I recently spent a couple of weeks travelling around Rwanda with a commercial team documenting the decision makers, creatives and leaders among young rural girls. It was a production job for me so I was only shooting location and ‘casting’ photographs. I loved the lack of pressure so much I relaxed and got carried away, just a bit.
What was refreshing was that I originally didn’t intend to shoot anything specific in Rwanda but at the last minute Fujifilm South Africa sent me a Fujifilm X-Pro1 review unit to take along to test. Because I wanted to travel light I only took my iPad 2 and the SD camera connection adapter that a friend had given me. I had a pile of SD cards so I didn’t need to erase anything. Now I usually traipse around with a LowePro Computrekker filled with about 18kgs of Canon kit. Having the almost pocketable Fuji body and three lenses and no other kit to speak of in the field made me shoot for fun again. That by the way, was the refreshing part.
The little kit didn’t get in the way of the subject at all. Not that the Rwandans are difficult to chat to but I realised how intimidating a big DSLR can be especially when you’re working with people in an informal environment. I feel that I was able to engage with my subjects and capture them in a way that I’d never managed before. So it’s true – good camera can make you take better pictures…
Something else that blew me away with my ‘informal’ travel kit was the iPads usability for processing. Wow, I’m totally in love with Snapseed. I also used Laminar to resize, crop, watermark and distribute images to email, twitter and such. Both of these are incredible apps and absolutely worth the money. If you’re patient they go on special every now and again and can be had for next to nothing. But honestly, even at full price they are worth the money.
Downside? I found it totally frustrating that I couldn’t save images back to SD cards with the iPad and cursed Steve Jobs’ megalomania for that. Did someone say ‘jailbreak’? Anyway Dropbox sorted it out to a degree.
I also think that Snapseed processed images may not look so great in a few years (months?) time, though. I think the novelty ‘funky’ look will wear out due to overuse. That said I love what it can do. The challenge really is to stay ahead of the curve, or ignore it totally of course.
What do you reckon? Will it last or fade? Do you have kit or an app that’s brought out something else in your photographic work? Care to share?