Lite-Touch Photography

I’ve been reflecting on what will soon be a year of toying with the idea of doing photography, and how it has represented a liminal time in which I’ve been gradually transitioning out of understanding what I do as “taking photos” into kinda maybe sort of imagining myself as “being a photographer.”

It’s both a subtle distinction and one that’s completely serious (ask any professional how serious it is), and one that I didn’t see myself ever engaging in when I started reading Sontag, Benjamin, and Barthes on photography. I had meaning-making on my mind and wanted to wrap my head around the media saturation in which that meaning is made; I wasn’t planning on actually getting my hands dirty.

But the universe had other plans, literally shoving camera after camera into my trembling hands as if to say yalla habibi, bikafeh tfalsuf (shut up and do it).

I don’t know what sign I’m waiting for to mark the end of that transition. Maybe it never really ends. In any case, I now cringe less when I think about it, which might be enough.


Since I’ve been posting all these photos from 2011, it’s only fitting that I should also start winding my way backwards through this test roll I just got back!

I’d put this through a Nikon Lite-Touch kindly donated to my personal hungry hungry hippo fund by @saraleopoldphoto. It’s a pretty little weirdo with champagne and gold accents and a zoom lens that’s louder than the shutter…

This was also my first roll developed by the cool cats at @moodysfilm. Not sure what happened on that first slide, which was the very last frame on the roll. I suspect the Nikon autorewind was being a hungry hippo too, and I don’t hate it! Don’t shoot film if you can’t handle things being a little bit out of your control.

These two shots were taken during a little location scouting earlier this month. Scroll back to compare them with digital version of the same angles I’d posted when we got back home.

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“My mind’s an ocean
Plastic island in the ocean
And I can see it, distant
The wheels are turnin’,
but you’re spinnin’ out.”

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One sign of reaching the tail end of that transition is my growing comfort with liking what I like and not over-thinking or second-guessing myself as much. I like this photo. I like how my Nikon Lite-Touch decided to auto-expose it.

At one point, I would have trashed this photo because it didn’t “come out right” or isn’t “good enough,” but I’m more and more comfortable with posting beautiful garbage.

BTW, just so you know, this is hands down the best phở place in all of Washington. Do not say that you have not been informed.

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