I’ve gone through my share of phases. In this post, I’m coming clean.
See if I’m an aberrant, an anomaly.
Lusting over Gear
I really can’t say I’ll ever outgrow this one. It’s an ongoing Â battle which my wife–the breadwinner– wins each time.
Except these days, the evil camera manufacturers have enlisted software Â and computer makers like Apple, in my case. Once you get an Apple computer, pack it in. You’re toast.
If you can’t resist, drive to the nearest Apple store and fondle some of their floor models and get your fix. Leave the plastic (credit card) at home.
I only buy what I can justify like this MacBook Pro I’m writing with. It’s not unusual to see my students walking in with better cameras than the one I use.
When I was in college, I had a classmate whose dad bought him a new car, couple Canon F-1 bodies, a 300 mm f2.8 lens and a whole slew of lenses. He ended selling all that gear. He didn’t finish in the photography program.
Don’t get me wrong. You need to have decent gear. I worked in the airlines, saved my pennies and came to the US with quite a bit of gear.
I knew I was going to major in photojournalism and I paid for everything on my own.
Moral of the story: just because you have all the gear there is, it doesn’t make you a photographer.
Remember the first time you ever put one of these lenses on? I used it at every opportunity.
Actually thought it was great to include my feet in the pictures when I took verticals.
I remember being issued an 18 mm lens when I was shooting film. Must have driven my poor boss/photo editor batty.
Guys, you have to remember when the newspaper issued a new piece of glass, they bought one for each staff photographer.
Not only did my boss have to put up with my fascination with this lens in just about everything I shot, he had to see 15 others in the department do the same.
I tried Â to turn even the most ordinary, mundane Â things into silhouettes.
It was as if I had bought a silhouette filter and forgotten to take it off.
Some might say that I have a obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Confession is good for the soul.
Those dancing, barely naked,silhouette ladies which accompany the opening credits in countless Jame Bond movies had a profound influence on me.
Above, Â you can see how my influence is rubbing off on my students. Thanks Windsor for sharing your picture.
Thanks to Delia for modeling on our recent field trip to Fairmount Park.
Thankfully just about any filter you want to use in film photography is available or can be faked now in Adobe’s 800-lb gorilla, Photoshop.
I have never used those. Some might say it’s too cheesy, but we won’t go there.
I tend not to use photoshop a whole lot preferring to shoot an image as close to how I want it to look in its final form.
I am, after all, not a graphics artist.
If someone claims to do both well, more power to them.
It’s a matter of preference.
Previously when I shot film, I must have spent a fortune on filters: polarizing, starburst, sepia, gradual, rainbow and the most requested–make-your-subject skinny with beautiful complexion filter etc.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some which you’ll have to pry out of my dead fingers if you want them. The two I can think of are:
- ND (Neutral density) filters
- Graduated neutral density filter.
The regular ND filter comes in different strengths. If you like to photograph waterfalls, but arrive when it’s too bright to use a slow shutter speed to give the flowing water a flowing fabric-like look, this is handy to reduce the light reaching the camera’s sensors your Â intentionally.
They are also useful in reducing the depth-of-field in a scene. Say you are at ISO 100, your minimum ISO, but want to shoot with still wider apertures to blur out your background, Â you can use those ND filters.
If you do any type of landscape photography, these two filters, especially the graduated neutral density (shown in above picture) is a must-have. It allows you to hold the detail in the sky like snow-capped mountains, clouds or other extremely contrasty scenery in check while you expose for the foreground.
To make this more digestible, I’ll continue this post in Part 2