Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Back to basics for a while

Back to Basics for Awhile
I took this photo around twilight at Stricker's Pond in Middleton. It was captured with my Nikon Coolpix P50, a simple, inexpensive point-and-shoot with a short zoom. It's not fancy, but it will usually capture what I see -- like this Great Blue Heron framed by foliage and silhouetted against the dying light.

Lately I've been taking the Nikon D90 digital single lens reflex body with two or three lenses on our walks. A faster lens might have rendered more detail -- or conversely, let me play with some DOF effects. With the telephoto zoom, I could have isolated the heron and its reflection and got rid of the clutter. With the 10-20mm superwide, I could have captured the entire pond and much of the fading sky, with the silhouette of the heron just a small but significant detail in the foreground. But why? This is what I saw, and it was a beautiful moment. Do I always have to try to improve on it?

I used to always carry a compact camera with me as a visual sketchbook, but I didn't shoot all that much -- mostly just when something really moved me visually. Now that I'm usually shooting more and carrying more equipment, the equipment often seems to set the agenda. Each of the lenses I carry creates its own visual effects, and it's easy to look at a scene and think, oh, that calls for such-and-such a lens. The photo almost takes itself.

What about my eye and what it sees? I'm going to try to find out, by leaving the heavy gear at home and try a more minimalistic approach for awhile, I want to get back to basics for awhile and reacquaint myself with what my eye sees as opposed to what the lens is capable of seeing.

Might be fewer new photos for awhile on Flickr (though it's not as if I don't have a big backlog of DSLR shots I haven't posted yet).

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Nataraj Hauser said...

I have recently found myself ducking out of the house with "just" my Nikon D40, my first dSLR, and a sweet f/1.8 50mm lens. It forces me to move around a bit to get a shot I want, and I get more eyes-view photos.

Pravina Studio said...

I also used to always carry my point and shoot until I got a digital SLR. Then I kind of forgot about the Canon Powershot, which was actually quite a nice little camera. You've inspired me to toss it back into my bag!