Photographic OIL and GAS

Now that I have your attention, this is not about the oil off our coast or anything to do with the oil and gas sector; this is about photography – Photographic Overall Inspiration Lapse & Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

It may be interesting to see what photographs result from the new-found Oil, but for that we’ll have to wait. This post is about the a little slump I’ve found myself in and a little about some images resulting from a bit of new gear (no, I don’t suffer from Gear Acquisition Syndrome, that’s click-bait too)

Pretty much all photographers go through a phase, sort of like Writer’s Block, where they seem to lose the urge to shoot, or shoot and don’t seem to even want to look back an their crop and choose images to process. There is a lot of advise out there on how to get past this, but as with many such “ailments” it varies by the individual.

Some photographers can simply start a project and get past it, some switch genres, and instead of shooting landscapes they may turn to weddings, or instead of doing street photography, they might turn to product photography; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Some pull back and shoot familiar subjects, letting the familiarity of the subjects take precedence over the actual art of shooting, and the camera becomes just an extension of the photographer again.

I have never been one to truly suffer from Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS), I don;t need new gear, I just want to shoot. For a while I have been shooting less, and while I think I know (knew) the reason, I still couldn’t seem to get myself back into gear (pun intended), and get out there shooting what I love.

Recently, a friend of mine was having some issues with a mirrorless camera, it had some severe exposure issues (keeps under-exposing), so I borrowed it to just test it and to see what I could get out of it. I only took images over one weekend, but the simple act of using it and shooting was just the type of rush I needed, the images weren’t anything spectacular, but it was different, it was a different camera, a different experience.

I just got my hands on a DXO One camera, although its originally meant to be attached to an iPhone or iPad (neither of which I own), it can function on its own; I just need to pester my friend Nikhil to change settings on his iPhone should the need arise (and it will).

Its small, perfect for shooting on the streets, but on its own, there’s no viewfinder and the tiny OLED screen is not very helpful for composing, but it offers a new challenge, and it has made shooting a little bit interesting.

I haven’t done much shooting on the streets while I walk recently, mostly because of the fear of having the camera taken away from me by someone who thinks it suits them better, or that they might be able to make a few bucks off of it. Having the DXO One in hand feels comfortable, its is less conspicuous, and it has a one inch sensor that is pretty good, coupled with a pretty good lens, the resulting images are impressive (to me anyway)

I’m not a proponent of photographers simply getting new gear for the sake of getting it, just to have the latest and best, nor am I advising photographers to get new gear simply to get back into shooting; I am of the opinion (unproven and still investigating) that the way to get back into it is simply to try something different. You may not like it and end up shooting what you like and are accustomed to, but with a new appreciation, or you may find yourself in uncharted and appealing territory (for you anyway), but you won’t know unless you try.

The slump you’re in may seem like you’re locked into a dry spell, but it simply means you need to stop thinking about the lock and focus instead on finding the right key to unlock it. The main thing is, unless you have a camera in your hand, you won’t get any photos, unless you step outside of the invisible wall holding you in and get out there shooting, you won’t know or capture what is out there.

All images in this post were taken with the DXO One, between the 19th and 22nd January 2019 (yes, the last few days if you’re reading this fresh)

I also did some foraging into Candid / Street Photography with the DXO, I used those images for a Street Photography post on the Guyana Photographers’ site, here: Today is Tomorrow’s Yesterday.

2 thoughts on “Photographic OIL and GAS

  1. Good morning Mr. Lam,
    I had an idea today and I thought of looking for an image of a landscape image from Guyana. After a few clicks I came upon your site. Wow! I am encouraged by your explanation of shooting and composition.
    Are you from a family who owned a business on Milton Street? I attended North Georgetown Secondary 72-77.
    I love photography, I stopped shooting in the ’80s.
    I will grab a piece of gear and start again, thanks to your piece I read today!

    Hamid Shariff

    1. Hi Hamid, sorry that I am now seeing this. I am not sure about the Milton Street connection. My father was a sales rep at Stokes and Bynoe, and then at Ralph Lam and Company, after that he was a salesman for Guyana Wine Exporters, and then helped to run St Jude’s Playgroup and was manager at the Catholic Standard. I am pleased to hear that you will pick up your gear, I look forward to your images 🙂

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