Thoughts about mixing business and pleasure with the same camera and lens...

Just a few random thoughts about the separation of "church and state" when it comes to work and fun photography. Not that work and fun cannot combine but..... it's that "mindset" thing.

When I travel for most event assignments (trades shows, symposiums, speeches, etc.) I have to travel light. I've got to get my stuff on and off airplanes and wrangle it in and out of taxis, etc. by myself. While I always want to take all the cameras and lenses I own I am also trying to fit in lights, light stands, a tripod, some light modifiers and a couple of suits and pairs of dress shoes. 

This means I've settled on a combination of two, mostly identical, camera bodies and two zoom lenses. Right now I'm using the Sony 24-70 and the 70-200mm lenses but in the past I've used Nikon's versions and Canon's versions. Trying to wrangle a bag full of primes for that kind of work isn't practical. And yet when I leave town and travel to some times beautiful places I like to spend some personal time walking around, seeing new cities and shooting the kinds of images I've been pursuing for decades. Somehow, if I try to use the "work" lenses I just can't get the work stuff out of my head. Even the stuff I look for to shoot seems to be filtered in some subconscious process by the "work lenses." Everything feels very f8 and very visually "safe." 

The workaround that seems to satisfy my need for a personal/work life firewall is to bring an "art" camera and lens that is separate from the work camera system. It doesn't necessarily need to be a totally separate system or format, the gear just has to be different from the stuff I'll be using to make the work photographs. 

On a recent trip I was shooting with the Sony A7R2, the 24/70 and the 70/200. I used the Sony A7ii and the Contax 50mm f1.7 as my "personal" or "off the clock" system. It made a big difference for me. And when I really need more separation I'll stick my personal camera into the black and white mode. The limitation of one lens and one body is a nice, formalist exercise. It also helps by keeping the personal images out of the workflow of the work images. It's nice not to have to remove random images from a Lightroom catalog or a delivery folder....

Not sure how the rest of the world handles this but that's my method. 


Anonymous said...

Are you afflicted with "the leans" as you grow older? The two color images lean to the right. Can't tell about the B&W image of the girl.
Have noticed it happening to me as I move to the 70's. Even aware of it I still do it at times. Have to watch it and a tripod helps a lot.

Kirk Tuck said...

What lean?

Bootz said...

Both horizons are slightly tilted down on the right side.

Oddly enough, I've noticed this in my own photography of late.

But are these recent (i.e., Baton Roughe) shots or older ones?

Even "oddlier," I recently commented same about someone else's pics on DPR:


Michael Matthews said...

A minor disagreement (note: civil in tone) -- the second photo appears to tilt to the right, but it is an optical illusion brought on by the angle of the tree shadows in the foreground. Scroll down to the edge of your screen image and align the building's windows or roofline. They're dead level. In the first photo, though, the ocean definitely is draining out of frame to the right. Probably the result of framing or cropping a wide angle shot so as to keep the buildings from appearing to fall backward, out of frame, to the left.

Paul said...

Is it the picture or the viewer's head tilted :)