On my Olympus E-PM1, I have one of my user-defined buttons set to MyMode1, which, in my case, is set to the grainy B&W art filter with square crop. When the fancy strikes, I can instantly turn my camera into an “old-school” B&W camera at the push of a button, then when I release it, it returns to normal.
I’m really digging the square. It’s such a tight composition and it forces me to compose around a central subject. Eliminating the decision to take a picture in portrait or landscape orientation is quite ‘freeing’. I just worry about what’s in the middle and everything else just kind of materializes to complement what I’m focusing on.
I also like the fact that with the way I shoot, using the rear LCD for composition (as opposed to the electronic viewfinder) allows me to still be ‘in’ the scene without being limited to what the camera sees. In this case, having the camera “at arms reach” is actually beneficial. I don’t care so much about sharpness or color – rather, I care about the moment.
Though I’m no street shooter, I can definitely understand that it takes considerable skill to shoot “from the hip” and not be random. I can also figure out why wider angles are more popular with street shooters.
I also really like grain. It adds depth and allows me with some artistic license with sharpness and focus – I don’t need a tack-sharp picture or my subject to always be in focus – the depth will tell the story for me.
All the pictures above were taken with the Sigma 19/2.8. It’s a great FOV (effectively 38mm given the 1:2 crop) for tight areas without feeling too tight. I dunno – that last sentence makes sense to me.