An Apparent Retrograde Motion


Last week I delivered an article for an upcoming Photo Life issue, about street photography, privacy laws and their impact on our ability (or desire) to capture the world in general. And in the process I was forced to note how these affected me as well—maybe even contributing to this slow dive into abstraction I recently wrote about.

I’m getting ready to leave for the UK this coming sunday (for Snap! 2019) and I’m still on the fence as to which kit I’ll be bringing. One camera/one lens obviously, but beyond the specific choice of gear I’ve also been toying with the idea of forcing certain limits on myself. I thought of using the X100F but shooting solely through the OVF for instance—like I used to, back in the good ‘ol X100 days. But that may be a bit much. Mainly, I want to force my eye back to documenting and relying to a much lesser degree on shallow depth of field, which can easily become a crutch...or a cop out. And traveling is the perfect excuse to weave a proper story.


I grabbed the camera for a couple of hours on Monday and did what I guess we could call a practice run, resisting the urge to play dentist and open wide (terrible pun, sorry). I set the camera to Raw+Fine, using a new Bresson BW custom preset on the JPEGs...but after ingesting the images, colour seemed a much better choice. So these were all processed from the raw files in Capture One 12.

As for the subject: it’s easy to stop logging what may seem like minute changes in the flow of our lives. They all appear to blend in together after awhile. And yet look at Jacob, sitting with Watson. He’ll be off to Ireland in a few short weeks, on a ten day field trip. Spreading his wings.

Same decor, same actors.
And yet barely similar.

Shot with the X-T3 and XF 35mm f/2 R WR