SLR or Rangefinder
I would say, something is lost by not ‘seeing through the lens‘. Rangefinders are quite limited I’ve found in this respect especially when getting the exact feel for depth of field.
People attached to the Leica Dream are going to justify why they should buy one. The reality is that a painter and an artist utilises all tools to create his masterpiece, in whatever medium suits the purpose. Attachment to SLR or Rangefinder limits and excludes the other.
Regarding Street Photography, one can use any size camera and be unseen, it is the attitude that counts, not what gear we use. The creativity behind the camera is what matters.
What I’ve found is a common error in nearly every review I’ve seen regarding this subject. People thinking that they should or need to choose one over the other; SLR or Rangefinder. This is an error in thinking, where we are only seeing things from being identified from a singular perspective.
Gradually we can see in alternatives, then holographic and fourth dimensional thinking where we can consider many options all with alternatives, and all from a variety of simultaneous viewpoints.
Street photographers seem to be making the same material as they perceive they need to. ie they mostly follow the trend of the great masters. True creativity and street photography does not follow any curve of way or pattern, it simply exists in the moment, when we choose it to.
This also follows in terms of black and white vs colour. B&W tends to draw our attention to a message in the photo itself, as everything is distilled into this message.
Colour seems to be much more complex, as we need to consider the light in far more detail, as there is simply more happening in the frame, and more of a spectrum to consider…
It follows then, that colour photography, arguably is more complicated for this reason, and requires more thought both pre and post production for the shot. This won’t sit well with street photographers insisting to follow the herd in regards to the masters from 5 decades ago.
On the other hand we can reactively say, ‘I’m doing it my way‘, as if bouncing an echo of the canyon wall… that’s a start, but one is simply reacting. One must learn to go beyond the limitations of duality and thinking, and become more immersed into just being, and learning to create from within out as we observe the world around us with non-attachment.
Follow what ever path that inspires, absolutely, but make your own way…
1. Gradualist thinking concepts are explained in more detail in the Logic in Sequences Series, and the Visualization and Consciousness Classes – John Whitman Ray.
2. The author has owned all types of camera systems rangefinder, SLR and DSLR in medium/35mm format.