grey.

One day, my sales representative–Vinod Khanna–and I sat in a cheap restaurant, gobbling chicken biryani. I don’t know how I survived without getting food poisoning–I put it down to the miracle of nature. Halfway through our respective plates of biryani, he looked up and said, “Boss, we sales guys are lucky. We always work in an air-conditioned environment.” I responded with a dumb, “Eh?” Then, he explained his thesis.

“We work in the summer, winter, and rain. The natural environment heats, cools, or wets us. The natural environment always conditions us.”

Vinod Khanna

Those weren’t his precise words, but I assume you get the gist of what he said. Our work conditions affect us more than we realize. Mine, for instance, influenced my choice of color. In addition, I invested in smuggled tubes of face scrub. I never forgot the conversation.

The Tough Work Conditions of These Women

Selling Corn. She looks grumpy.

When I photographed these vendors, I did not consider their work conditions. When I noticed the older woman in red, I just saw the vibrant colors of her sari and the car’s color. Her calm demeanor struck me as she sorted her greens. Her aspect was peaceful and dignified.

The other lady seemed tense, almost grumpy. Her facial expression fascinated me, and I wondered why she appeared angry.

Years later, the Covid pandemic spread through the world. I did not have much to do those days because I could not get the UPS of my computer repaired. So, I read many articles on my iPad. Articled from publications like The Economist, or firms like McKinsey, flooded my iPad. The brilliant thinkers extolled ‘the death of the office’ and the ‘birth of remote work.’ Some called it The Great Reset and spoke of how downtown office spaces in large cities would become empty. Of course, nothing like this happened. When they realized that office blocks were not emptying, they spoke of the birth of hybrid work. Work conditions in the office, they said, were no longer conducive to productive work.

Soon enough, we will be back in the office.

There is a change

However, there has been one change: the number of delivery boys and girls has increased. Vendors are back on the street. Their work conditions remain awful, but no one thinks about them. I am going to repeat – no one cares about their work conditions. Most of them remain cogs in the machine.

In the last weeks, I have been back to the streets, talking to people and photographing them. There is one common refrain they all share. “We would never be here unless we had no choice. How else will we support our families, feed them, and educate our children?”



Flat & AWOL

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A Bout of Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning

I have been flat on my back for a week, and everything I planned has gone out of the window. There’s a simple explanation for this: food poisoning. I’ve also been AWOL because I always find myself on the move.

Tears help the recovery process. Allow me to earn some sympathy. Shed a tear for me. Last week, we went to McDonald’s because we had almost no time for lunch. As soon as we finished lunch, I thought weight was dragging my stomach to the floor. Have you read a book called “The Devotion of Suspect X” by Keigo Higashima? If not, I recommend this book to you. I want to quote a line from the book.

Your assumptions are your worst enemies. Trust them too much, and you’ll fail to see what’s right under your nose.

Keigo Higashima. “The Devotion of Suspect X.”

Failed Assumption

I assumed I would get tasteless but safe food at McDonald’s. The first assumption proved correct, but the second failed the test. The food tasted slightly, but I persisted like a loyal soldier on the battlefield. As a result, I spent the night with my head in the toilet bowl, with strange aromas wafting up from the water in the bowl.

Over the last week, I watched one episode of “Better Call Saul,” three seasons of “Stranger Things,” and one of “The Blacklist.” I only watch “The Blacklist” because of James Spader and his merry crew. The rest of the cast reminds me of cartoon characters. “Stranger Things” is nice but follows a predictable formula. “Better Call Saul” is magnificent. All this because I got food poisoning at McDonald’s.

My digestive processes still need a few days before I allow myself a ham & pineapple pizza and a pint of beer.

A Crisis: A Global Shortage of Brains

The Global Shortage of Brains

However, by the end of my course of antibiotics, I felt like someone had fried my brain. How many of you have eaten brain curry or brain biryani? Brain curry is tasty, but I have not consumed it for years. If some of you faint in disgust, don’t worry. You are in good company. 1.3 billion Chinese believe brain curry is disgusting. Can you imagine it? When you consider the rubbish they eat, you would think they would not turn their noses up at brain curry.

I hesitate for two reasons. The first is the high level of cholesterol. Then, there is the increasing difficulty of getting good quality brain. I don’t like food poisoning and have suffered too many times.

