Life is full of options -too many sometimes. It’s hard to find balance. We have so much more than we used to, and still, not quite as much as we’d like. Sometimes it even gets hard to do things we like -there’s not enough time, we don’t have what we
need want, and it’s a cold and ugly Midwest winter. That was my excuse for photography anyway. I noticed though, somehow others still find the time, ignore the cold, and crank out great images regardless of where they are and what they have. So today I gave myself a little challenge… well it was more like a mandate. I gave myself one hour, on one bike, with one camera, and one lens. No zoom, no tripod, no flash, no bag, no backup, and in the overcast, Midwest, midwinter light. The only requirement was that I took pictures of something -and got a little exercise.
I found myself downtown… at rush hour.
But I found pictures. They actually were always there if I’d taken the time to look.
My only confession… it took me an hour and a half.
Get over it -what you have is enough… even in the big city.
Actually, I tend a little more toward wildlife photography than wildflower photography. But the way my schedule is looking this may be the only spring photograph I get… -I needed something for mother’s day anyway.
I found this pink trillium in a local park and added a sb-800 with a 3/4 CTO gel to give it just a bit of punch -although if I did it again I probably would lay off the color a bit. I was using a Nikkor 70-300 ED which actually is a pretty smart little lens for doing this sort of thing. It is close focusing and allows for a nice working distance. The downside is when you are working at 300mm and f:5.6 max the slightest breeze kills sharpness. This one is close but not quite sharp. Next time maybe.
For most of us the holiday season evokes a lot of good, warm emotions and memories that seem to come floating down with the snow. But recently there seems to be a few other emotions that have been venting themselves. What’s all this I hear about the new Nikon D3X? It’s expensive? …Sorry my surprise at all the fuss, it has been a very long time since I have classified any new digital SLR D3, D300, D700 or otherwise as “inexpensive.” There is no need to rewrite what others have said already (e.g. here and here) but I did want to write this post for one very particular reason. All-ya-all writing mean comments on photography blogs have inspired me and I think I have determined the problem. People aren’t getting bent out of shape over issues of photography, but rather something else altogether. Never-fear, I think I can fix the confusion -I’ve decided to give it a name.
Intro to Technocamography
I am quite certain that many, if not most serious photographers are not getting bent out of shape at the price of the latest Nikon, but there is a growing number of people who own and use expensive cameras, photographic gear, and software etc. more or less just because they enjoy the experience. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and if given the chance I would probably join right in. However, a subset of those in this group take their photographic experience very seriously. These individuals are generally much less concerned with photography and much more concerned with taking pictures. In this category performance, speed, megapixels, newness, and yes price are everything -not because they are needed to take the picture but because they define the art of technocamography. In short, for lack of a better term or definition, I have defined technocamography as: the serious discussion, evaluation, and use of the latest in photographic equipment; generally concerned with technical aspects and infrequently with artistic value or substance.
This is indeed where the conflict starts. Photographers and technocamographers come at a similar subject from very different angles and for such a long time have been forced to believe they must agree to both be valuable to society. Now I hope we can finally come to the realization that there are two groups using photographic equipment; both are valuable although they are considerably different.
Why photographers need technocamographers
It may not be obvious but technocamographers are actually very important to photographers. Here is just a short list of reasons why.
It always comes… not so much as a surprise, but more as a check point in the book of reality. The day that’s overcast, and you’re feeling ill; the day you’re complaining about shooting with a D1x and a 70-300 f:4-5.6 not a D3 and the 105 f:2.8 VR micro. It’s sure to be when the peach flowers are on the way out and the dogwoods aren’t in yet…. Just when life looks quite dull another little bit of life sheds the gloom and heads for the light. Their message is clear “get over it.”
Life’s like that sometimes -at least mine is anyway. But the truth being told, the 70-300 was pretty good lens for the job as the eggmass was above my head and it allowed me the working distance and yet focused close enough.
Perhaps this isn’t the most creative post for getting the “official” blog started [actually it isn't even open or official... yet] but hopefully it will give everyone something to read when they actually get here. [Its really boring to visit a blog's grand opening and then have nothing to read....]
Praying Mantis: Nikon D1x, Nikkor 70-300 f:4-5.6 ED