I’m in one of those “I should just bloody sell my camera” places today. Yeah, you know the one. Had a run of lousy days shooting, culminating spectacularly yesterday. Every frame in my memory card looked like it’d been shot by someone who’d never heard of a camera before. Pile of useless virtual crap.
Except I don’t really want to sell it. I’ve said many times before, how beautiful I think the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is – especially this graphite edition, ermagherd! – but it’s more than an aesthetic thing.
There are plenty of beautiful cameras in the world. Every banged up edge and scraped surface of this, and the ones before it though, is a marker on my journey: as a photographer, as a traveler, and as a human being who tries and fails and fails and fails, and gets up again, mostly to do more of the same. Great camera; can’t say the same about the idiot holding it.
The X-Pro2 is also a tangible representation of the relationships that photography has brought to me, and how profoundly they have changed my life. I’m still incredulous, after all this time, that I got to live the last 5 and a half years, a privilege afforded by luck of the draw (being born in this country, with this passport, is a big barrier eliminator), doing what work I know how to do, and the kindness of everyone who took a chance on me, personally or professionally.
I’m not one of those people who are extraordinarily successful in school, work, and/or everything else in life. I sucked at school, and try really hard everyday not to suck at work. In life, I do my best, mess up sometimes and make it work sometimes. I don’t do any of it on my own. None of us do.
I didn’t start this long stint of travel by stepping away from some high flying life because enlightenment! happened. In truth, I picked up and went nomad because it was the most appealing option of leaving a life I could no longer bear living, which had nonetheless given me the tools to make my that choice. I’d picked up a digital camera all those years ago because I’m kind of geeky and it’s a gadget. I wouldn’t be a photographer if not for digital. A darkroom is still not something I know how to get access to. Being a child of the computing age, a computer was already a part of my personal and professional lives when a camera properly entered it in 2006. Getting to extend my skills on an available platform? Heck yeah. Access it’s what it’s about. Digital is a massive barrier eliminator. This gadget continues to offer me an alternative way to consider the world and that, for the most part, is why I’m still using it.
A lot of my memorable experiences have had to do with some incarnation of this camera, or its manufacturer. Being a Fujifilm ambassador seemed like a fun prospect at the start, but over the last four and a half years I’ve been one, it’s become much more than that. I’ve been inspired, encouraged, and deeply connected to others who are walking their own paths with a camera in hand, Fuji or not. I’ve had opportunities to extend myself, level up, and try stuff I never would have, if not for the Fujifilm family. Big up Karl, Ib and my fellow X Series enthusiasts!
And that camera up there, the X-Pro2? That’s a better camera than I have any business using. It does take really good pictures if you point it at the right things. The shit ones are all on me.
I write all of this at a juncture. The last post about choices and the end of nomad living for now, wasn’t a rhetorical or self-motivational one. My life has to change pretty soon. At the moment, I have a few choices to make about the paths I could take. I haven’t the slightest clue where any of them will lead. If I’ve learned anything in the last half decade, it’s that what I think is going to happen, rarely has much bearing on what actually does.
I’ve put this off for a fair while, because it’s always easier to go with the flow (even if you know the flow is stupid). But enough already. Time to be an adult about it.
Wherever I’m headed though, that camera up there is coming along. We’ll keep travelling together.
Graphite X-Pro2: Fujifilm Nordic
XF 35mm F2: the gorgeous flare-y pre-production unit from Fujifilm Singapore.
Camera strap: a quality product by Simplr Straps.