I am serious. It is difficult to find good brains. Look around you at the political and business leaders in the world. Close your eyes and analyze every politician you can think of. Conjure up their faces in your mind’s eye. Please do this for all of us. However, I must give you a fair warning. The arduous task before you may drain you of energy.

Good Brains are in short supply. The shortage is a global tragedy. Bad food causes food poisoning. Brainless politicians cause mind poisoning.

How many of you agree?


Water

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Does this boy have water security? Do you?

Drinking Water

I shot this image many years ago at Crawford Market in Bombay. The market and city names are different now, but my memory is terrible, so I stay with the old names! I remember posting this image on this site and a few other social media platforms. I was close to the end of that day’s shooting and stood near the parking lot. People stood around, drinking some awful pink muck. Then, I noticed this young boy picking up a plastic cup from the ground and filling it with water. I framed him with the trucks as background. Issues like water security did not enter my consciousness. We change.

My Story

I have had my brushes with waterborne disease. The first time it happened was when I sat in the train going home after our college convocation. Business school was over. When I sat in the train, I wondered if I should do a Ph.D. I felt thirsty but did not want to dance onto the railway platform to get water. I reached out of the window and pulled a large rubber tube towards me. The railway authorities use these tubes to wash trains. What can I say? Call me young and foolhardy. The dirty water almost killed me, and in thirty minutes, I got diarrhea. Through the eighteen hours in the train and the subsequent three-hour car ride home, I kept rushing to the toilet. I arrived home at 5 am the next morning, almost in a coma.

I have always been paranoid about water since. When I photographed this boy, I only cared about the image composition and the awful water he drank. In India, we like to fool ourselves. We have a myth: our lousy conditions help to strengthen our immune systems. When confronted with data, we brush it away.

Since Then

Since those days, we have continued to screw the planet. Water security is going to become a big issue. I also remember reading the statement by the CEO of Nestle, saying there is no reason water should be free. This is neoliberalism at its worst.

Over time, I moved towards the left and socialism. However, I confess I must study socialism before I can make that statement with any certainty. I will say this, however. We change. As we change, we interpret images differently. All those years back, the image was a photo opportunity and a source of wonder. Now, I look at the image and see more than just the composition of a boy forced to drink polluted water. I think of water security, growing inequality, and a world going rogue.

What is in your mind? I am curious to know.


A Few Links

Iberdrola https://bit.ly/3OyyN3Q

United Nations https://www.unwater.org/publications/water-security-infographic/

World Bank https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water/publication/water-security-diagnostic-initiative

World Water Council https://iwaponline.com/wp/article-abstract/9/6/545/31241/Sink-or-Swim-Water-security-for-growth-and?redirectedFrom=fulltext


Destitute

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The Territorial Instinct. All Of Us Have It

Destitution

What do you see when you look at this image? I am convinced that, for most people, your eyes will focus on the destitute woman in the picture. Maybe how she sits will tug at your heartstrings and make you reflect on the state of inequality in the world. All this is correct, and whenever I open this image, I don’t know how to respond. In my worldview, this is a moving image. Yet, another element I intend to draw your attention to is the way she arranged the bits of cloth around her. Despite her abject poverty, her territorial Instinct is alive and well.

The Animal Kingdom

We all like to stake our territorial claims. In this, we do not differ from our brothers and sisters in the animal kingdom. We would be rootless if we did not have a place of our own. I can imagine we’ve had this instinct since our earliest ancestors appeared on the planet.

Mera Watan. A Story

When I was in school, I read a story called “Mera Watan,” which loosely translates as “My Country, My Home.” We don’t use the word “watan” often these days. It is almost impossible to translate the strong emotional element built into the word. The story takes place just after August 1947. The leaders of the time agreed to divide India into two countries–India and Pakistan. Many people–my parents, for instance–left everything behind and came to India to start life again. However, even today, when I meet someone whose ancestors come from “Pakistan,” I feel a strong kinship with them.

The story’s hero returned to his village in the new country of Pakistan. Someone noticed he was a Hindu and alerted the rest of the village. They beat him up. Just before he died, his old neighbor recognized him. When he asked his dying friend why he returned, he replied, “This is my land.” (Yeh mera watan hain). No territorial instinct guided him, but he went back because of the strong emotional pull from his old land.

