Life without a viewfinder…a photographic journey through Spain.

Even though I’m a die-hard pinhole fan, on occasion I still like to break out the no-fail photo machine – my digital SLR – an Olympus E-Volt E500. How can I shun the very artistic medium that unleashed my inner creativity? Yes, my pinhole obsession began with the digital camera. I will always appreciate digital photography for its’ simplicity and nearly flawless, photographing capabilities.

Being my first trip to Europe, I felt that this was a great opportunity for me to shoot digital again. I’d have to say…I was quite pleased with the results. I wanted to capture as much as possible and shooting pinhole just couldn’t offer the flexibility I needed. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t neglect my beloved pinhole, I just saved her for another day! Any pinhole photographer can agree – taking a handmade camera into the streets can prove to be a bit more than eyebrow raising. Though, I’d have to say, most passerby’s do nothing more than observe with silent curiosities.

For the most part, these images were created using my so-called ‘altered’ digital techniques. I substituted the Zuiko 4:3 lens for a cheap ($20), generic wide-angle attachment. This is now my attachment of choice when shooting digital. I found the vignetting to be comparable to a Holga or Lomo camera. With preference to pinhole techniques, I decided to shoot my digital images in a very similar way. It’s amazing how much more you can see, how very present one becomes in photography (or life in general), by giving no attention to the viewfinder.

So, it was during these moments, ignorant to the viewfinder, that my thoughts gave way to silence…I was not the photographer. For being one would have only hindered my creative nature. No, I was a passerby in a foreign land. I observed it all, not noticing how different the Spanish culture was…but I appreciated all of our similarities…all of the very simple characteristics that makes one human.

Consumed by this newfound compassion, the idea of framing became a thing of the past, as I was living in the moment. With my cheap lens attached and camera at my waist, I became a passerby – silently observing, the simplistic beauty of an unfamiliar territory…all without a viewfinder.

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