December 20th, 2016 … Dealing With Your Cameras Personality

Yeah I know I’m the crazy one. I’m the one hanging my ummmm, well… for the ladies, my head on the wall. I tellya it’s true darnit. I hate not cursing and using all the proper werds that a street shooter should know and use. But I am the gentleman warrior. See, we all get cameras and fall in love with them. My young co-publisher Olivier is an expert in gathering gear and then writing about it. He’s on it 100% but (looks around…hmmmmm he’s not here) so we can relax and tell our stories. Hmmm this won’t work either. I’m not one to spread rumors or instigate things but I know I am going  this alone. I will confess and explain and by proxy, speak for most of you but youse alls ain’t gotta worry about anyone thinking your crazy cause that’s my job and the VA gave me a Doctor so that even if I’m crazy, I don’t really know it. In other words, I’ll take the heat on this one.

Lets all agree on the fact that we all hopefully have different ideas and visions to make photos. I personally use the Oly Pen F with a few different lenses, mainly the 12mm that thinks it’s a 24mm.  She is named Serendipity. Then I use the Ricoh GRII and that camera is named Mom after my Mom. Now we have the small big gun, the Fujifilm X100T named Andre’ after ….yes him. So many people think I’m crazy for naming my cameras. I been thru this many times and I haven’t changed, have you, or you?

Here’s the thing and no one, bar no one can hold a valid argument on this simple fact. Cameras have a personality. No, they don’t have personality disorders. They don’t serve us as a tool. Thats the biggest crock of shit I ever heard and I pity the ones that think they have a tool in their hand.

I will explain the Streetshooter conceptual approach and diagnosis of the Camera Personality. You will not get this anywheres else and it’s one of the most important concepts that you must understand. Lets imagine we are out working. We have our trusty camera named **** and it has a 50mm lens on.  I’m telling ya, you are like really seeing, feeling anf breathing the experience of MAKING photos. Your eagles eye vision that you heard about from Henri is like kicking in overtime. If at this point you haven’t named your camera and worked out the personality traits of said camera, well…your ass is grass and the camera is the lawn mower.

Well, your a cocky shooter, got your do do together. Standing tall and knowing, there ain’t nuttin’ better then being a street shooter and then, just then as your cockiness is in high gear, you get the   idea that ya wanna use a different camera. Hmmm, it’s so crazy it just might work. So you and your un named camera # 2 get ready to do it and make the photos that all street shooters for all the rest of time will gaze upon them and just admire the genius that you are…BUTT and it’s a damn big BUTT! You look thru the finder, or at the screen and OMG!… the camera has played a trick on you. It’s function buttons are in the wrong place…. the FOV is totally different, the weight is different, dammit… the friggin color is different. HELP… I NEED A SHRINK! Who the hell said any good shooter can make a good photo with any camera? BULLSHIT! I’m friggin melting and no one can fix this…..

Along comes Don to the rescue and states… if you name your cameras, then when you switch, even a few days or longer, you will be in ZEN and you NAMED camera will be a part of that ZEN. Look, you can go to any number of websites, blogs, classes whatever but you wont understand that the things that make each camera different, well that’s the personality traits. If you want to think that all those differences are like mechanical things and you learn to work them, that’s fine.

I’m a fuck up and I know it but I believe in magic. I believe in the magic of love. I believe that my camera is an integral part of my process. I’ll be damned if I’m going out with my FUJI X100T and calling it just that. Oh yeah, I took this shot with my Fuji X100T. I used F11 @ 1/250… yup… draws hard on the stinky ass cigar and knows he’s a bad ass shooter. NO FUCKING WAY!

Where’s the love of Mother Light? Where’s the magic of MAKING photos? Where’s the connection with the one most important partner in your work? It’s lost and that’s a damn shame. I’m the guy that takes Andre’ the Fuji X100T out and we go looking for photos. I understand the relationship between shooter and camera and post process and the visible feeling of love.

