Look, Mum! LookLook!

on August 28, 2021
Some of the first messages we try to convey to our parents are done with simple means. A pointed finger - a cry to " look ". Often these are before we can really form a sentence to explain what we want them to see. We've seen something and they must see it. And to be fair, that's what we do a lot as parents when we want to the children to see something - but we most often explain what it is they are meant to see. In today's charged world this would probably be complained of as " parentsplaining ", but I'll leave you to fight with the social engineers yourself. I'm just glad they aren't equipped with Bailey bridges... But back to seeing and showing. As photographers we generally say that's what we do. The seeing and showing may be artistic, commercial, editorial, or any other division but it essentially comes back to using the camera like a finger to point out something. Good photographers can do this with good gear ( and CE sells good gear ) and good thought. We sometimes have classes that will cut you off bits of thought that you can go home and plant. A bit of rain and sun and they'll grow. If they are good thoughts you'll get flowers and if they're not you'll get weeds. Some photographers grow potatoes. But back to seeing and showing. I looked through the cabinets at the Stirling street shop last week to select cameras and lenses that would do just this - upon an simple basis. Cameras that you can use to point, shoot, and show what you saw without having to develop a complex dialog to explain it. People will listen patiently to explanations but only for a short time - visuals do it better. I came up with something from nearly every cabinet, but the best bets seemed to be in the Fujifilm, Nikon, Leica and Sony sections - You can see if your favourite brand can do something for you: a. Leica. Ask to see the Leica Q2 or the Leica C-Lux. The former carries the price tag but has performance to deserve it. It pretty well matches the average field of vision and can translate anything that comes in front of the lens into a direct representation without distortion or difficulty. The C-Lux is smaller, and features a smaller sensor, but adds a zoom lens to the mix. In both cases the wise Looklooker will go through the menu options to find the closest correspondence between what goes onto the file and what their own vision sees. b. Sony. The Sony VX-1 and any of the RX100 series...like the VII model...qualify for today's post. They are what we thought as small travel cameras when we travelled, and feature good zoom lenses for this purpose. I should favour the VX-1 if my reportage was going to be video work, and look carefully at the additional accessories Sony put out to make it easy to be your own video presenter. The company also makes a very expensive fixed-lens camera witn a full-frame sensor rather in the style of the Leica Q series. Not common, but sought after. c. Nikon. The Nikon people use the model name " Coolpix " to identify their compact cameras. The Coolpix W150 is one of the simplest of these while the A1000 is far more sophisticated. I honestly can't say which I'd prefer to carry - one is so small and simple that it could ride anywhere while the other has much more capability. The real secret of the Looklook movement is to carry a camera ALL the time and use it MOST of the time. Your viewers may not want to see all you saw, but - quite frankly - as you get older you will appreciate the record of your vision more than you'd think. If you saw something that you wish you could remember...it's just sitting on the edge of your memory like a dream on waking - it's a delight to be able to throw it on the screen and re-enforce your grey cells. Of course you need to beware of seeing things that distressed you then, because they'll do it all over again. d. Fujifilm. Well, I handled the Fujifilm X-100V with confidence and took some sample shots with it. I'm still lusting after it, with no reasonable excuse, but you may not have 5 other Fujifilm cameras glaring at you from the storage rack and thus be free to consider a purchase. One lens, sealed up from dust, projecting onto a sensor for which it is exactly matched. A set of film simulations that do what they say on the tin. A set of controls that can be understood ( by someone with experience of 5 other Fujifilm menus... ), and all you need to do is electrify it and tote it around. With all these cameras, the Looklook principle demands that you have the things set to your own vision long before you point them. If you pick a subject that you are familiar with, shoot it with different settings and pass these on through your processing line until you get to the end, you can start o adjust for your own vision. There is no magic combination, and your settings may differ markedly from those of your companions or the design team at the factory. This is not a error. It is you and your vision. Whatever it may be, if you are content to steer through life looking out of your own windows, you can legitimately pursue the Looklook art by showing that view to others. You may get derision or sympathy, but you cannot be accused of deception.