How We Express Our Territorial Instinct

People express their territorial instinct in various ways, some strange and dangerous. It is not a matter of urinating on a tree to claim a carve out your own space. We read about corporate takeovers and war. Ego and the desire to own more space, influence, and power drive us to activities that are often dangerous. The desire for power rules us.



What About Her?

Destitution

But what about impoverished people like the woman in this image? There is one fort in Benares, and she sat by the riverbank next to the fort. That’s the image–a poor, hungry, powerless image next to a king’s home. Forget about kings and petty officials who may threaten or harass her. Do your eyes travel to the men in the image? Local hoodlums can threaten her security.

What do you see in the image beyond the obvious? That’s the question I hope you ask yourself. Before you go, contrast the color image with the monochrome version. The woman, in the monochrome version, blends into the background. She has become almost invisible. If I had not processed the image to highlight her, she would be hidden from sight.

I wanted to draw your attention to her, and this is why I processed the photograph the way I did.


https://www.britannica.com/science/territorial-behaviour



Mobile Madness?

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We Love to Communicate

A Mother, Her Child & Her Phone. Plus, two crows.

I shot this image during my last months in Bombay. The photograph is old but tells a tale. She sat on the road outside the Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay, next to the Gateway of India. When I say ‘she,’ I refer to the woman talking on the phone. A friend, I assume, sat next to her. Her son must have felt excluded from the adult’s conversation. The curious crow looking on wondered what these humans were doing. Imagine the thoughts going on in the crow’s head. “All of us crows love to communicate with each other, but no machine enslaves us. These humans are crazy.”

It’s Not Just Humans

Humans, animals, and plants love to communicate. Many years back, humans believed that our communication skills set us apart from all other beings sharing this planet with us. I’ve come across. This much is true. However, while I have come across expressions like “dumb animals” and people who deny plants have life, our conceit has blocked us from understanding how plants and animals communicate.

When I read Merlin Sheldrake’s “Entangled Life,” it surprised me to learn that trees communicate through an intricate mycorrhizal network. Suzanne Simard’s book, “Finding the Mother Tree” just reinforced this message. Of course, you may wonder why I digressed into a brief tree discussion! Everything and everyone loves to communicate. Period.

In The Villages

A Mother, Her Child & Her Phone. Plus…. Two Crows

In the past, village men and women gathered to talk at the melting pots in their village areas. They didn’t have watches or phones, so they were free of the chains of modern gadgets. Until twenty years ago, it was almost impossible to get a phone line. When I lived in Bombay at the turn of the century, I had to wait almost a year before I got a landline in my apartment. It became to buy a mobile phone with a connection, and India was never the same.

Many poor people migrate to the cities to work. They use cheap phones and prepaid cards. Until a decade back, the more affordable phones were only good for talking. So, the poorer sections of society bought phones and spoke to each other. This practice contrasts with the middle and upper classes, who gave themselves to social media. Most of us have willingly entered the panopticon of digital media. It has become worse over the last few years.

The Now. The Future

Large corporations want to sell “smartwatches,” “smart glasses,” and embed chips in clothes and medicines. Many of us will soon forget the experience of authentic communication and the freedom it brings. We may love to communicate, but we won’t know what the word means.

My mother uses a cheap phone because a touch phone confuses her. A few years back, Mark Zuckerberg came to India. He took back many cheap phones to America and charged his team with making them internet friendly. It is now possible to use WhatsApp or access Facebook with a low-end phone. Covid sped up the demand for internet-friendly phones. Many children in small colonies need such phones to attend class.

I cannot predict how communication will change over the next few decades. The woman in the photograph may continue using her phone to talk to friends and relatives. Her son may sneer at such a primitive form of communication. Can anyone wager a guess?


I have a small confession. You will find my affiliate links embedded in the titles of the books. Also, if you want to explore the DXO Nik Collection, click this link or this one. If you want to explore DXO, then click this link or this one.

I used Nik’s Silver Efex Pro to edit the second image, and create a monochrome version of the color one.


if you want to read my last posts, click the buttons below.


Finally, a link to my substack!


Play

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Fun and Laughter

Mother & Child Where will the child play?

