If this all goes wrong, I’m blaming Mike Johnson.
It was his article for The Online Photographer “The Leica as Teacher” that started all this.
It struck a nerve though. Most photographers can sympathise with the problem of G.A.S. – Gear Acquisition Syndrome and I certainly suffer. Whenever I can’t (read: don’t make time to) get out and shoot I find myself reading about cameras online. Not photography, not photographs but cameras. Then I start wanting the shiny new toy I’ve fallen in love with the idea of and the man-maths comes out to justify the purchase. Soon enough there is another box arriving on the doorstep and my other-half is rolling her eyes again.
If this is the part where you expect to hear my reasons (excuses) for buying a Leica to solve this problem then you’ll be disappointed. This is instead my pledge to buy nothing more. I am lucky enough to have everything I need for this project already; the beautiful Bessa R2A rangefinder I bought six months ago, a pin sharp 35mm f/1.4 lens to mount on it and an ample supply of film to wind through it.
For the next year, I will not buy any more kit. I will not even use the other kit I already own. I will shoot with one combination only until I have learnt it and learnt it well.
My Version of the Rules:
- One Camera – My Voigtlander Bessa R2A
- One Lens – My Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 Nokton Classic
- One Year – From the 22nd August 2014 until the 22nd August 2015
- (Mostly) One Film – I will buy Ilford Delta 400 in bulk and use it unless there is a particular need for something else.
- Get out and shoot – At least one roll per week.
- Share – I will post one picture a day here. I need to shoot enough to make that happen.
- Print – I will print every photo I post here for my own personal enjoyment.
- Print Big! – Once per month I will print my favourite for framing on my wall at home.
By the end of the 12 months I hope to have a body of work worth looking at but more importantly I hope to have learnt something along the way. I hope that sharing the experience here will give me another reason to stay honest and if it sparks an interest in a few others then all the better.
(the small print – I am still allowing my self to use my DSLR for “work purposes”. These include paid gigs, selling things on eBay, stuff like that. No pictures I will personally want to look back at though. I am also allowing myself allowing myself limited use of my phone to share images on social media but it should be for documentation only, not artistic purposes.)