Pentax 645Z, the new beginning

Spending many days at home with nothing but work opens up dialogues and self reflection that one could not imagine are possible.

I have not been buying any new gears for sometime now. It has been an amazing journey and like a speech given at obituary, I spend nights thinking about life, work and what exactly ticked me all these years.

I believe in slowing down, that is why i bought, sold and re-purchased several Leicas and used many film cameras. I believe in the invisible driving force of inspiration having value above a spec sheet. I do not subscribe to majority pressure or impression without having tried the tool myself, one of the reason why I still kept the Olympus PEN-F despite the reviews.

Medium format portraiture / Pentax 645Z 55mm / Pang Yi Ling / Kawaguchigo Japan

But above all else, I have always believe that having too many gears, just like having many chefs, spoils the meal, in this case, the very journey of what I wanted to experience in photography. Ironic, contradictory and a struggle that I have faced ever since my first camera in 2007.

Photography should be just like a relationship, a marriage that you undertake with your partner and watch her grow old, together, till death do us part. This was the missing commitment that I struggle to bring in to photography as a result, my collection grew and my obligation to use them becomes a distraction.

Pentax 645Z street photography
Medium format portraiture / Pentax 645Z 55mm, Tokyo

As I pondered on each and every gear I bought, the images I created with them, the friendship that I found with other photographers, models and the conversations that took place. I came to a conclusion that I could very much be able to carry out this journey that I always wanted, a transition from using whatever tools I already have, to just using ONE .

The choice of tool will be the Pentax 645Z that I left at the corner of the drybox (its too big to fit in) and all my other gears will now be in hibernation mode. I would begin to give some of them away. There will be only reduction from this point on.

Medium format portraiture / Pentax 645Z 55mm / Pang Yi Ling / Kawaguchigo Japan

I know how silly this is going to be especially bringing that medium format DSLR into every genre that I enjoy doing including Street photography but it is what it is. The soul searching is over. This beast will be that “one camera” for building muscle memory and the defining partner in bringing out all my artistic visuals into reality.

As the world recovers from Covid-19, each one of us should discover what is essential to each area of our lives. If you are into photography, it is Marie Kondo time.

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