Sunday, February 18, 2018
The Heart Wants
I'll tell you a secret. I don't like going out to take photographs. I make myself. It is very difficult and exhausting. I have a photo/camera fetish, sure, like a lot of other people. You can go to the camera store and see people drooling over cameras. There is something alluring about them, something sensual. A camera is a beautiful machine. And there is a new one that I want. All night I longed for it. I have to have it. That is how it is.
But using a camera is another thing. Like everything else, the more you do it, the better you are at it. We do best what we do most. But it doesn't get easier. The summer I did my surfer series (link), every shoot wore me out. I would drive to the beach two or three days a week with my Holga and some film, and all the way there, I thought, "No, I can't do this today." And when I got there, I was sick with anxiety and dread. I would take my camera in hand and begin to walk still thinking, "I can't do this." Then I would tell myself I would just take the day off and lie on the beach. And then. . . .
The street photography is like that. I think that other people are not as noticeable as I. Yesterday, I forced myself to walk from one end of the Boulevard to the other and back. I will do that in the larger city again today.
But I don't look forward to it.
And still I want the camera. It is a Leica Q. I don't need it, maybe. But I want it. I took the photos you see here yesterday with the Ricoh GRii. It is a great camera, one you can slip into a pocket. The Leica Q is like the Ricoh on steroids, though. It is larger, but cooler. It is does the same thing but with a much better lens and a full frame sensor. They both have attached 28mm lenses. The camera and lens are one. And the Leica Q costs about seven times as much. Where will I get the money? Oh, there is that.
I am going to rent a Leica Q for a week before I decide. I want to make absolutely certain that I want it. If so, I have some things that I can sell.
This is how desire works. It is not rational. It is a thing of the heart. The head hasn't a chance. I've thought of all the reasons NOT to buy it. They are good reasons. The best reasons. And if I buy it, I will have to make myself take pictures every day. That is, I must experience the anxiety and the dread daily to make the purchase worthwhile.
For you see, I don't really like going out to take photographs. It is a difficult thing to do and almost always ends in failure. I know it is not very smart. But it isn't a thing of the head; it is a thing of the heart, and the heart often wants what is bad for us. Right? I should listen to my head. Yup.
But I wouldn't bet on it.