Friday, September 22, 2006
I've often been asked what I shoot with. I think many of you would be surprised at the answer.
This is my camera. It's a Kodak C330, a basic 4.0 megapixel digital unit with a lovely glass lens and a fairly intuitive set of controls. It gives me a lot of room to play with the settings to get the results I want. Most of the images on my blog and accompanying Flickr site were taken with the Kodak.
I also have a lovely old Nikon F-801s 35mm SLR. I've had it forever, and love it to bits and pieces. But in this day and age of digital, shooting 24 images at a time and then paying for development just doesn't seem to be the way to go. I'm holding on to my old camera because it's become more than a mere piece of equipment, and I'll always want to have the ability to rack off a roll of black-and-white. But I have ordered a digital SLR and am counting the days until it arrives.
Which begs the question: isn't the Kodak a bit out of its league?
The answer may surprise you. Technically, it probably is. It lacks the gee-whiz features and downright sexiness of a full-blown SLR or higher-end all-in-one. It doesn't look cool. It doesn't impress.
And that's the point. Its very simplicity is what makes it such a great tool. It's inexpensive, so I carry it with me virtually everywhere I go. It takes a lot of pictures on a pair of NiMH rechargeables, so with a couple of extra sets of batteries and a big memory card, I can shoot all day. It allows me to play with exposure time and ISO settings to coax some neat-looking scenes. It sometimes demands a little creativity to coax the more unique shots out of it, but that's the point, after all.
I grew up listening to people with more money than brains explain how their camera was so much better than any other. They'd wave their expensive equipment around whenever they felt the need to impress other folks. Oddly, they never seemed to be willing to share the results of their work. Those who did showed shot after shot of flat, dull images that didn't tell a story. I call these folks posers. They're usually the ones who walk around with the lens cap off.
Ansel Adams, arguably the greatest American photographer in history, shot most of his work with simple box cameras. He often made his own cameras to suit the needs of a particular shoot. His contention was that photography was driven by one's creativity and not by one's equipment.
I just love that perspective.
Your turn: What do you shoot with? Do you agree/disagree with my perspective? Have you enountered posers in your neck of the woods? How do you handle them?