Tag Archives: Andy Summers

Living by it

Hexar RF with 35 cron

In my Islanders post I said that every photographer can learn something by trying out another than their usual format once in a while and while at the time of writing it I did not have the intention in mind to do this myself, a new 35mm rangefinder came my way (originally intended for our Camera Spare Part service) and I could not resist trying it out, especially since my Leica M6 has been in repair since July last year.

I cannot really tell — yet — what I have learned from turning away from the large format photography I have been doing almost exclusively for one year now. However, I already know it is refreshing in so many ways, not least because you simply don’t feel it is “serious” what you taking photos of (if there is or should be such a thing). You just play around and take the mind into different spheres from what you are normally used to. It probably doesn’t even matter what route you go down, film, digital, whatever, as long as it is somewhat new to you and lets your mind wander down new paths, be open to some surprises on the way. Photography just seems to be that kind of pursuit; It’s all about not being bored.

In the current issue of Nippon Camera is a rundown of cameras that Daido Moriyama used for various books or projects. There are SLRs, compacts… every series seems to have a different camera associated with it. While this may appeal to some gear heads, I think it is significant in a way, but totally meaningless in another — apologies for being vague here, but I hope you get the idea.

And here is another quote to leave you in the spirit:

There is always a spirit of experimentation with photography. You never settle on one particular way of working, I don’t think.

Photo above by John Sypal’s Tokyo Camera Style

Spirit of experimentation

Most people will know Andy Summers as the guitarist of The Police, but he has also been an active photographer for many years. The following quote is from an interview in B&W magazine:

There is always a spirit of experimentation with photography. You never settle on one particular way of working, I don’t think.

On digital:

I’m not happy with digital. I think it has been forced upon us. I shot this tour digitally with Canon gear but I was not happy with it at all. I felt like I wasn’t connected to my shots any more. Digital is so disposable and people seem to loose sight of composition and basic camera craft. They become result orientated and not into the moment. Digital is information. Film is nature. It’s the alchemy between light and silver that turns me on. That magic is not there for me with a microchip.

The film vs. digital comments are so distracting by now and you tend to dismiss anything or anyone stating them and you get into the CD vs. vinyl thing. Also I am always uncomfortable when people over 50 years old make such statements, but I suppose those are experienced folks and the people we should ask for experience, not the 20 year olds.Nonetheless I think he makes some interesting points that resonated with me, especially the first statement and the part about becoming result-orientated. I actually think musicians have a lot of credibility because there are certain commonalities between the media that lets you draw parallels. Also in music they have had digital recording for a long time and get nobody has given up electric guitars for synthesizers (well, they tried in the 80s).