Why I Take Photos.

I have had a passion for photography since I was 19. There’s nothing like walking around a city, exploring new neighbourhoods, and picking out interesting details and scenes from everyday life.

I don’t typically share my photos; I just have a private library. The point is not to take photos to then share them online for likes or comments, but rather to enjoy the process of photography.

I used to shoot film with a Pentax k1000 and a Leica M3, but unfortunately, both were stolen during a break-in years ago. Nowadays, I shoot digital with a Fuji X-Pro 3 and 3 Fuji lenses:

  • The 23mm f1.4
  • The 35m f1.4
  • The 50mm f1

I only shoot prime lenses. That is, lenses that have a fixed focal length and no zoom. I enjoy the limitation of having one focal length, and not being able to switch to another focal length quickly. Over time, I have learned to imagine the shot’s frame before I raise the camera to my eye.

This enables me to stay in the moment, and it helps that the X-Pro 3 does not have a screen at the back of the camera by default; you have to flip it open. This creates a nice throwback to the days of film cameras with a similar aesthetic, and also, the extra step of flipping down the screen to see means that I spend significantly less time looking at the screen.

In fact, I may do an entire morning of taking photos without looking at my screen once.

The main reason I take photos is that I enjoy the fact that it forces me to pay attention to details that are present in ordinary life that I would otherwise miss. When walking around, I especially enjoy looking upwards to the second and third floors of buildings, where you can often find interesting windows, arches, and symbols.

I somewhat lack the confidence to take photos of people in the street, but occasionally I do, and I wonder about their life stories and what they are up to that day. What do they think as they go about their day?

The second reason I enjoy taking photographs is that I enjoy the manual feel of the camera and the fact that you have to get out into the world and explore. I enjoy hearing the sound of the shutter as I take a photo, and I think it is important for someone who does knowledge work to do something in their spare time that is more practical. Otherwise, life is just a tad too abstract.

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