Sunday, February 7, 2010

Experimenting with photography

My interest in photography started about 2 years ago at a wedding. I was the owner of a small but honourable Panasonic DMC-TZ3. Honourable maybe, but really small compare to a lot of big DSLR proudly exhibit by members of the audience. I had a small one...

Fortunately this size problem was one that is easy to solve, I would buy a DSLR and be part of the big camera team! After doing hours of research, comparing benchmark. I settled for a reasonably priced Nikon D80 kit with the average 18-135mm lens. I was a happy man!

Following that came a year of snapping! Filling my 8GB card with thousands of mostly boring pictures, rarely average and maybe one or 2 worth printing.
It was not really going anywhere and could not really invest in bigger gears. The D700 full frame was really dear, and would that really makes me a better photographer?

Some blogger in those days were starting to move back to Film. You can get better material for a tenth of the digital equivalent! I gave it a try; I bought a F100 refurbished for a 100quid - the equivalent gross of a D700 -, a couple of film - which I did not know at the time, were slides -.

I took it out and try to shout!

The experience was totally different! That what was photography is about. You can't shoot everything - film is not free -, you can't immediately see the picture you have taken. You have to THINK about what you are doing! What I was missing is not the 100 MP camera with VR and extra lateral wind correction. What I was missing was an operator!

What is a camera? It is just a boxed with a lens and a sensor - film or CMOS -. The most important part before of the very important Lens is the guy who holds the camera. You can give a D700 to a monkey you'll get nothing... That's what film and simple camera helps me understand. Digital is good to get immediate feedback - particularly useful to play with flashes - but I don't think it's good to learn to take pictures.

I'm still mainly film and started developing my own black and white film - far more satisfying than spending long hours on Photoshop -. I even went further back in time by buying a Manual Focus FM2n! It's cheap and it feels fantastic!

So if you want to start photography don't get trap by all the money flashing DSLR, you can start on the cheap with a £100 SLR camera, a cheap 50mm 1.8 lens and some roll of film! And you won't have to hunt for hours in your thousand of useless digital shoot that won't get print.

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