shortfilm

From The Hip by Simeon Smith

Lomography started it all. 

I blame Maria.

She introduced me to this weird world of film cameras via the plastic fantastic cameras of Lomography. 

hip4.jpg

If you’ve never heard of the company, they try to portray themselves more as a movement than a business, and do this via their “10 Golden Rules”, one of which is “shoot from the hip”. 

Shooting from the hip is supposed to be about surprising yourself. About not being sure what’ll come out. About guessing. About speed. About stealth. 

hip2.jpg

I think it’s something that all kids do, if given a camera. Take a photo without looking through the viewfinder. Most beginners do it too, just playing around, trying things out. But if you’re a beginner or a kid with a camera, you’re not going to be any more or less surprised by shooting from the hip than by trying to compose the shot properly. Especially if you’re using a plastic toy camera. 

The people that really need to shoot from the hip are people that have been taking photos every day for the last few years. We’re the ones that have been repeating the same, boring composition ideas time after time. We’re the ones that “know how” to take a photo, but have forgotten how to make art. We’re the ones that could do with surprising ourselves. 

Hip3.jpg

So the other day I was meeting Howard for lunch. We had veggie burritos at Bynmill Coffee House near my office. On the walk there, and the walk back I shot from the hip. Exclusively. No looking. 

Are these great photos? Well, no, not really. 

But are they different to what I’d usually do? Sure. Did they get me out of my comfort zone? YES. Were they a challenge to select and edit? Definitely. 

hip1.jpg

Give it a go. Shoot from the hip.

Push The Button. by Simeon Smith

body language.jpg

Push the button. 

Push it out of sheer joy. 

Push it because you might catch the moment. 

Push it because you might not. 

Push the button. 

Push it out creative impulse. 

Push it out of boredom. 

Push it just to hear the familiar sound of the shutter firing. 

Push the button. 

Capture your brightest hopes and darkest fears.

Capture your friends and your frenemies.

Capture your home town and your destination. 

Capture the journey. 

Capture things you can’t remember when you look back at the images. 

Capture things you can’t make out when you look back at the images.

Capture things you thought were interesting, but aren’t. 

Capture things you weren’t sure why you were capturing, but now can see clearly. 

Focus. 

Focus on what’s important. 

Focus on what isn’t important, because what’s important is too much to bear. 

Focus on the detail and on the bigger picture. 

Focus on the foreground and the scenery. 

Focus past infinity. 

walk on.jpg

Block by Simeon Smith

Sometimes I take photos. 

And sometimes I do not. 

Last time I went to London I shot an entire roll of film in my walk from the underground to the conference I was attending and during my lunch break. 

Today I went to London and didn’t take a single photo. 

Maybe there weren’t great subjects. Maybe the rain put me off from taking the lens cap off my camera. Maybe I was focussed on the meeting I was there to attend, and in a different frame of mind. Maybe I took the wrong camera. 

Or maybe I just didn’t take any photos. 

I loathe the term “block”. Writer’s block. Artist’s block. Photographer’s block. As if we’re machines that have jammed. Printers churning out content until we overheat or run out of paper. 

I especially find it unhelpful, because then you focus on what might be causing you to not be inspired to write, create, make photographs. 

Instead I prefer to relax a little more in my skin. Enjoy being. Take the scenic route. And yes, enjoy not making art. 

I used to be more hungry, but then I realised that not all of the greats are crazy prolific. 

As a photographer people will only remember a few of my images. Maybe not even that. 

How many Picassos can you remember right now? Guernica, the blue guitarist dude, the squiggle of a dove, the lady with the big eye… And yet this is an artist that changed how we look at the world. 

So maybe it’s okay that sometime I take photos. 

And sometimes I do not. 

by Simeon Smith

TODAY my new short film is out via the Presence App. Download it either on the App store or on Google play.   In this short film I explore timings, seasons, and rhythms of life. There’s more info in the app, as well as a beautiful poem by Tracy Ingham. I’d love to hear if it inspires or moves you - get in touch.  Many thanks to everyone that was involved in making this happen - Actor and generally interesting guy Chris, Poet Tracy, Andy at the Presence App who funded the film, and Dan and Rachael for lending me camera gear (as all my cameras are like at least 50 years old) .   Big love

TODAY my new short film is out via the Presence App. Download it either on the App store or on Google play. 

In this short film I explore timings, seasons, and rhythms of life. There’s more info in the app, as well as a beautiful poem by Tracy Ingham. I’d love to hear if it inspires or moves you - get in touch.

Many thanks to everyone that was involved in making this happen - Actor and generally interesting guy Chris, Poet Tracy, Andy at the Presence App who funded the film, and Dan and Rachael for lending me camera gear (as all my cameras are like at least 50 years old) . 

Big love

Subscribe to my blog!

* indicates required