JUST BECAUSE - 14 APRIL 2012
Sunrise & Moon - Custer, South Dakota, File # 0708521
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I just read an article by a noted photographer explaining his experiences with a new tool. I read his work because he does portray a style of writing, photography, and business success sense that's worth keeping track. Yet, I don't agree with his techniques or even style. I find his work entertaining at least. Occasionally I see something by him or anyone that sparks an idea that motivates me to write in my own blog. In this case I was motivated by his statement that if he didn't use the high tech features of his new gigantically expensive camera it was like wasting the money. Huh!
The feature in question was the auto exposure capability of the camera. You see he was learning the nuances of the new camera and trying to adjust his expectation and therefore learn the necessary adjustments to make the new system work as well as what he was used to. In this case it was about the auto exposure system in this camera.
Camera metering systems are marvels of technology using the best a camera makers engineers talents can devise. Every new generation camera touts how much better it was than the previous model. In the equipment world, usually very detailed and very large sounding numbers are spouted out by the advertising with the premise that people would agree more was always better. Something with bigger numbers must be better than the one with fewer.
Here's a reasonably successful photographer with a large following of potential clients struggling with his camera's newness. He's dealing with the meter and how it sets the exposure. It's not what he's used to. So, in the most positive words, he explains his struggles. Of course, I would've given up earlier and simply go back to what I know best, go manual. What I mean is turn off the auto features and simply revert to my own trained eye and experiences. It's a system I've learned and perfected the last 15 years of photography.
Yet, our hero struggles on to discover the "way" with his new camera and makes a statement along the lines of "if I didn't use this feature, it would've been like throwing away $6,000 dollars (the cost of the camera)". Oh my!
One thing I've learned with photography is none of this highly automated technology is perfect all the time. In fact, it would surely let you down at the most critical time. To only depend on it is to count on missing something important down the road. As good as this stuff might be and as expensive as it might cost, it is never a good idea to think "I need to use it because I spent so much money". I mean, what's driving the boat here? Equipment envy? Making great photography? I hope the latter.
If you're struggling with the features of your new gear, don't ever think you need to use all that. You can still make great images using your camera's most basic modes. Don't let that high tech gizmo stuff distract you from making great images. That would surely be the waste.
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