I have left a trail of blog posts marking every time an idea crystalized in head. I haven’t captured the little course corrections I made along the way. There is a logical path and you can trace it. I purchased a super cool and portable rangefinder style digital camera last April and now I lug around a 1960s twin lens reflex (TLR) camera. The orderliness part of my head wants to write about the trajectory but I want to skip it for now.
I have nearly abandoned my digital cameras. I abandoned iPhone photography ages ago. The new FujiFilm X100F sits neatly in its soft shell carrying case. I am out walking with a heavy 3 pound TLR camera around my neck looking through a Pentax Digital Spotmeter figuring out which EV reading should go in which Zone. I write down EV readings, camera settings, etc. after every shutter click.
Somewhere along this trajectory, sometime in the last 6 months, digital photography became moot. I shifted away from the decisive moment. Guy Tal too explored this idea in the most recent Lenswork magazine (Issue 134, Feb 2018).
”When I trip the shutter, it’s not because some serendipitous decisive event had presented itself. Rather, it is the random moment when I feel prepared, having spent what time I needed to comtemplate whatever called out — sometimes just whispered — to me…”
If you want a good digital camera then upgrade your phone to the newest, shiniest flagship. I want photography to stay more relevant to me than capturing decisive moments. I want to work hard at it. I want to learn a deeper more focused skill. The TLR camera mirrors the world under its ground glass; it makes you stop and think before clicking the shutter. Nothing in this Mamiya C220 tells you what the correct shutter speed should be. You must figure it out. You decide how much light to let in.
You decide what’s important. That’s hard.
P.S. I don't mean to imply photographing the decisive moment is easy. It isn't. It is a different skill and requires different mental muscles.