Last year, I bought a Fujifilm X10. (It’s the “little brother” of the somewhat iconic X100.) I wanted to shoot more, but wasn’t willing to lug around a bulky DSLR. This small rangefinder style camera seemed like a nice step between an iPhone camera and a professional rig.
Lately, I’ve started to properly use this camera—and it has, as a result of its form, affected how I shoot. The X10 feels “real,” like the film cameras I grew up with and used in art school. It’s also very understated, quiet, and discreet, allowing me to carry it anywhere and snap a few photos without disturbing anyone.
What I love about taking photos on the street is that it allows me to interact with all kinds of people. Some are happy just to have their photo taken; others start chatting and tell me about their lives. I’m a bit of an introvert, and am pleasantly surprised by how the camera can open up new conversations.
Additionally, taking photographs forces me to observe. I seem to pay more attention, see unique moments, and monitor for interesting people, instances, and compositions. Having not shot many photos for 20 years, I find myself trying to remember why I ever stopped.
Many of the photos I take are in Gastown—the community I’ve worked in for nearly a decade. This part of Vancouver is home to those living on the streets, wealthy newcomers, silly hipsters, and all in between. I try to keep the camera on me at all times and walk with it after work and on breaks. I also carry it with me on trips away from the city.
I’ve tossed some of the resulting photographs on tumblr. I acknowledge that the photos are amateurish. I am a novice, after all. With time, though, I hope to improve. You can take a look at the first few at karj.tumblr.com.
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