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Photograph to Live to Photograph

I thought I'd write something about how I photograph. Or more correctly: How I have photographed. I do believe that you evolve your style of photography all the time, since you learn to master technique or technology more and more. It's all off course depending on what your aims are and what limitations you are stuck with or set for yourself.
I did for years use 'focus free' disposable or very basic cameras. My photography was (and still is, to a degree) used by myself to document my life as I lived it. Perhaps the way to describe it.
As I lived my life the photographs - which always appeared after some time, after developing - heightened my experiences.
After a long time (I lived for more than ten years with the plastics) I aquired a point-and-shoot digital camera. That slowly brought me back to the 'scientific' side of photography like aperture settings and ASA/ISO.
Suddenly I could expose for the highlights. When sending the film away for developing and copies the lab (automation) would decide how a photo would appear. So I'd learned to decide which kind of photo I wanted when taking the picture. I'd use highlights to push contrast since I knew the lab would expose the copy for the highlights, etc.
With the Canon S90 I was suddenly in control and could expose how I wanted - in this case lighten the shadows.
The disposables were not good for close-focus. Less than a meter would make blurred foreground. That could be used by the photographer as a tool. In this case I took a series of similar photos of found objects which made the focus less of a matter.
This is my hand after sanding white planks.
The single use cameras would have 28 or 35 mm lenses so with the added limitation of no focus closer than 1,5 meters or so images of close details were out of the question. It however could be used to add context or framing around the object of interest.
Thank the lab for this automated exposure of this copy.
Flash is not my favourite accessory but in some situations the disposable's built-in flash come handy.
Again, automated copying made my efforts come out as planned.
Full body portrait from a bit above.
 This is an early photograph made with my €1 Olympus XA. It's a 35 mm. Small as a disposable camera, which made me pick it up in the first place.
Low-light fun with the XA.
More low-light fun with the XA.
This is a good example of how you can use the disposable's limitations to your advantage in composition.
As is this one.
Just get really low and potentially dull compositions get more interesting.
Another XA composition, combined with the knowledge of the lab's automation.
Another disposable in action. Also - composition-wise - take a step to the right to add context to your portrait.
More search for the unexpected. This time with the S90.
Once again - using the control over exposure settings to make a more interesting portrait.
The close-focus capabilities was a huge selling-point for me to buy the S90.
Composing with patterns, shapes and colours, as well as with in- and out-of-focus areas.
Just stop for a second and wait for your friend (doing the heavy lifting) to come into the natural frame of the door.
Use the space between the foreground and background to indicate a sense of relief and freedom.
Slow down a bit to allow your friends to be framed by the shadowy area.

I hope this post about some strands of theory and practice has inspired you. Don't hesitate to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading this post! Don't hesitate to comment or check out my Instagram at #ourbooksmalmo. Visit my Etsy shop getOurBooks where there are cameras aplenty to choose from.


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