I can still remember my first exposure to the phrase "catch 22'. It was during my formative years in high school, and I was required to pick a book for a book report. I really didn't want to do a book report, but I still had to do one regardless. I guess you could say that I was in a bit of a catch-22 then. I picked a book by Joseph Heller named... you guessed it... Catch-22! I didn't really take away any life-changing lessons other than the meaning of catch-22. Catch-22 is defined as "a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent condition". What does that have to do with photography?
Here I am in Vancouver after a brief time away in Europe. As I returned to the streets of Vancouver, I couldn't help but notice that my shots are down significantly. I think that my time away from my stomping ground had spoiled me. Now, I am no longer seeing the exotic buildings and scenery of Europe, perhaps Vancouver becomes a little bit stale in the process. This is in huge contrast with my eagerness to run wild with my camera prior to my trip to Europe. I would love to travel more in the near future, yet this could potentially hurt my desire to capture local images. The thought of losing interest in the local photographic opportunities did not last long. The initial concern was washed away when I spotted a compelling scene.
Vancouver has its share of public pianos. These pianos are left around the city at certain locations for anyone to enjoy. I spotted a public grand piano in Vancouver Downtown Eastside. I didn't quite "see" the piano as much as I heard the beautiful melody which pulled me in its direction. I saw a young man playing next to a lady in wheelchair. The lady was taken by the music and she was moving her hands over the keys as if she was making the music herself. Occasionally, she would look at the young man. I believe her eyes conveyed a sense of amazement of the music and an appreciation for his talent and effort. Shortly after I came across the scene, someone came by to take the lady away. I was glad that I could capture the moment with my camera allowing it to live on for much longer than the instant of my camera shutter.
On a different note, after using a digital camera exclusively for my Euro-trip, I wasn't sure if my feelings about shooting analogue/film would change. Digital is so convenient with a much shorter workflow that allowed me to post pictures from just about anywhere (with a decent internet connection). The digital images are so sharp and vibrant which is a huge draw for most people. As I look at my film images, I realize that I still enjoy the analogue medium. Film renders much differently and it looks more "soulful" to my eyes. Digital feels somewhat sterile and clinical in its depiction of the world. Digital imagery has a level of perfection that is unlike the world it attempts to capture. You can of course use film simulation to make your digital image appear more like film, but I might as well just shoot film in that case if my time and wallet allow for this luxury. As it stands now, my brief flirtation with my digital camera has not change my devotion to film photography. Long live film photography!