Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

More on simplicity for photographers

Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

NYT has an article about a pro photographer switching back and forth between classic equipment (Speed Graphic) and modern digital SLRs. For him, the tools are secondary to communicating something that stands out from the standard shots. In his advice for amateur photographers, he follows the same line of thinking:

Pressed for a tip for the birthday-party photographer, Mr. Burnett said: “The thing that bugs me the most when I see people taking pictures of their family or the Grand Canyon or whatever, is that they spend so much time fumbling with the controls that whatever real moment there might have been is inevitably lost.”

The pithy answer to the question “what is the best camera” – a question discussed endlessly on places like dpreview.com – is that it is the one you have with you, since that’s the only one that can capture the moment in front of you, and if you don’t have a camera with you, you can’t take a picture at all. Or, as Burnett says:

“It’s easy to get caught up with all of the gadgets and all of the technology, but the most important thing is just to get comfortable with the tools you have.”

The limiting factor for 99% of photographers (including myself) is not the equipment.

Big digital cameras not necessary for pros

Monday, June 6th, 2005

If you want to take professional quality pictures, especially with a digital camera, you need to shell out for a big, expensive SLR with lots of different lenses, right? Nope. I’d heard about this pro using small Olympus digicams a while back, but there’s some more detail up on robgalbraith.com. Great images. Lightweight kit. No humongous imposing camera to shove in people’s faces. No more achy back from lugging a gigantic gear bag. Yes, there are probably shots you can’t get with this setup – my nephew would be too quick and unpredictable, but look at all the great stuff you can do. Two telling quotes from the article. First, on the improved portability:

Six C-5060 bodies have almost exactly the same weight as two Canon EOS-1D Mark II cameras.

And then there’s the crux of the matter – beyond the camera itself, accessories are a killer, especially all the custom battery charging equipment. A Minimalist should not have to fill half their bag with cables and chargers:

Oh, and there’s one more thing. “I would like to have the same battery for everything — iPod, camera, computer, cell phone, the Palm Pilot. All should work on the same charger. Just one charger. I get crazy.”

Yeah, me too.