I recently bought a new camera and, needing another inter-changeable lens body, I opted for the small but reputedly powerful Fujifilm XT20.
So far, I've only managed to test it out during two very brief trips, once to London and again in Oxford (with my family).
For those two sessions the weather was totally different (London = rain, Oxford = sunshine), but one thing remained the same - I felt dreadful. In fact, both times I'd much rather have been in bed than playing around with a new camera but I forced myself out. I didn't think I'd got anything remotely usable from either trip and at the time I honestly didn't care!
Aside from having man-flu (I'll come back to that later!) and trying out my new toy, the trips were important for another reason - I'm currently enjoying an ongoing period of experimentation in my street photography.
Some will inevitably consider it a lack of direction or an absence of individual style. Maybe a lack of vision or purpose.
Perhaps it is indeed all these things but SO WHAT?!
I'm using it as an opportunity.
It IS an opportunity.
I regard it as an attribute in my creativity. Art is of course subjective, after all.
I like creative freedom and I dislike rules. I shoot whatever I 'see' and I trust in my instincts.
I have eclectic tastes and I get bored easily.
Eclectic definition - deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources
Perhaps 'eclectic' is my photographic style going forward!
Fundamentally, I'm happy with the work I've been producing lately, especially due to my very limited time getting out to shoot. And of course I've still got more cohesive projects that I'm also working on, I just don't put pressure on myself to shoot solely for them.
By experimenting and keeping my options open, I'm preventing myself from getting creatively stale and I'm really enjoying the process.
Interestingly, I believe that being ill had a positive impact on my creativity. I barely had the energy to think about what I was seeing and doing, and felt very lethargic on both trips. Although I didn't realise it at the time, this forced me to rely heavily on my subconscious.
In doing so, I think the conscious pressures and restrictions we often put on ourselves, those that can really hinder creative exploration, were absent.
The challenge now is to be able to tap into my subconscious on demand, and that's not an easy skill to master...
All of the images in this blog post were shot with the XT20 and 27mm f2.8. I'm not bothered about creating gear reviews but, for those that are interested, I've been suitably blown away by the XT20.
It's a very capable tool in a very understated package!
Anyway, for the foreseeable future I'll be sticking to my philosophy of eclecticism. It's working well for me and it's keeping me fresh. If you find yourself stuck in a creative rut, remove the shackles and experiment. Shoot everything and anything. Get eclectic!
And don't worry about consistency - you'll discover it in your own distinct way...
Cheers for now,
(All photos in this blog post are owned by Sonny Nathan)