This Blog will soon be 5 years old. It also corresponds to my practice of Street Photography. It seems to me that Michael Ernest Sweet had written that it was after seven years that one mastered his subject. I’m not sure this is true … don’t think I have nothing more to learn by now, but I think a lifetime would not be enough for me to say that I have mastered what I do . When I think about it anyway, I’ve come a long way since I posted my first photos on the 500px platform. I remember like it was yesterday and I can tell it was crap. Hyper contrasted Black & White photos without any real interest. I’m not going to show you examples but you can take my word for it.
It has nothing to do with my style which was different than today. My early years, I looked for myself a lot. which is normal when you start. What has changed is that I know what type of photos I like and that I am also more uncompromising in the editing. What hasn’t changed is that I still shoot a lot. I am a serial clicker. Some people count the number of times they press the shutter button, I don’t. I allow myself to shoot lots of shit, lots of failed photos, blurry photos. There is something that I refuse, however, is to shoot in burst mode. I watched some videos of Nick Turpin on his YouTube channel using the Spray & Prey technique. Basically, he tried to spot an interesting scene and then he takes hundreds of 5 or 7 fps photos to try to capture some gesture, an interesting movement. I was shocked to see this. But he is not the only one to do this. Many Street Photographers use this technique (if you can call it a technique …). It seems to me that Elizabeth Char, had told me that Tatsuo Suzuki was doing the same thing. After all, they only use the capabilities of modern cameras that allow you to shoot in a burst mode. Who can say if Henri Cartier Bresson or Garry Winogrand would not have used burst mode if they had it on their Leica M6s? In any case, I refuse to do Spray & Prey. It takes away all the magic of the practice. These fleeting moments are unique and difficult to capture and that is what makes them precious.
For almost 2 years also, I created my YouTube channel. Just after my visit to Bristol, I decided to upload my slideshows to YouTube because my web host did not allow me to put too heavy videos on my site. The most watched videos so far are those made in big cities (Marseille, Rome, Paris, Toulouse, Bristol). The rest of the videos are pretty confidential. Aix-en-Provence and Reunion Island do not attract much attention. However, one thing caught my attention. Two videos made with the Ricoh GR3 and the Fuji XE2 got a lot of views, while the others tagged with the Ricoh GRD4 got very little. There is no secret. It’s like blog posts. You have to do Gear Porn to attract people. I remain convinced that if I only made slideshows with the Ricoh GR3, my videos would gain in visibility.
Do not think that I feel a sense of injustice in my words. It is in the end quite normal. The niche I occupy is of little or no interest to people. I live on an island that hardly anyone knows about and I use a camera that some might qualify as oldie … Well, I’ll admit that it’s complicated for me to go and live in one of these big cities because I absolutely do not want to! As for the photo equipment, it’s clear that going to GR3 would make my slideshows more visible. Just look at my only video made with the Ricoh GR3! The photos are not great (to say the least) and yet the video totals nearly 1k views … I will not give in and I continue to go against the flow. I’m not going to change things and the Ricoh GRD4 will be used over and over again until there isn’t one left for sale on Ebay! This January, after a short break where I used the Ricoh GR last December, the Ricoh GRD4 is in the spotlight. I know very well that it is not cameras that take the photos. The most important is the eye that is behind the viewfinder (or in front of the LCD screen in my case). But I remain convinced that I could not have made the same photos with a GR or a GR3. The technical limitations of the GRD4 make me act differently and the photos are what they are because they are made with the GRD4.
I’ll leave you with the January 2021 slide show. Ah yes, I’m trying to be a bit of a scam with the slideshow thumbnail. Not sure it works, but at least I would have tried everything!
*** UPDATE: The slideshow thumbnail has been censored by YouTube ! You can read here what happened … I am sharing here the original sulfurous (…) thumbnail that was removed ***
All the photographs were made with the Ricoh GRD4.