365 days of leica

Many of you have asked “where are you?” “what happened with this project?” “I want more! When are more coming?”

Starting things is always the easiest part, finishing anything is the hardest. I paused this project because of the fact I wanted to ensure I made it to the finishing.  

Both this 365 Days of Lomography project, and the previous 365 Days of Leica were, at their root, about the hope of normalizing seeing the world with a photographic eye. I wanted to get out of the idea that “photography” happened only at photo shoots, and that every day “photos” were for iPhones and those images were dispsable; *cough* Snap Chat.

In 2013 when I got my Leica, I wanted to learn it inside and out, and also apply the photographic strictness to my everyday snaps, and I fell in love with it through that 365 Days of Leica project in 2014. But part of what made that project so successful was how simple it was. I had one camera, one flash, one film, and it could all hang around my neck at all times every day. I wasn’t carrying “gear” with me, I was just out and it was an extension of me. What I didn’t anticipate about the Lomography project was that shooting different cameras, that have different flashes, and different films, some of which I could attached to a stap, some that  I couldn’t, was going to complicate the process JUST enough to create a gap between seeing a shot and shooting it.  

Every photographer thats been shooting for more than a few years will tell you “the gear doesn’t matter, its how you use it.” Of course thats true; to a point. Terry Richardson’s early work proved that point in spades, as he shot with basic point and shoot cameras virtually all the time; to the point that models got upset that he wasn’t taking the shoot seriously because of the gear he brought. However, the point and shoots he picked were smart choices; so although gear isn’t the most important part of photography, having some idea of why that piece of gear is great makes all the difference in the world. Understanding its limitations, playing up to its strengths, and having a photographic understanding turns that “cheap camera,” that “point and shoot,” that “toy camera,” into a tool. I think the best way to look at cameras is like a paint brush. Paint brush technology is simple. Wood, hair, bonding agent, GO. Knowing which brush for which scenario is where the skill/talent/experience comes in. Cameras are the same way, a disposable camera is great in certain setting and complete shit in others. A 5D Mark ii is great in almost all settings, but to me feels like “Jack of all trades, master of none.” My normal every day carry is my Leica M6 and a Leica is an amazing camera, and especially for how and what I shoot; and really thats just it. Gear choice is about finding the camera that fits YOUR shooting style.  

At the end of the day the best camera is the camera you will shoot with the most; the camera the seamlessly bridges the gap between inspiration and execution. What  365 Day of Lomography showed me was that, for me, even the smallest gap between seeing your shot and shooting it, breaks down the system. Often times my cameras had to be in my bag, so Id see something, stop, get out the camera and the moment would be gone. Not all the time, at times the Lomo cameras captured images in such a way no other camera would have been better, but restricting my photography in every scenario to cameras that has specific strength started to get in the way of the goal of the project. Not being able to control the circumstances of what I was shooting and having cameras that needed more control meant the gear was getting in the way of the photo. I started to realize that the project itself, being focused on cameras, hardware, technology, rather than the photography wasn’t sticking with the goal of applying a photographic eye to day to day photos. It was applying specific hardware to every scenario and hoping it fit.  

So with all that said, what does it mean? It means I’m taking everything out of the way between me and the photos. I’m going to re-start the project under the name 3 Sixty 5 Photography. Returning to the idea of shooting every day, and not restricting myself to how, or what I shoot it with. I want to be free to use the Lomography cameras and play up to their strength. To shoot my Leica, to shoot my polaroid, to shoot my 3D Nimslo; and even to experiment with whatever else comes along. At the end of the day I want this project to be about the photos and not the “how.” Of course, as a photographer, and a tech guy, I love the technology. I love the “how" part and so I certainly want to keep talking about photography, equipment and gear. But I want to remove the restrictions and “rules” from the project, because it wasn’t leading itself to the best work.  

Starting TODAY I’m going to resume posting photos daily; and I will be making up some ground that I lost while was paused. Given the pause in time Im going to remove dating the photos and simplify the project to numbering the photos 1 to 365. My hope is that I will catch back up to end the project in early 2016, like 365 Days of Leica. I’m super excited to be able to mix Lomography, Leica, Polaroid/The Impossible Project and medium format. Im exited to get back to the project because I LOVE the structure of shooting daily and creating something unique; and Im even more excited to be able to do so with all my tools.  

To all those that have stuck by and anxiously waited for more THANK YOU! I think you’re going to be excited about whats to come. The only bit of house cleaning to mention is that given the change the URL is going to be changing from 365daysoflomography.tumblr.com to 3sixty5photography.tumblr.com. For your RSS-ers you’ll need to update. For the following Tumblr will do the work for you.  

03.14.14 Julie. Los Angeles.

I take her picture to remember the butterflies I get everytime I look at her. To remember how she makes the world melt away when she’s in my arms. To remember the smell of her hair hanging in my face. To remember what really matters. To inspire me to be the man I want to be for her. To dream of the life will share together. To capture the life we had, to share with the future. To remind me what love looks like. To love and to be loved by her.