Photo Thoughts

Ever since my Ricoh GR 3X has died, I’ve been experimenting a lot with different camera setups. One of them is simple: just using the old Lumix G9 I had lying around, using the Lumix Leica 12mm F1.4 lens, and more recently, getting this really great tiny pancake Lumix 14 mm F2.5 lens.


First and foremost, I think our primary preoccupation as photographer-artists is to create beautiful photos.

I never really thought it would make a difference, but switching from the Leica Lumix 12 mm F1.4 lens to the Lumix 14mm f2.5 lens, I could actually see an insanely huge difference. Things I noticed:

The first huge obvious difference is that the Lumix 14 mm F2.5 lens photos, in terms of shooting portraits, up close portraits of Seneca, the photos are aesthetically a lot uglier. It is almost too rough, too grainy, too gritty. Also something about the out of focus bokeh effect, is really ugly on the F2.5 lens.

Another thing is that the colors, when shooting color photos, intelligent auto mode on the F2.5 lens, the colors look really off and ugly. Something I didn’t think too much about, but if you shoot intelligent auto JPEG mode, straight up on the Lumix G9 with the Lumix 12 mm F1.4 lens, the photos look insanely perfect. The colors are true to life, vibrant, and beautiful.

Photo dissonance

Another huge shocking factor is that when I saw all of these photos that I shot of Seneca, with the new 14 mm F2.5 lens, of Seneca, I had some sort of visual, photo dissonance, which means that I almost didn’t recognize the photos of Seneca.

Then my simple thought: maybe I should just keep the Lumix G9 permanently paired with the 14 mm F14 lens, and just use it as a portrait art camera, and then figure out a more pocketful portable solution for street photography of strangers in public? Or just maybe use an iPhone for street photography of strangers in public and urban landscapes?

Why this matters

Walking around Culver City, downtown Culver City, the Culver City arts District, driving around LA, Sunset, West Hollywood, and just LA in general, my general thought is that it seems that at the end of the day, what we are primarily passionate about is art. For example, even being on Rodeo Drive and seeing the new Mr. Brainwash art museum, thinking about Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, etc.… it seems that the true and goal is towards art.

Even when we think about all these clothing brands, luxury object brands, what is it? Essentially it is consumer art, codified into objects. For example, getting a Richard Mille watch, is essentially an art object on your wrist. Or any sort of designer luxury designer thing, whether it be clothes, shoes, a handbag, sunglasses, I had piece etc.… They are essentially art objects you could purchase and wear and use.

Making beautiful things in your own eyes?

Then what I believe is this: perhaps the ultimate goal that we have is to create beautiful things, beautiful art objects, etc., designed in our own eyes.