Looking to the past

image courtesy of http://www.dpreview.com

It seems that more and more everyday I am turning to the past to find inspiration and personal motivation. Right now I have an affinity for film cameras, old form factor and mid 1950’s road bikes. I don’t really know exactly why, but I think it is rooted in the form of the object and the focus on the actual needs and utility of the experience the products are intended. While I certainly don’t want to be trapped in the past, I do think looking back is important.

In the bike world, my desire right now is to build and restore an old European vintage bicycle. I will be posting next week about a bicycle museum I visited in Nagoya, Japan. This got me really excited as did some of the old parts I saw in some of the Japanese bike shops I visited.

In my other passion, photography, I am finding more appreciation for old cameras with external controls. Cameras with full external controls, shutter speed dials and aperture rings on lenses. The form factor makes the old cameras feel like tools as opposed to electronic devices like my new school Sony NEX 7.

These old tools really make me see what was, and is, important. For me, that is to focus on the experience itself. I need more of that in my life as opposed to getting caught up in the latest and greatest feature. Maybe it is just a desire for a bit more simplicity in my personal world. I am not sure right now. All I know is that these things are motivating me to make some changes and I am excited about how these thoughts are shaping my actions.

One thought on “Looking to the past

  1. Gnat, it is funny how a move towards simplicity can open us up to a new world of inspiration. I managed to replace my broken NEX with a NEX-7, and while it is a modern day camera, compared to my old huge DSLR’s it feels so much more simplistic. I instantly feel more in harmony with my surroundings by using such a small and unobtrusive camera.

    I can begin to understand why so many people still love the Leica M9(8/7/…) because you can simply focus on what the eye is seeing and not be distracted by all the noise of ‘Gear’. Can’t wait to see your images from Japan.

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