I said a strange thing the other day. After looking at a batch of great photographs shot on the street, I told someone: I really liked those pictures. What makes them great are many of the things I try and avoid. The photos I was referring to were spontaneous and grainy and blurred and ambiguous. They were full of life, and fittingly they were far from perfect. Mostly, they seemed to carry with them an element of surprise and emotion that polish and perfection often washes away. When I think about the pictures I shoot or strive to shoot a lot of times I feel like I sometimes just sort of polish away the good stuff. The focus is sharp, the range of tones is good; the subject is dominant, the composition is ok. And really, so what? Sometimes, the best images have none of that. It is possible, I think, to perfect yourself towards boredom. Perfection cant be achieved anyways, so sometimes maybe its important to stop trying. Fittingly, I recently bought a Holga 120 camera. Its a $20 plastic toy, basically. The lens is plastic, it barely works, and the concept of focus is foreign to its use. And yet it makes these wonderful, 1950s-like, artful photographs. As if by taking away all the elements that give you more control, by removing things like correct exposure and tack-sharp focus, suddenly things come to life. None of this is to say that perfection and polish are bad. Really, the opposite is true, of course. But I do think that sometimes I, maybe everyone, can concentrate so much on getting things right that we forget to get things good. The ideal, of course, is to bring it all together spontaneity and intention and focus and feel. To be able to use those technical skills to capture moments and images that feel like you just glanced down an alley and saw It. Anyways, this photo I shot seemed to sum up a lot of these thoughts for me and so I thought I'd post it. This image was shot with a Nikon D70 and an 85mm lens. Trying to catch some of that spontanaity, using modern tools to create an image that looks tool-less, so to speak. Any thoughts?