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On Photography


I went out and took photos yesterday. I had not done so in a long time. Francis chewed cud for me. And now, you.

There is a camera I want, but I am afraid I want it only because it is more expensive and better than my current ones. They are good cameras, but it's amazing how quickly the digital age puts a 2, 3, 4 year old camera to shame. And well, a good camera, a good lens, does not make you a great photographer. I could become a great photographer if I spent my life committed to this small, burning passion of mine. But I won't right now, so I'm a happily decent snapper of one-eyed cows chewing cud.

When I was younger, I lugged around my dad's Minolta. In high school, I would stand transfixed in the film section of my local pharmacy store, trying to pick out the best film for the shots I wanted. I could carefully remove a used reel from my dad's camera, beneath a black cloth, and transfer it to a canister tank for development. Those were precarious seconds, when cherished moments in time could be deleted from this earth forever. 

They may not have been my best photos, but those black and white pictures I developed with my own hands are some of my most precious. 

I love the digital age, to be honest. I love snapping a bazillion photos and not worrying that I will become penniless from spent cash on wasted film. I love gazing instantly at these snapshots. LOVE, people. It's a childish wonderment - that what I see can (imperfectly) be transferred to something permanent and shared with everyone else. That sometimes I catch real, honest to goodness emotions in the faces of nonhumans....so powerful that others can see it too. And that sometimes, in a rare brilliant light, my photo tells a story. Those are my favorite.

My dad's Minolta is still alive. It works perfectly well and is probably older than I am. 

Dakota Looking Handsome
Did you know Dakota, the turkey, can alter his bloodflow to those bumpy caruncles on his neck and snood (long dangly thing)? That his coloration indicates his mood, his feelings? He is in a dapper, good mood in this photo.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 13th, 2012 08:25 am (UTC)
"it's amazing how quickly the digital age puts a 2, 3, 4 year old camera to shame"

Are you sure? I've got a Canon 40D, which is pretty damn old these days, and I can't see a single thing I'd like to upgrade about it. Well, except that I'd quite like one that takes videos. So maybe I've just ruined my own point.
Oct. 13th, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
Well maybe "to shame" wasn't quite fair - I imagine it depends on what you want in a camera.

I have the EOS 40D and 20D. I'd like a full frame camera (I miss that) and I'd like more megapixels and I'd like HD video. So the EOS 6D and better are what I want, but not what I can afford right now.

I still love my cameras, but I don't feel film cameras advanced annually the way digital ones seem to do...which could be seen as either positive or negative! :)
Oct. 13th, 2012 09:29 pm (UTC)
I totally get your comparison with film cameras, where the technology was more stable.

More pixels? REALLY? I've NEVER missed having more pixels on my 40D. (I've also got a 50D but I prefer the 40D.) All the reviews I've read say that more pixels give you no improvement in image quality at all unless you've got a $5,000 lens. As for full frame, I'll have to take your word for that. And I do understand wanting video.

If you sold both your 40D and your 20D, that would just about pay for a second-hand 7D (APS-C + video), which is what I'm aiming for.
Oct. 13th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
Yep, really! I have to translate my photos to poster-size and larger. More megapixels help with that. That's been my personal experience, anyways. I don't want a Mark III because it has a bazillion megapixels, though.

For most of my what I do, no, having more pixels than my 40D or even my 20D isn't going to IMPROVE my photography...but it would give me more flexibility with what my organization can DO with my photos.

Full frame (35 mm) is nice, especially for appropriate wide angle shots...and their ability to work better at higher ISO (which is helpful for photographing rescues and the animals in lower light/in barns/etc w/o flash). I've played with a Mark II and loved it.

I'm at a place where I really need two cameras. I've gummed up my lenses and my camera sensor too much by having to remove and change in the field. Having two cameras is great when I'm outdoors trying to get a landscape and a portrait of an excited calf, kicking up dirt.

I'll get there someday.
Oct. 14th, 2012 10:29 am (UTC)
Interesting. Thanks. Now I understand why you need two cameras. And why more pixels might be better for you ... although I still think that the 50D's photos are no better than the 40D's, no matter how much you enlarge them. But that might not extrapolate to other cameras.
Oct. 13th, 2012 05:25 pm (UTC)
I have a sad little Rebel, but can't justify upgrading because I just take pictures for fun. I did get a new lens, which I'm trying to convince myself is the main thing. My camera is still good - how many megapixels do I need?! Am I going to blow pictures up to poster size?! - I just need more lenses... Except the lenses I want are way too expensive...

And the saddest thing? I take the most pictures these days with my crappy cell phone camera, because it's there and handy. :/
Oct. 13th, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
A Rebel is not sad. Any of the APS-C Canons are fantastic. Don't fall prey to the marketing!
Oct. 13th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
I like the Rebel. If you're taking photos for fun, there isn't a reason to upgrade. Better to invest in functional prime lenses than more expensive bodies.

One of my favorite lenses is a cheap-o 50mm f/1.8 plastic Canon lens. It was only a $100. I use it all the time.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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