I initiated a self-directed project to document the business districts of both Arcata and Eureka. I often photographed in the early morning pre dawn light. I started this in 2010, and have worked on it through to the present time. I stayed busy with this through the first five or so years. Nowadays, I only work on the project a few times a year. The city scapes are slowly evolving, and so it seems that I could work on this until I no longer can get out there.
The Sony R1 had some great innovations. The articulating LCD could be positioned to allow it to become a waist-level camera. It also made it easy to take low-level compositions. I like this feature so much because I used twin-lens cameras in my film days. I always liked the waist-level view for certain subjects. It was handy for street photography and candids.
As much as I liked the R1, I felt that I was moving beyond its capabilities. The fixed lens was great giving a 24-120mm equivalent focal length. That range was enough to handle at least 80% of my needs. If I needed a wider view I was out of luck as the lens could not be changed. There were numerous other issues, and I thought that Sony should update the camera to something with image stabilization, a higher pixel count, and a much faster buffer.
In the summer of 2010, I convinced myself that I “needed” a tilt/shift lens, and the camera to attach it to (a Canon 5dmII) if I were to continue with architectural photography. In my film days, I used a four by five view camera. That camera had all sorts of movement possibilities for distortion and perspective control. These were, and may still be, the ultimate tool for “correct” perspectives of this type of subject. The tilt/shift lens mounted on a SLR provides for some of these controls. Of course, nowadays, software can correct a lot of those issues, but at a cost of image quality. The TS lens on a modern high pixel camera can make some highly detailed and accurate photographs.