Back when I began taking photos I would typically see a situation I wanted to photograph, and take it in whichever way I could that was as unobtrusive as possible. In public, this led to a lot of reflection images, stills from behind a stranger’s back or distance between me and the subject of interest.
My first real exposure to somewhat invasive street photography was when I was studying art in Italy and was being exposed to various forms, media, et cetera. I became more curious about art in general. I came across a video of Bruce Gilden (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRBARi09je8) and thought it was hilariously ballsy. Recently I’ve been observing self-proclaimed streetogs such as Eric Kim and Kaiman Wong, and it has encouraged me to actually try what they do to see if it fits me. I’m not quite as up-in-your-face as Bruce Gilden, but I do like photographing in public and I’ve been getting closer to the strangers I photograph. It’s fun to exercise different techniques and set-ups. Mostly, I’m just looking for what’s most enjoyable to use while yielding good results.
The Zorki 6 offers a compact solution with a quiet cloth shutter (something many people make a huge fuss about) and excellent lens selection (it’s Leica screw mount after all). I purchased it from someone in Brooklyn with an Industar 50/3.5 that yields excellent results. Subsequent light leaks and a desire for a light meter under darker situations (as well as other woes associated with using a half-century-old device) left me in desire. A recent sale of deprecated videography equipment funded the purchase of a used Bessa R, which has satisfied my steepened demands of a photographic tool. Its shutter is significantly louder, but I’ve realized that doesn’t bother me (it’s the mirror slap of SLRs that has always bothered me). The Bessa has lifted many of the limitations I felt imposed by my equipment, and has made a significant step (may I say a significant few steps?) towards removing the camera from my photographic vision.