In the past 3 weeks, I have had more conversations with people about photography that I have had in a long time. People are enthusiastic about it, and I love it! There is nothing I love more than talking photography. People are upgrading to a dslr (I strongly recommend Canon Rebels for beginners and consumers and trying to understand the power and intuitiveness of their newest gadget.
Most of my conversations almost always evolve around to my camera. And my lenses. ”Your camera is amazing!” “I wish I had a camera like yours so I could take better pictures” ”That is a huge camera, I bet it takes amazing pictures”.
Yeah. No. Ok. First of all, my awesome camera is a Canon 50D gripped body, with a couple L lenses (50 1.2 and 24-70 2.8). It is about 3 years old, I am not full frame, and I shoot jpeg (until just recently; I now shoot RAW).
My point? It ‘aint all about the camera folks. It is all about finding the right light, experiencing emotions and “capturing” them, interacting with the person(s) you are photographing, composing the picture, and knowing the camera you are shooting with… so in other words, your camera is just a tool. Here is my most treasured piece of equipment:
Yeah, that is my eyeball. And guess what? I took this picture with my iPhone….with a $20 macro lens attached. I wish I had a picture of my brain, because that is my 2nd prized tool in my photography (but yeah, that would be gross). And I am learning every day….more and more about how to see light, how to recognize a picture taking opportunity, how to take it the right way, and how to edit it correctly.
What about this one?
I took this last week of my babies asleep together after a long couple of days on the beach…with my iphone. I know it is grainy, and not perfect, but I love how the light from the lamp falls over them and creates that safe, secure and innocent feeling of the picture.
My next point is editing your photos. I am posting this picture here to illustrate 2 things:
1. Take a picture on purpose, not as an accident: As you can see the “after” is quite a bit different from the before. But the before is on purpose. I underexposed it a little more than normal because of the backlighting; I did that because I could (and knew how). By shooting with my camera in full manual mode, I was able to achieve this. If I had taken this same photo in “Auto” mode, who knows what the camera woud have focused on, let alone exposed the picture at! I don’t want to take a picture 20 times before the camera finally gets what I am wanting the photo to turn out like…manual mode = full control.
2. Editing to enhance your purposeful photos…. I edit probably 99.7% of all my client photos, and probably 75% of all my personal pictures. Shoot, I even have *apps* on my iPhone and iPad to edit pictures! I edit to enhance my serious photos; not distract, fix, or dorkify them. Yeah, there are times where I think I am funny and add captions with one liners, or add devil horns to a friend’s head….thats not what I am talking about. Editing adds to the picture; it creates a sense of style. Learn how to do this and you will be amazed at the endless possibilities.
In a nutshell… The best camera is the camera you have with you…….USE IT! It doesn’t have to be a big bad fancy pants camera either…. And if you have a dslr, get to know it….sleep with it under your pillow. If you invest in a digital camera, know that you should ALSO invest in some sort of editing software….not only to edit, but also organize all your files. (Lightroom, iPhoto, Picasa to name a few). And lastly, learn to see light and take pictures. Lots of them.