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Bring back “a little bit shit”.

What ever happened to “a little bit shit”?

Let me elaborate.

My favourite personal images are usually ones that are “a little bit shit”.

Like they were taken by (and for) a human being,

Usually with something having gone wrong (the analog formats I use are magic for that).

They’re less about making a giant perfectly-edited song-and-dance (which I’ll still continue to do),

And more about taking just a little token from the moment. (Ironically, maybe this is the ultimate form of “content creation“?)

A token that gives our subconscious and our imagination a little heavy-lifting to do (the part of the energy exchange that’s lost when everything is “picture-perfect”, whatever that means).

And as fun as it was staying in a palace with a palace-sized bed in Georgia (not the US one) that one-time,

Most of my favourite holiday-stays have also been in places that are…

A little bit shit.

As you learn pretty quickly to appreciate the smaller things: that’s your magical subconscious flexing it’s muscle and doing the heavy-lifting, making it’s own sense and joy out of what’s around you. And it’s exactly what happens when photos are a bit… shit. Our subconscious fills in the gaps, and builds a unique sense of feeling and place for us – it’s something that doesn’t happen with perfect images out of newer cameras (or, in fairness, out of older film cameras when shot crisply).

And it’s a beautiful thing.

“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept”

Henri Cartier Bresson

I’m looking for more ways to make work that’s “a little bit shit”, and I think we have more options than we know. We just have to try some weird old gear, and change our thinking around what it means to edit an image.

There’s lots of talk about things being “a little bit shit” in bad ways, lately.

So here’s to things sometimes being “a little bit shit” in the best ways. Human, imperfect, out of focus, with a few grounded knocks in it that invite curiosity and connect stronger.

While we’re being great storytellers and focusing on all things cinematic and majestic, let’s not forget to throw a bit of imperfect nostalgia into the mix.

And embrace the beauty that’s there when things are “a little bit shit”.

Here’s some photos I took.

They’re a little bit shit, and I love them.

Some ideas for making it a little bit shit

How to make it goodHow to make it shit
In focusOut of focus
Moments frozenMoments blurred (set camera to TV mode)
Perfectly editedLeave it alone
Shoot on a camera you knowShoot on a camera you’re unfamiliar with
50 clicks of the moment1 click of the moment (you’ll love it more anyway)
Thoughtful compositionDid a drunken squirrel compose this?
Fresh filmHeniously expired film
DSLRPoint and shoot
Printed on fine-art matte paperPrinted literally, on newspaper

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