Where I live there is absolutely NO place for street photography in the classical sense of the term. Everybody is in their car and people walk in the streets only as transition between their car and their destination. Crap, what the heck am I supposed to do?
Shoot everything else of course 🙂 One has to be careful not to let their preconceptions get in the way of their photography. I think this is where a point and shoot kills every other camera type, it's always in your pocket, and your pocket is always with you. This is why even though it's a dry street photography season for me (I didn't go and seek the crowded streets, mind you), since my GRD IV is always in my pocket I can get some nice photographs of random stuff.
Editor's note: These are old photographs, I had a matte thing going on back then and saved my images small.
One of the most important features of the GRD line of cameras is their macro function. I am always amazed at the quality of the macros and how close this thing allows you to go. When I sold my GRD III (a mistake) I used my phone as a camera, and when I wanted to do a close shot of something, I was like “Why doesn't it want to focus?” forgetting that I was not shooting with my GRD.
I don't remember being that much of a fan of macro, but the GRD IV really got me into it, and I pretty much cannot do without it now. When I can't work with an overall scene, I look for the little details, the things that are looked over, and shoot them with the camera up close, like this cool looking thing below with a hole. No clue what it is.
I think every photographer must have a Ricoh GRD or an alternative always in their pocket. You simply never know what you are going to get, the photograph below was taken when I was going for gourmet coffee. It was early and I did not have my coffee yet (I'm a zombie without coffee), the place is one minute away…why take my camera? Since I have this policy of always having the GRD in my pocket I was able to get away with an interesting shot.
The thing about the pocket it, it is just a slip of the hand away, so you have very fast reflect time, and provided you have the correct settings set up (Like A mode, auto ISO, snap focus) you have lightning fast reflex time to shoot. Since the camera turns on fast, you are ready to go in about 2 seconds.
If there is something about the Ricoh GRD IV, it is the secret knowledge that their owners have that this camera is one of the very best, but doesn't look like it. Try to tell people you shoot a “Ricoh GRD” and the response you are going to get in their eyes is “You poor bastard, you don't own a real camera”. It's amazing that so much dreamy goodness is crammed in that little space, my jaw dropped when I zoomed in on this random image I took:
Ready for it?
You can see the lines of the tires, the little TTC (?) mark but oh my goodness you can even read “made in Korea”. I was never so much impressed until I saw what power the “GR” lenses had. Kudos Ricoh! There is a satisfaction that you get when everybody thinks you are playing with a harmless little camera when it is some sort of DSLR in disguise.
It feels good that you have such a camera in your pocket always because you know that everything you shoot is very usable and you can pull out nice large prints out of anything you can capture with it. It's like having that tiny gun that Will Smith had in Men in Black, the one that did massive damage but looked like a toy.
It's been 8 years since I wrote this article, I have learned a lot about photography. These images and words warm my heart still! It's proof that everything is a process.