2013 – the year when a lot changed


And not always by design. But – to use a cliched saying – ‘change is good’. Even though it may not always seem welcome at first.

But I’m jumping ahead of myself. The beginning of the year was relatively quiet. And I’m talking here about my photography and video. On the editorial side of things I was a bit too stressed as I was overseeing a huge editorial project for a US publisher.

On the creative side of things, for the first few months I was still exclusively relying on my trusty 5D Mark II to keep me company everywhere: from bleak Dartmoor

Taken in Dartmoor, Devon

 

to sunny but cold Beachy Head

2013best2 Beachy Head

But then – some time around April/May – having spent weeks and weeks reading and fantasising about it, I bought the awesome Fuji X100S. I had seen the images, I had read the reviews, but what really convinced me was a post on Strobist called “Cuba: Traveling Light, Chasing Light”. I was blown away by the quality of the images David Hobby managed to take with this camera in Havana.

But more importantly, I was inspired by his decision to leave his entire gear behind and go to Cuba for almost two weeks with nothing but the Fuji X100s. No interchangeable lenses, no second bodies, no filters, external flashes or heavy bags to schlep. Just one camera.

I also wanted to try. I also wanted to experiment. So I did.

Whether for pleasure or professionally, like most photographers I always carry a heavy bag full of lenses, flashes or other equipment, so switching to one light camera and doing things differently was refreshing.

It took me a while to get used to it. There were many bad and blurry pictures to begin with. But soon I started enjoying the freedom and accepted the challenges resulting from the limitations a fixed-lens camera has.

I started using the new camera almost exclusively, while my big DSLR gathered dust. From capturing my favourite subject – urban isolation:

LIKE SHIPS IN THE NIGHT 2013best4 Trafalgar Square street ldn-3

to editorial assignments and portraits:

2013best7 WRITER 2013best6

 

From landscapes and architectural shots:


RUIN 2013best10 2013best11 2013best12 ABANDONED

to – obviously – holiday snaps and social events:

AHEAD 2013best15 2013best16 kazimierz-8 kazimierz-3

The first time I followed in David Hobby’s footsteps and decided to travel without my DSLR kit, I hesitated a bit. But I soon learned to enjoy the freedom the Fuji gave me.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t make a complete switch. I still use my DSLR extensively, mostly for video and assignments where I need interchangeable lenses or external flashes or simply more flexibility.

And speaking of video, that was another big change. Just around the time I published my Crossing Paths video, I decided to launch Meehow Media, my new venture, focusing primarily on editorial and promotional video, but also on editorial photography.

The beginnings were humble. But the feedback and support I got plus the interest in my services many people expressed gave me the much needed confidence. Soon after I started I was lucky enough to film with Gok Wan and began working on new video concepts, including an educational project in north London.

Gok Wan for National AIDS Trust from Michal Dzierza on Vimeo.

So obviously I’m hoping to grow Meehow into something much bigger in 2014. The focus will still remain on video and photography, but something tells me there will be more…

And here comes the (hopefully not-so-hard) sell: if you need a video, or a photographer I’d love to hear from you. Head over to meehow.co.uk or just use the contact form on the right. Or drop me an email: michal {at} dzierza {dot} com.

There are 12 very exciting months and a million ideas ahead of us….