While I periodically go out of my photographic comfort zone, I usually do so in ways that aren’t too different from what I’m used to. I will change cameras or lenses but I tend to avoid techniques which risk overwhelming the photography.
Granted, almost anything photographic can become an exercise in technique over content.* The dangerous ones though are those which are fairly easy to do yet have instantly-recognizable and eye-catching results. As a result, they tend to be used as photographic gimmicks rather than useful tools. It’s hard enough to see differently; throw in a gimmick and it’s even harder to avoid falling for the flickr wow factor.
*This will eventually be a post of its own.
One such gimmick is through-the-viewfinder photography.* I have a Kodak Duaflex II which accompanied another 620 spool purchase for my Brownie Hawkeye Flash. Because the Duaflex doesn’t accommodate 120 as well as the Hawkeye does, I’ve ended up shooting through the viewing lens more than the taking lens. The results end up looking a lot like what Hipstamatic or Instagram do but add some distortion to the edge blurs/effects.
*Another, which I’ve posted about previously and which I have a better handle on in terms of how to use the gimmick rather than be used by it, is shooting with a flipped lens.
My results are not intended to show that I have avoided succumbing to the gimmick. These shots are still very heavily-dependent on the effect rather than what I’m doing with it. I’m just documenting the process of learning how to use a gimmick. Also, I really enjoy taking these.
First, the obligatory shadow self portrait. You can tell from my arms that I’m doing something more than just holding a single camera.