Fury Road

Above: Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max Fury Road, 2015. Credit: Warners.

Survivalist Photography

When the next Big Outage begins how prepared will you be in order to continue to work with photography? We can presume that a major outage will be unpredictable but will likely include loss-of-Internet and intermittent loss of domestic power too (wall-outlet electricity). It could be the-end-of-the-world or it could be just the first of several outages that are merely an inconvenience. The effects may very well precipitate the same sort of chaos that was rampant during the New York blackout of Summer 1977.

Given a widespread loss of electricity, any digital camera that works with a battery, and which needs wall-supply to charge it, will be useless. Laptops will be down too. Some might resort to buying a petrol-driven power generator for use during any such eventuality, but the petrol needed is going to sell out fast in the first few hours (solar-power is another option).

Personally, I don't favour getting power at all. I favour the use of analog photography during any such era-event in order to record, document and generally carry on photographing. My Leica M2 needs no batteries to work. I will use educated guestimates to set exposure. (After thirty years of experience I can tell you fairly accurately the correct exposure for an F2 lens in most light environments just by assessing it visually). I have a hand-developing tank ready for developing my negatives. Printing might be tricky for me but as long as my neg-bags are spared from dust and damp I'm okay waiting to print only when the lights go back on.

(1 December 2018)