A week back, I wrote a post on the maternal instinct or the bond between a mother and her child. I believe this is the strongest bond that exists between two humans. Childhood must be about play, fun, and laughter. However, sometimes life gets tough, and antagonism creeps into the relationship. Parents are often too busy at work or just struggling to survive. The worries of the world obsess them, and they don’t or cannot give sufficient time for their children’s play.

Some may be old enough to remember Cat Stevens’ song, “Where do the Children Play?”. I never bothered about the lyrics of this song until a few years back, but if you listen carefully, you will realize it is prescient. When I lived in Gurgaon in 1995, the forest was all around. I left and returned almost twenty years later. When I returned, I found the forest had retreated. We still have large tracts of forest, but they stand, waiting for developers to cut them down.

Where do the children play?

Development

When I moved into my home, there was almost nothing on our road. In the intervening period, the same developers filled it with concrete blocks. They constructed condominiums with gymnasiums and some green space. The builders always minimize green spaces because they can’t monetize them.

When I was a child in Delhi, every colony had parks, and we’d play in these spaces. Even squatter colonies had areas where children could play. The sounds of fun and laughter always filled the air.

Where do the children play? Many parents take their children to malls and hand them digital gadgets while they gorge themselves on unhealthy delicacies. These days are the parent’s days out, and they don’t want their children bothering them.

Fun, Laughter, and this Image

But what do you do when the sky is your ceiling, and the concrete pavement is your bed? Where do the children play? Do they have the mental space for some fun and laughter?

You may wonder where I made this image. I was at the Gateway of India. The Gateway is the place from where the last British who occupied my country left India in 1947. It is also the place from where terrorists entered Bombay in 2008, attacked several areas, and laid siege to the Taj Mahal Hotel.

I remember standing on the road, watching the child play at his mother’s feet while she sat on the road looking at him. They sat on the pavement with the Taj Mahal Hotel in the background. Rich and powerful people fill the hotel with the sounds of their fun and laughter—the poor sit on the pavement outside.

Am I an idealist?

I don’t intend to criticize the rich. They do what they must do. However, I have never reconciled to the ironies of Indian life. Smug, well-fed faces will fill the air in conference halls with solemn pledges to remove poverty. China has made considerable strides in this direction. We Indians have walked the opposite path.

Whether rich or poor, children deserve to have places where they can play. They need positions where they can fill the air with the uninhibited sounds of their fun and laughter. Only then will they be able to heal the world.

Am I an idealist?


Maternal

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A Mother & Her Child

A mother and her child. Grant Road. Bombay

I have been disorganized of late, something many of us experience from time to time. After my one foray onto the streets a few weeks back, I have not been out. I planned to go out this week but strained a ligament on my foot. What is better–a fractured toe or a pulled ligament? Let me know. Therefore, I pulled an old image of a mother and her child I shot many years ago, Grant Road, Bombay. Am I romantic or naïve when I say the love between a mother and her child is or should be the purest love of all?

None of these noble thoughts flowed through my brain when I shot this image. I only stumbled upon a mother holding her child on the streets; she was a photo opportunity. That’s all. Maybe, I was a callow youth, and I hope I have become a better human being since then.

Housewives & Homemakers

In those days, people in India looked down on housewives. My wife held a senior position in a bank. When she quit to care for our daughter, I sensed the sneer behind the polite faces of her former colleagues. I’d like to criticize them, but I won’t. I admit I was not very different if I am honest with myself.

Over time, I came to prefer the term ‘homemaker’ to ‘housewife.’ I assume the word came into our world because it is gender neutral. However, I like the word because it is accurate. The partner who stays at home makes a home more than the partner who is out at work. And it makes homemakers feel better about themselves. Homemakers play a significant role in creating the next generation of humanity.

Our politicians cannot do this, and neither can our teachers. We do not pay them enough or train them sufficiently. The bond between a mother and her child is the primary bond for every child and is often the source of emotional strength for children. Patriarchal societies like India often downplay a woman’s role in creating a family and nurturing a child.

India?

India is changing, but not fast enough. The culture in North India is retrograde. In many parts of North India, you could call the culture primitive.

None of these thoughts flowed through my mind that morning in Grant Road. I saw a mother and her child, and I sensed her love for her infant. That is all there is to it. However, the encounter stayed deep in my subconscious mind, waiting for me to grow up.


