About 3 years ago I bought Gabby (@Gabsatrucker) a camera. The remit was: Something a little better than a point and shoot, but nothing too complicated.
So I bought a thing termed a “Bridge Camera”.
It’s a simple beast, turn dial to auto, switch on and shoot away and enjoy it’s glorious x30 optical zoom and 16 mega-pixels.
Rocking!! No rocket science needed and switching it to “EXR” mode (a Fuji thing) the automation stepped up to another level.
Then one day I take a photo, while in North Little Rock with Gabby, and the return of the colour and everything left me astounded.
But here’s the thing – I’d mistakenly turned the dial to some Aperture mode thing which I thought “dunno what that does, but we’ll look into it” and returned the dial to Auto. Then come the moment I wanted a similar look, I couldn’t get it. Infact the picture of Gabby turned out so grainy even Photoshop couldn’t help that much.
It’s strange really; years ago the thought of having to learn this whole new technology, cameras, how they work and why just turned me off. Heck I worked in tech all the time, why would I want to do more techie stuff for fun beyond playing Battlefield 2 and surfing the web?
But it wasn’t only that, and I really don’t know if anyone would understand what I mean by this – but it felt like the wrong kinda nerdy… a language spoken by nonchalant people you probably would, how should I say this…. Not help so much if they were on fire.. (you know what I’m sayin).
However, buying Gabby this camera started to allow me the ability to start taking more interesting shots.
I needed to learn!!!
I’m a firm believer that if there is something you don’t know how to do – someone, somewhere will have created a video for it – and Photography is way up that list.
So one day I was surfing Youtube after talking to an old buddy about buying a “real” camera and he mentioned Sony… To me, Sony = Walkman, Phones, TV’s and bad Laptops. So I did a search and up popped this guy sticking it to people like Nikon and Canon…
That guy spoke my kinda language (less my swearing) and actually gave a damn about the lack of basic modern technologies being applied to cameras. Also, in other videos he went on to mention the very type of unhelpful photographers stating if you want to know something – just ask. I’d never known that other than asking the only other great photographer I knew – Dave Naz.
Well at the time of writing this, I still haven’t bought a “real”camera – but I know exactly what camera(s) I want to buy and why. Moreover – these videos have changed the way I view photography.
To me the camera has always been the hammer, a tool, the thing you need to get your vision into a set image. I’ve apparently always had the “eye” whatever that means. But then I take photos often like a hunter seeking his prey.
BUT, and it is a huge but – these videos have shown me that I just don’t need to do all that – learning is key, the great thing about Digital Photography is you have an instant visual result. The camera is still the tool, but less of the hammer and more the paint brush. I think I’ve improved from the high definition painting of that of a three year old child, but as with all things, time, practice and learning are all key.
Then there is Photoshop and as many know, beyond cliché work, I’ve a lot of experience with it but most of it is Composition work.
But enter Adobe Lightroom which is basically the digital version of what a Darkroom was – and strangely plain photos could suddenly appear to come to life…
Initially when working with Lightroom you make mistakes, do too much work. So it was back to studying, learning and combining previous knowledge. Again, learning how to take the photograph and knowing how it will respond in post is something that works hand in hand – not one making up for the other, yet you still want to get 99% done in camera if you can.
How this has changed everything for me… I watch, practice and learn from people all over the world, but I still return to this informative, sometimes hilarious and down to earth guy and have a mind full of things, place and ideas I want to shoot.
Gabby now has to listen to me talk about this… and I have no sympathy, she has been the one person who has consistently said, “you need to do this sh*t!” I share with her what I want to shoot, the image, the mystique and the captivating or alluring beauty of something you just can’t put your finger on, and how to make an image, or even the people in it look timeless.
Whether or not life (because ours is kinda complicated with us being from different countries and the hassle of that) will allow or afford me to get to a point to do this professionally or remain amateur is to be seen, as it turns out that paying for food, rent, visa’s and bills doesn’t come from taking photos for free. I’ve only ever been asked once to take a photo for money and that was pretty much the day the shutter started dropping it’s decaying dirt all over the sealed sensor (the lens doesn’t come off).
It could change life for us… sure phones are replacing point and shoot cameras and having a devastating impact on the Professional industry – but there’s things I want to shoot and I would love to do it for a living. But frankly, I have no clue how to make that art pay without doing other types of work.
Sure, I am not the guy you will or see doing a wedding shoot, but I might do product, portraits, landscapes and those one off pre-planned artistic passionate series of images I crave to shoot. But it’s not going to happen without learning and doing!
Sure, it’d be nice to have sharp camera at the moment, but this worn out camera we have still has functions to practice on.
And as for the guy who does the videos, well there are a lot of people making great videos – so who is he??
I’m talking about Jason Lanier
I’ve never met him – I’m sure one day our paths will cross and then I can thank him for being the only person to effectively shake the tree of this arrogant old fart who now wants to do what I spent my entire life purposefully avoiding.
And that is where I’m at with this strange subject matter.
Can I just add, since I started doing the final edit on this post – he only posted a video stating similar and a whole lot more… lol #life