What kind of perfect photo, scene or idea are you longing for?

Started Jun 27, 2020 | Discussions thread
DMC75 Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: What kind of perfect photo, scene or idea are you longing for?

This is a very interesting topic, and I find it surprising that there is not so much responses. I'm replying Viktor's response because he talks about addiction, and I think this is the elephant in the room (btw, thanks for your blog Viktor, I've checked many times in the past!).

I think this it's a complex issue, since any answer is likely to become a self-justification for making up for an addiction to unnecessary purchases. The line that differentiates the accumulator from the collector is quite thin. I question this myself many times, I think it is healthy.

In my case (+50 lenses) in each of the acquisitions I remember perfectly what was the reason that prompted me to buy it, most of the times because of its bokeh (swirly, bubbles, swirly-bubbles, doughnuts, soft vs busy backgrounds, etc) or others like sharpness, brightness, portability, flare characteristics, vignetting, dream look, etc. For each of them there was a reason, and many times simply monetary (hey I bought a Pentacon 29mm for 5 euros, who would have let it go?). I don't like to go out always with expensive lenses (I consider "expensive" from 100 euros to 150 euros, my max. in recent years) it depends on what I'm going to do and where I'm going to go I feel more comfortable with things that if something happens to them I'm not going to cry too much.

Of course there is redundancy, a lot of it in fact. Every day I go out on the street with only one lens, depending on the type of photos I would like to take that day. Many times I come back with images in which any other lens in the collection would have served the same purpose.

But other times there is a match in how I felt that day, what I wanted to achieve and what I finally managed to photograph. When everything lines up I feel very good, the endorphins run and I'm happy to own that particular lens.

I currently post on Instagram, and I hashtag the lenses. I found interesting galleries this way, and hopefully someone find something interesting on my pics.

To me everything is about fun.


verybiglebowski wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Adapted lenses give me choice. After over a year of having probably too many, I paused for a second and asked myself ", what the heck do I want to achieve that merits me taking time away from other tasks, people and having so many lenses for my own pleasure, that I long for and need the lenses for?"

It has helped me a bit crystallize something felt but not articulated- a growing UNEASE. A discomfort, as my ability to own great, varied, vintage optics now greatly outmatches any purpose or goals.

In my case, I thought a bit about it, and while I have no perfect answer, it's clear that doing general photography isn't it. I don't always need the best lens or all this variety to make yet another portrait. I could use 1 our of maybe 30 50mm lenses I have, and all photos would achieve more or less the same goal.

I still don't have the answer, but I have confirmed the sentiment, and I have set some clarification statements.

In my case, collecting lenses and film cameras is a process, not a determined state of mind. Like many others I started out of curiosity, looking for the "magical" lens that will render "artistic" images on its own. With time, it becomes the addiction and I can say that today I am more of a collector than a passionate user.

Also learning about old lenses was an intense and highly motivating period of reading and sharing the knowledge.

The investment aspect (buy cheap, sell for more) is also there, with the only problem - I hate to give away my lenses. So I buy much more than I sell. Moving from the cheap and widely available optics to the more scarce and harder to find, brought me to the stage where I realize that I spent much more on this hobby than on other things - such as cars or restaurants. As far as it is a material comparison, I don't really care, but knowing that I could travel much more and get to some amazing locations or invest in more sophisticated photo production, raise the warning sign.

It is a time to admit - I need help...

1-Positive impact in a broader viewer audience

It has nothing to do with becoming famous, popular, or even recognized. It could be anonymous for all intents. And I'd be totally fine if it is just to please myself. But I am honest, that that's not the case. I already do photos I like. And in many cases, I enjoy the act of experimenting doing photos even more than the photos themselves, which is ok if one is learning or only sees it as entertainment or killing time.

