Vintage thoughts with the Leica M2 Zhang Weiren in China

There are not too many deep thoughts inside my photos because I really don’t think too much when I take the pictures. These photos are about the people and events that I have experienced. I am not sure whether it is good or not as long as I can always see the sadness and learn their stories.

When I was 11, I went outside with my grandfather and couldn’t meet my parents for a long time. As I found nowhere to express my inner feelings, I gradually became lonely, which may be one of the reasons why my photos look depressive. I love black and white photos for some unclear reasons. My camera is a Leica  M2 because it is within my budget and beautiful. When the Leica M4 is affordable, I will buy one.

I have dreamed of my childhood for thousands of times, when the summer was hidden in the shadow of poplars, moving clouds just above our heads and gentle winds blowing around us. This is my deepest impression of real life. Yes, they said I am a sentimental man.

My father used to love photography and took a lot of pictures, yet he never touched his camera again since I was a teenager. He influences me a lot in this field, but I prefer to focus more in details of life. In the end of my freshman year, I bought a used camera and began my “career” in photography, which was almost five years ago. I skipped classes just to take pictures I wanted. It seems that I love shooting much more than electric engineering. I would go to places of south and north, in warm Springs and cool Autumns, with some basic food. All of the above could not affect my passion for life: the essence of life lies in doing things I want to do, with my beloved camera, and record those feelings I come along with.

The magic of photography manifests itself especially in my own subjective way of expressing this objective world. We all can see this world, while our feeling for a certain substance varies from person to person, and this is my understanding of photography’s true meaning. Upon the initial step of learning how to shoot, the composition of a picture took the priority in my mind. However, I am increasingly sensing that simply focusing on composition would only block my venting of feelings. Admittedly composition would help the shooting of a perfect picture through proper constraints on subjective feelings, yet in most cases it would be an obstacle instead of benefit.

In my eyes, only pictures of living creatures could be described as lively. After all, creatures are the slight hope within this cold and dark world, aren’t they? Photographing is about the passion and understanding of life, and also about loneliness. When I am down, I would take off for remote places, where there are high mountains and gigantic oceans. In some cases, photographing can break the restrictions of words – it restores someone’s thoughts authentically. Also it is more convenient than painting, which calls for paper and brushes.

To know more about Zhang Weiren, please visit this website.

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