This image

I shot this image with my Olympus OM-2n camera, using an f1.4/50 mm prime lens. When I chose this image for this post, I edited it slightly using the DXO Film Pack. DXO has released the fifth version of the Nik collection. This software is fabulous. I’ve been using it for years and vouch for it without hesitation. You can explore DXO Film Pack 6 by clicking this link or this other one. And you can explore the Nik Collection by clicking this link or this one! These are my affiliate links.


Dilemma

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Questions of Ethics and Privacy

The Eye

Like many genres of photography, street photography should put you on the spot from time to time. It will surprise me if you never have to ask yourself tough questions. Street photography poses unique challenges regarding ethics and privacy, and addressing these issues is vital as you continue your journey as a photographer.

I’d like to share a few examples to illustrate my point.

The Shopkeeper

I used to travel with a friend of mine. This gent has a golden heart but can be boorish. Once, when we traveled to Pushkar in Rajasthan, we photographed people on the street and shopkeepers. Some merchants objected to being photographed and expressed this in plain terms. Yet, my friend ignored them and shoved his camera in their faces. The only thing that mattered to him was the image. Questions of ethics and privacy did not bother him at all.

The Fibula & The Tibia

In my early twenties, living in Bombay, I traveled by the local train to my home base. When our train stopped along the tracks for almost twenty minutes, most of us became edgy. We live in a world where impatience rules us. When the train pulled up at the next station, my compartment stopped next to a man lying on the platform. Those days, I used to hang out off the train when traveling. The white bones of his left leg–the fibula and tibia–stared at me from out of his trouser. His right foot was chopped into two pieces. The first instinct that flowed through me was the instinct to photograph him. Self-disgust flooded me without delay. I wondered how I could ever consider photographing a man after an accident ruined his life.

The Girl With One Eye

I want to end with a third story. During those days, I used to travel by local train to my place of work. My bosses had moved me to the general shift. I’d leave the office at 5 pm and travel back to my home base. After reaching Kurla Station, I’d climb the over-bridge to my bus stop. I’d pass a young beggar girl sitting at a corner of the bridge. She could not have been over eight or nine years old. I always knew a pretty girl lived under the dirt covering her face. One day, she disappeared and returned a few months later. As I prepared to greet her, my smile turned into a look of horror because I noticed her bosses had taken her left eye out. I stared through her eye socket, through to the white of her skull.

Questions. Morals. Ethics and Privacy

What would you do if you held a camera in your hand? Would you take a photograph, or would you walk away? I thought about it for a long time and have not yet arrived at a satisfactory answer. During my younger days, I was not conscious of issues about ethics and privacy. But when I saw these two unfortunate people, I did not believe it was right to photograph them. I’ve seen many people mutilated and put on the streets to beg. Over time, they become part of the landscape, and this is a tragedy.

Do we allow our hearts to bleed? Or do we put our emotions on ice and live as though we are in paradise? It’s good to have an active conscience. Maybe then, we will be able to address these issues humanely.


I downloaded the eye image from Unsplash and made the design in Affinity Designer.
I am not an affiliate of either.


Long Ago in Agra

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Poor Folk of Agra

Local Musician

It’s been a long time since I traveled to Agra. Once upon a time, I visited the town every few months. I have never understood why the old Mughals chose the city as their capital for many years. It is a dirty, polluted town, and the only reason to visit is to go to the Taj Mahal and the other remarkable sights. This post, however, is not about the tourist sites. I am focussing on some of the poor folk I crossed during that trip.

I am not using the expression “humble folk” to describe some people I photographed on this trip. Humility is an attitude, and I have met some arrogant people who are wealthy or poor. Your income level is not always a determinant of your humility.

The Trip

Young boy with his newspapers. He ought to be in school.

I lived in Singapore, and we visited India for the winter holidays. I didn’t remember the exact date of the trip, so I checked the camera’s EXIF data. When I checked, I discovered we went to Agra on the 30th of December in 2007. My kids are pretty Indian now. Those days, you could refer to them as ‘coconuts’- brown on the outside and white on the inside.

