Craft inhabits whatever medium or tool you work with, if you let it.
I revisit Craig Mod’s articles every once in a while, just to feel what he’s feeling at these times of digital/analog transition.
The above, from 2014, recall Mod’s thoughts about how mobile phone photography – always connected, quality digital files, the idea of a singular photograph changing – was growing into its own.
With everything set to automatic, where was the craft in an iPhone photo?
Mod’s point: It’s all in the restrictions you put on yourself.
It’s one reason why I love using a 10 year old digital camera to make most of my images. Almost nothing is automatic, there’s no video setting, and only 12 megapixels. Every day is a limitation.
But even with cameras with auto HDR and leveling and intervalometers and all that, you can make using your camera feel like driving a manual transmission car if you still want that experience.
Turn the display off. Turn auto everything off. Set your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO on manual. Don’t use built-in filters (or do, and treat it like film stock). Etc.
Cameras these days have few limitations. So make up some, and start a new project.