Yes. In my case too, it was partially the effort to make things differently so that they can help me to create my own visual signature. However, there was always that curiosity too, to hold an old lens, thinking of what it could have seen and recorded in its life and to look to the world with the different eyes, may I say so. Something like inviting Machiavelli for the dinner to talk about the current political situation.

Probably the strongest motivation comes from the simple fact - newly acquired lens, inspired me to go out and take some photos. This was the motor for the longest period of time.

2-I do want to make them with old, vintage glass

This brought the question...but does it really matter? Why? Look what I can do with 80 year old tech? What is even the purpose of putting which lens I used next to a photo? I decided I will no longer ever mention what lens I used unless asked about it.

I had so many resolutions in the past that my latest resolution is not to make any

So on #2, it is because I like the feeling of the images and the physical connection with no electronics at all, even if I used a higher end modern camera behind it. The interest in the photo, I don't want it to be related to owning anything in particular, such that the value comes from what is owned. For example, someone can break a car speed test. That requires the person to have the car that break the speed and not get killed in the attempt. Likewise, in that same sense, I don't want or need, or I am not after that of thing.

I'd love to have some lenses than most others don't, such as Planar 50/0.7. Certainly not for its optical performance, but for the fact that I can be a proud owner of that famous optics. Stupid? Definitely, but it's human I think.

3-It's not enough to produce and post some photos.

Photos are part of a broader story, theme or purpose. And thinking about this should make my photography something that accompanies a larger idea - even if the idea is ultra simple and unimportant broadly speaking, the point is it will contain photography, but probably be limited to just photos.

For example, I really enjoyed one time I commented a series f photos, as my 5 year old likely would. I really connected a bit with a very very naif view. Not exactly like, much less pretending to be, but just a tiny silly like in the Catcher in the Rye but from a 5 year old commented. This is what I mean by "not just photos", but whatever format allows me to transmit what I want. In this example, the photos could be admired or criticized technically: that'd be so silly, as the story was about 3 hours in the woods with 3 kids chasing bugs, naming plants, escaping ants, or climbing trees.

Anyway, I was just wanting to share this. And, no, I don't feel "bad" about owning a lot of beautiful glass. It's that I think I feel a little bit responsible to put this glass that I own, or maybe I pushed myself to own all this beautiful glass to the ask myself these questions.

If anyone would like, I'd love to hear their motivation, which can be just collecting these beautiful optics, having fun shooting everyday things, that'd be fantastic too.

I really am just posting the above to apply to me, and don't think anyone should have any other justification much less share it. But if anyone wants, I'd love to know - and also, I am thankful for Tom and all the other members here that give great advise and recommendations, and share beautiful samples on an ongoing basis.

In my case, the above written relates to the creative crisis, not directly connected with the legacy lenses or equipment in general. My mantra is to put the content above the form and sometimes, the new ideas stop coming.

There are always "new" forms to shape your content. Film camera Pen F, (the half-frame format in portrait orientation), inspired me (internet search) to try diptych and triptych storytelling. Things like those open new possibilities and new aesthetics and bring up often new motivation.

Everyone would probably find a different way around it, some will switch the photography for other hobby, others will try a new genre, few will buy even more equipment or start a blog. In my experience, a creative crisis hits everyone and not once per life.

A few years ago, I decided to take a drawing book instead of the camera whenever I went for the walk or to downtown. That was a very inspiring period and a great practice to see things differently. Not for the quality of the draws (I am a terrible illustrator) but for finding new ways how to look and see things. Up to today, for most of my work (always for the conceptual images) I first take a pen and paper.

For the general approach to the old lenses - I changed the way I think about it (and I expect it will evolve further). I am not looking for the sharper, creamier, crazier, and certainly not for the "better" or "best". I am trying to recognize the lens characteristic and then think of the way to use the best. This process, usually seed the idea in my mind and it starts from there...

Oh and back to the resolutions - I can't remember how many times I claimed that I will sell all that old crap and stick with the essential equipment - result-driven. Usually, I bought a few new, old ones soon after


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