July 02, 2003
I like this chair

A few days ago I took about twenty pictures of a poster in the tube, for Samizdata, and almost every photo came out really well. I could have used any one of a dozen for the piece. Hey! I'm a photographer! So now I'm back in the groove of taking my camera with me whenever I go out.

Today I was humping an electrical item home when the still (to me) amazing BT Tower suddenly presented itself out of a clear grey sky. So I took a lot of photos of that, and then I came across this delightful chair in a shop, just near the front door. I took about a hundred more photos after seeing this chair and taking a dozen pictures of that, and about half a dozen times I nearly left the electrical thing in the street. But this photo of it is of it is probably the best one I took all afternoon.


The chair was near the front of a shop, and I went right inside with my camera. The bloke at the back, behind his desk, on the phone, didn't seem to mind. In fact he waved. Alright mate? Copying our designs? Any time.

Frankly, most of the stuff in there was pretty forgettable, although the place was beautifully layed out and everything there looked good because of that. But this chair stood out.

It's the contrast between the straight-up classical, normal shape of it, and the outrageous home-made-ness of how it is actually put together (or maybe decorated). I have no idea who made/designed it. I can find no reference to it at the website of the shop, the address of which was, as always these days, prominently displayed on the front window.

I am, of course, not a real phtographer. Not in the slightest. Absolutely not at all. Real photographers know what they want the picture to look like, and they set it up, and they take it. And that's what it looks like. The only surprise is if it comes out even better than they imagined, as what they wanted only more so.

Me, as with all the other digitised amateurs now turned loose upon the world by the Japanese electronics industry, I just get out there and take a hundred pictures, and then pick out the three or six best ones, and try to pass them off as decisions instead of happy flukes.

The only clever thing I did was realise that the digital camera was the first camera ever made that suited me. With a digital camera, I spent all the money at the outset. The marginal cost of taking another stupid failed photo is: zero. And that goes for bother as well as the expense. There's no faffing about with film or taking things to Boots the Chemist so that they can tell on you to the Government. You just take out the little chocolate-biscuit-like object where the pictures are stored, stuff it into the PC, and copy it all across. All the hardware can be used over and over again, including the chocolate biscuit.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:04 PM
Category: DesignPhotography