After years of following your site and months of procrastination, I’ve finally got my Bag shot together. Seems to be customary to give a little background first: I’m a 37 year old graphic artist working in London, and have been taking photos with some degree of commitment since 2003 when an ex-girlfriend inspired me to buy Lomo LC-A. Back then, I was the only one amongst my friends to really take pictures – it was still early days for digital, and photography was a niche endeavour, film or pixel. So much has changed since, and I’ve come close to quitting several times due to feeling that I was fighting a losing battle against the dilution of the value of photography – images taking on the form of chit-chat (‘this is what I had for lunch’, ‘look at this poo it made’), taken almost as if their disposable nature was the very point. I always come out the other side though, reaffirming the reason I started this to begin with – which is to create a real and valuable life’s work, hopefully done with humour and artistry, that I will look back on time and again.
So, on to my work practices.
My fast and loose shooting style is greatly influenced by my time with the (now broken) LC-A and the way that scene really helped my knock down and rebuild everything I was taught about photography. For all the many accusations levelled at the Lomo Society (money-grabbing/artistically redundant/exploitative/ruiners of photography, to name four) – they really helped freshen up the landscape (although they should also probably be held responsible for Instagram) and inspired me to take this up in the first place.
Although until recently I used 35mm film predominantly, now that digital tech has caught up somewhat near to the organic qualities of film, I work at about a 50:50 split. The only digital tools I’ve found that work for spontaneous captures are the Ricoh GRD range (I use the original GRD I over the III or IV for its unique jpeg processing engine), so this and its 35mm older brother are my go-to street cams. ‘Snap Focus’ is the best small sensor feature ever, and kudos to Ricoh for being the only manufacturer to implement it and make these special little cameras for street photographers. Sometimes I’ll take the Fujifilm X-E1 paired with 21mm Voigtlander m-mount (perfect for zone focusing), but this, along with the Yashica Electro 35GN are more often used for slower, considered assignments or family stuff.
I use a lowepro 160 AW bag (just in shot) which suits my needs fine, even if I’d prefer something a bit less functional looking. The other items I’m rarely without are:
– Rolls of spare film. I use all sorts, but mostly Fuji Superior 400 for colour or XP2 for black and white. The Kodachrome are saved for best, if I can even get them processed.
– Lenspen, sharpie, ballpoint and notebook. I still write all my photo notes on paper – ideas, sequences, themes, notes on exhibitions, etc.
– Painkillers in case of headache, lighter, headphone splitter (used on long journeys with company), spare batteries, ipad, iphone, raybans and an orange.
I also use an Olympus XA2, Polaroid Land camera and Impossible film, SLRs for certain things, but everything in the shot is my usual kit.
Hope you liked taking a peek. You can find my stuff on Flickr (www.flickr.com/timtop2). I’ve also had work published in “The Lomo LC-A” (ISBN 978-3-902217-16-5) .
A big thanks to Mindy, for helping me set up the kit!
Thanks for sharing your bag with us Tim, nice to see such complimentary cameras together.
Check out Tim’s link and make sure you come and comment.
Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Japancamerahunter.com. Send me a hi resolution image of the bag (please make sure it is horizontal) and its contents, with some details about yourself and what you shoot. Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here.