You can do anything you want. You can just be what every book or master or stranger or friends programs you to be, including me. Maybe you take your Fuji X100T out and just know you have a fine tool in your hand. It does as you instruct when and where you say. You are a GHAAAAD and your camera a mere tool and nothing more. This is your choice. If we ever meet on the street, I will be honored to meet your presence. I will even be honored to introduce you to Andre’ and tell you the tales that we experienced making our photos.

I wish you all the blessing of the magic of love and life.                                          Once they let me out of the ward, I’ll post something else……..



14 thoughts on “December 20th, 2016 … Dealing With Your Cameras Personality”

  1. You made me smile as usual, but..I conffess that I am not able to name my Olympus em10… and I thought about it before but no idea how to connect with it…

    Anyway, GRII looks attractive to me, but it’s the money…and Fuji even more money….

    1. Lets face it. It’s not an easy task to connect with anything in life. Many time it requires a strong concentrated effort and then you look at the fruits of your efforts and decide if it was worth the work.
      When we do this with people it’s both easier and harder at the same time. Easier because usually we get direct feedback from them and harder because maybe that feedback requires more work to make things work.

      With a camera, we need to find the way to connect with what many call an inanimate object. So be it but there is feedback. Like when your working all all goes well, normally it’s a feeling of loving the camera because it did it’s job and made you feel special. Then when looking at the photos you made, seeing the fruits of the work and deciding if it was all worth the efforts.
      If you see life as a process of living and learning, then you have the opportunity to realize that you are in a collaboration with a camera but more so with photography. We are and there never is or will be a MASTER. We are collaborators of an with life and doing so with the camera that represents all that we love and live and are thru this world of life.
      You want an easy way to connect to your camera? Go out to work and don’t have any batteries with you, not even in the camera. Or….don’t put s memory card in, or take it out without a lens. Pavel, I guarantee you connect with you camera, negative energy for sure….o4yhfpwuhgfhufhn battery…epoisyfhpyfwpaefnc card….There is no way to not connect like this.
      So, if it’s that easy to connect on negative energy, why not…well… here…..I’m taking Andre’ and Mom for a walk today and the 3 of us are gonna go hunting for photos. (positive energy)

      Be blessed Pavel and Happy Holidays for you and yours. Enjoy the connection with them all and use your camera to record those precious moments that are worth dying for.

  2. Love the post Don. Love your passion and connection to your cameras. Got myself a Pen F a few days ago. Thought about it for a long time … then thought black or silver? … finally decided on the silver. Actually the silver decided on me. It seduced me! Now I have to spend some time getting to know him/her. Looking forward to using the mono settings. Any hints you want to send my way? Take care and have a blessed Holiday Weekend!

    1. Great news Dave. What lens are you using? I do Raw and whatever settings are for the Jpeg, I leave alone. The B&W’s are delicious but I’m a die hard DNG user so I try not to get side tracked. I’d be glad to go over settings with you if you like.

      Happy Holidays

    1. Send me a list of words that may offend you and I will try to shape my emotions around them. If you are offended by my thoughts and feelings, I am sorry about that but I stay true to my heart.

      Be blessed and have a great holiday season…..don

  3. Great blog Don, thanks for writing it! I never realized I needed to name my camera until now. I want to have a deeper connection to x100s but don’t know where to start.

    1. Willem, thanks.
      The way I see it is, naming the camera is a commitment to your life as a photographer. So your starting place is deciding your place in your photography. Once you determine that, then naming or not will be self evident.
      Feel free to contact me at anytime.

      Don’t be a stranger my friend, be blessed.

  4. Hi Don! OK, I had to look for your post on the naming bit – wanted to follow up on it … crazy? I think I’m even crazier than you: Finally my X100F arrived (MOJO included!). But I’m gonna name it “Henri”, after you knowz who (it’s also the french version of my name to boot). Coz somehow the name “Irene” my X100T (black) had don’t fit the X100F (silver). Now if that ain’t crazy, I dunno what …
    Now, whaddya think of that? Take care alwayz Don & be the light with you, Yours, Hendrik

    1. Hendrik,
      I think it’s a fine name. I also feel cameras are gender specific. My X100F is named Andre’. My Ricoh GRII is named Mom….so it’s what makes the connection for you. Like my Ricoh GRD4 is white and named Penelope.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.