I have been taking photographs as long as anything I do that is artistic. I usually have music at the forefront of my publicized art world, but photographs have been important to me for just as long as music, since I was a kid, first using an old Kodak camera with a bellows and large film, then the ubiquitous instamatic, then buying my first Nikon (Nikkormat FT2) at the age of 14.
I took that Nikon with me on all adventures in nature for many years that turned into decades. I first learned to develop film and print black and white at the age of 16 while living in Norway and attending a Gymnas in Telemark. That same Nikon is still in use by a very energetic and artistic young man who prefers film and negatives to flash memory in our digital age.
I bought my first digital camera in 1999 or 2000. It was at a time when 640×480 VGA had been the standard for digital photo resolution and it looked crappy to me. So I had said to myself that when they came out with a digital camera that fit in my shirt pocket and was at least 1M pixels (3 times better quality) I would buy it and try it.
That camera was the early Canon Powershot Elph. I forget the model (maybe 440?) but it had a burnished metal/aluminum body and 3x optical zoom and could manage 1600x1200p shots with some good software to catalog and even stitch the panoramic shots. I became very interested in how it captured light and colors and how developing the photo digitally was possible using just basic controls of that light and color.
I rediscovered photography through that camera which is also still in use by a friend in California. I have bought and used the Nikon D60 since moving to Hawaii but have also used the iPhone 3G and 3GS camera a lot. I always feel that it is interesting to work with the media I am sometimes forced to use to create something I like.
Carrying around a large SLR camera has both advantages and disadvantages. It can do a superb job within the right setting but sometimes seems to lose the immediacy or intimacy of a moment.
If there’s a Heisenberg Principle of photography, then I have been unconsciously aware of it for a long time. That is, the more equipment and sophistication you bring to try to capture a natural setting in a photograph, the more unlikely you will be allowed to achieve that goal.
The portable camera in my shirt pocket often makes taking photographs more spontaneous and less intrusive for me. I like lo-fi audio recordings sometimes for similar reasons. By lo-fi I usually mean a very basic setup of one mic (mono or stereo) used to capture the ambient setting whether that be just me sitting at the kitchen table playing guitar and singing, or a small to large band setup somewhere. A bit of mastering is usually done to adjust the levels, but not much else.
I have also made complete videos using just the iPhone camera still shots and its Voice Memo recorder for the music soundtrack. They have a personalized character of their own that I am comfortable with.
Photography is an old friend of mine, but I’ve only begun sharing my still photography and music combined into the form of video in the past few years. My videos are currently being demonstrated on my linked blog at davideliashawaii and on YouTube. My original works are all composed using my still photography and music sources.
All comments and any story you might have triggered by these images are welcome and much appreciated! If you’d rather not post your comments feel free to contact me using this form at the bottom of the photographs.
Aloha! – DE