Six of us bundled together in one car and drove to Agra. The highway between Delhi and Agra resembles an urban sprawl, and it is impossible to get a sense of the wide-open road. We stopped at a restaurant next to mustard fields. The laid-back and lazy invited us to extend our stay at the restaurant. After our chai break, we wandered around and met an old man dressed in his traditional finery. I doubt he considered us his best clients: he’d have preferred someone with paler skin who’d give him a more generous tip. But the old sinner and the young boy played some music for us.

Editing The Images

Young Boys. Lunch by the Grave. Fatehpur Sikri

I explored several approaches to editing this image and the other photos in this post. I prefer black and white conversion, but I felt the color versions were better. Many people opt for black and white, which seems to be a good approach, especially when editing images of poor folk. Yet, I am convinced that monochrome was robbing the photos of the character. When you examine them, you may notice the warm light of the afternoon sun falling on the people in the images. When I edited the photos in black & white, I realized that the people in the pictures seemed to disappear.

Monochrome did not work in this case. I was tempted to use a faded sepia approach but abandoned this direction. The faded sepia approach works sometimes, but most of the time, it just seems “cheesy.” That’s why I edited the images in color. I just hope the poor folk approve if they see the photographs.

I will leave you with a question: what thoughts flow through your mind when you edit an image?

A Few More Images


You can find my previous post on my fellow Indians here

I used my Nikon D70 while shooting these photographs.


Never Stop Learning

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Last week, I wrote about digital pinhole photography. I did not write about my experiences using film-based cameras, in particular some medium-format vintage cameras. Neither did I focus on some lessons I learned. Remember, I have not been out to make images in two years now, but hope to break the jinx this coming week.

Where do I begin?

I’d like to divide this post into a few sections and in no specific order.

Some lessons I learned in recent times

With My Fujifilm XT-4

Fujifilm X-T4. Image from Amazon India

Let me start with my visit to Connaught Place in Delhi, using my Fujifilm XT-4. I used a 35 mm prime lens on the camera. This is what I call a “move your butt” lens because it forces the photographer to move. The Fujifilm XT-4 is a remarkable camera, but I must get used to the menu and the capabilities of the camera.

Some lessons I learned are:

· When you change your camera, invest the time to understand the system. It is obvious, right?

· Using a prime lens, as opposed to a zoom lens, has a massive impact on how you approach your photography and see an image. Now, I had:

o A fixed frame, instead of the wide-angle, normal and zoom views. In some ways, this is refreshing. But in other ways, this can be intimidating.

o You must move yourself to get the composition you want

o When doing street photography, it means you must get up and close to people. You can’t hide behind the massive zoom lens.

o The camera is so light, that you feel free.

With My Olympus OM-2n

My Olympus OM-2n

Next, I will talk about the time I went out with my Olympus OM-2n. The lessons I learned here included the same lesson I learned with the Fujifilm XT-4. Yet, there are others.

1. I shot in manual focus only. Most of us depend on autofocus systems. Autofocus systems are fantastic, especially when you are doing street photography. When I am doing landscape work, I almost always place my camera on a tripod and shoot in manual mode. But here I was, on the street, shooting in manual mode after many years.

o This changes everything because now, I returned to my first discipline of anticipating action, focusing, and then pressing the shutter.

o In addition, I limited myself to one roll of film, which further meant I looked around with great care. I was seeing again.

With My Voigtlaender

My Voigtaender

Last, I will talk about the time I took my vintage Voigtländer out. What were the lessons I learned?

2. Composing the image was difficult because these old cameras have tiny viewfinders. My eyes strained as I peered through the viewfinder.

3. In addition, I used manual focus without the split prism that I have in my Olympus.

4. Third, I was back in my early days in photography when I had to calculate the exposure in my head.

5. These cameras flip open. The design is not ergonomic. It is a challenge to hold the camera steady, compose, focus and shoot.

6. I forgot that these use medium-format film, which may get exposed if I load the film in daylight.

7. And last: as opposed to a roll of 35-mm film in which I have 36 images, a medium-format film allows you to shoot up to 12 images per roll.

Last. The Old Masters

One of my pinhole cameras

Here’s the last lesson I learned, when I was out shooting with the Olympus and the Voigtländer, I remembered the words of an American photographer. He said that people like Andre Kertesz, Ansel Adams, Minor White, etc., used very basic cameras. Yet they produced images we call consider timeless and classic.

We must keep learning, and we must keep moving.



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