A little while after sunrise, on a stormy day, the light is quite good to capture the tormented sky and clouds, and the dead city. 
I decided to use an old tiny compact camera from Samsung: the WB210.
Just a soulless rotting place. Uninspiring but I'm forced to be inspired by something in that prison I'm stuck in. That is when an allegedly limited 1/2.3" sensor on a tiny light entry level compact camera comes in handy. It gives me something to do.
They say we see what we want to see. I see what I can see. I see ruins, derelict abandoned garbage. What else is there to see anyway. 
The Samsung WB210 sees what I see too. 24mm, even 21mm, fitting in a little metal box not bigger than my pack of smoke is just perfect to capture the desolation. Dynamic range, noise, sharpness. Who gives a fuck. With some (I like to think clever) post processing, all these images are exactly how I wanted them to be. I see in lightroom, and on my test prints, exactly what I saw in my mind when I took those photos.
It's a jpeg only camera. But the way Samsung decided to NOT over process the files allows me to do in Lightroom exactly what I want to do. Do I miss RAW here? Yes, a little. But it is what it is.
The original files are quite clean, geometry correction is simple and hassle free, thanks to the almost distortion free lens at the wide end. Chromatic aberration and color fringing are well contained, there are a lot of details in the 14MP files. 
Even highlights and shadows adjustments are not a pain in the ass. I shot at -1\/3EV to preserve the sky, I'm pretty sure it wasn't needed in the end. Old habits die hard... 
The light was good for what I wanted to do, but objectively, there was not a lot of light. The WB210 didn't really struggle.
No traffic, no people, not even a stray cat. I can take all the time I need, standing on the road, to frame my next photo. It is a bit tedious on a small 3.5\" LCD screen that is not exactly super bright with limited angles of vision. Or maybe my old eyes don't really help.
Like all compacts, especially from 10 years ago, that little camera is not the fastest thing in the universe, especially when you want to adjust some of the very limited settings. Good thing I have plenty of time and no distraction. There are very few controls: shutter, zoom, on/off switch and playback. Everything else (and that is not much) is done with the tactile screen. That can be frustrating and slow when you don't have plenty of time. I had plenty of time.
Compromising is not my thing. But trying to do more with less is always something that fascinated me. Overcoming the limitations of a tool or finding creative ways to turn into my advantage what would be seen as flaws is something I like to do, especially in photography.
For me, creativity comes from limitations. I care less about some elusive and non definable technical perfection than about taking a photo that actually matches my mental image of reality. 
Does that mean that in the end the tool: the camera and lens, are not important? Well, even if the specs sheet doesn't mean much to me, some tools are supposed to be better suited for some tasks. I wouldn't go bird hunting with that little Samsung compact. Or maybe I should try. It would be harder than with a fast noise free camera and long lens, but nonetheless interesting.
The objective technical details of the camera are just less important to me than the indescribable, not really quantifiable feeling of that camera: I take photos... I don't use cameras. I'm a photographer, not a camera operator.
At the end of that 5-6 miles walk, and a hundred photos taken,the battery was still good. I'm pretty confident I can take 300 photos with that battery. Not bad for that kind of tiny old camera. Turning it on and off and on again is fast enough, and the camera fits in a pocket. I can't do that with a D6.
I enjoyed shooting the little WB210. I actually enjoy all the process, from mental visualization, framing, shutter clicking to the final digital development.
But I don't enjoy this place.

You may also like

Lost in a white old forest
2020
Sometimes, a forest is just a forest. Sometimes, it is much more. Or something completely different. With climate change, snow where I am right now became pretty rare. As soon as I saw the first snowflakes falling from the sky, I got ready for some cold adventure.
Morning walk in a quiet world of trees
2022
In a world on the verge of collapse, I took the Nikon D2Xs, the Tokina 10-24 and a graduated filter for a walk.
An aimless walk a Sunday morning
2020
Goethe said "The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone". I walked alone, in the hope of finding, if not beauty, something that would catch my eye. Updated from "An aimless walk a sunday morning in a dead city,"
Into my darkness
2021
From the book "Into my darkness".
A walk among the tombstones in color
2021
An abandonned old cemetery in the moutain. Autumn colors.
Lost in a golden forest
2020
I am less and less interested in reality. My photos are less and less meant to depict that reality. I want, I need, my photos to depict what I see, what I feel, and that is not what is commonly accepted as reality. This old golden forest may not be old, or golden, or even a forest. And that doesn't matter.
Monsters in the woods
2021
The world is full of invisible monsters. These are the monsters I see when I walk in the woods.
Heat
2020
I love heat. I'm never more happy than when temperature is 100. I love the sun, the sensation of heat on my skin. Maybe I should live permanently in a place like Death Valley. It's pretty boring from a photographer point of view, but at least climate is just right for me.
A walk among the tombstones in black and white
2021
An abandonned old cemetery in the moutain. These are the black and white images.
Emulating the Tri-X
2020
The T-max 3200 was one of my favorite film, but the TRi-X 400 always was my absolute favorite: I could shoot it from 400 to 3200 (and sometimes more) and always loved the rendering and grain quality.
Back to Top