Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
wudyi
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Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
10 months ago
Rservello
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Re: You're camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

I was all in at the head of this article.  I use my dslr like he describes his film experience. I get a baseline exposure and then bracket as needed. No need to infinite focus tho, since autofocus is fast.  He lost me at, set p mode and shoot tho.

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Gollan
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Re: You're camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

What I get from that is "take your camera out and take photos". I do. This winter I had my camera outside in some extremely cold weather. But comparing the risks that pros are willing to take with their equipment to amateur photographers is unfair. A pro can justify killing a camera from time-to-time as an opportunity cost of having some great photos to sell and an interesting portfolio. If I kill my camera, all I have is a few years of using a point-and-shoot while I save for a new camera.

I disagree that my DSLR has "far too many features for you to become comfortable with". I don't have to press every button or access every menu item to take a photo. In fact, when I'm outside in -25°C/-15°F weather, I can only safely take my glove off for a few seconds, so I'm not fooling with too many settings. In the film days, we bracketed to be sure we got the shot. In the digital days my camera will do that for me. Better yet, after the first shot, I look at the picture and the histogram, check the shooting data to be sure I set everything, and decide if I need to adjust the exposure or anything else before I continue. With film we... looked at the contact sheet hours or days later.

It sounds a bit like the author of the article is nostalgic for the film days and distrustful of these newfangled digital cameras with all their buttons and doohickeys. I do agree with him that we should spend as much time as possible taking photos and take risks, but only up to our individual comfort levels.

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57LowRider
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

"Remember, the more beat-up your camera looks, the more you’ve been using it as the right tool to get the right stuff."

Hehe, like the brassed corners on my X-E1.

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Cane
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

I get what he's saying, if the entire world shot that kind of photography. He should actually just get a good point and shoot.

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dad_of_four
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

I was fortunate to get an early lesson in this.  When I got my first dSLR, I remember pre-practicing lens-changes in the bathroom of my house because it was the smallest room, tiles floor, no dust.

A week later, a Pro photographer showed up at the door to take editorial photos of my kid's academic team.  This gal had two bodies, and 4 lenses in her photo vest.  None of them had a rear lens cap, or body cap.  I asked her why at the end of the shoot, and she replied, that they were just a tool, and not as delicate as everyone makes them out to be.

Now I'm not ready to go an hour with no rear-lens caps, or body caps, but I am less worrisome about my gear

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tko
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

He lost me with the Luddite introduction.

"For those of you who are not professionals and take pictures for the love of it, technology is your most formidable opponent. Digital cameras have far too many features for you to become comfortable with, especially if you don’t (and I know you don’t) shoot a couple of hundred pictures a day. Film cameras, on the other hand, had relatively few features which made it very easy to take pictures instead of wasting time on button pressing and menu diving."

Translation. I'm an idiot, so you should be. You not a pro, so don't try hard. Don't strive for quality, just take photos in the easiest way possible, using the dumbest modes possible, and maybe some will turn out.

Wise words to live by -- not.

The average smart phone has more features than a dSLR. Technology is not an opponent, it's an opportunity. And a Nikon pro film camera had just has many features as a modern dSLR, not counting the playback and review features.

wudyi wrote:

I found this good blog post for those of you who aspire to actually take pictures.

A wee bit pretentious, are we not?

Some of us actually have a website, post our images here, and enter the contests. I took a thousand photos yesterday-what have YOU done and where are your photos?

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DFPanno
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Poor advice for amateurs IMO…..
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

If my media employer pays for my gear then I don't have much to worry about do I ?

Damage a $500 lens to make 15K - just another business expense.

Take a portion of my hard-earned income and spend it on recreational gear - I am going to take care of it, thank you very much.

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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

wudyi wrote:

I found this good blog post for those of you who aspire to actually take pictures.

I fear that posters to this thread have entirely missed the irony - sarcasm in the original blog and have taken the thing literally..

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stevo23
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

wudyi wrote:

I found this good blog post for those of you who aspire to actually take pictures.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

It seems every month, there's a thread or an article about "stop playing with the camera and shoot".

This man came from the old school where you shot thousands of rolls of film hoping to get 50 decent shots and publish 5. Journalists had a quantity vs. quality attitude back then and somewhat now. Things were grainy and not well focused. But the moment was captured for time or life magazine.

And another thing - the camera's not a hammer - hammers don't have any subtleties. In the tool world, there's only one tool like a camera - and that's a camera. His camera was simple, but his film was complex.

And the other thing - cameras are also great for those who have no artistic aspirations. My dad was one of them. He enjoyed the technology and liked to run tests on film and cameras to see what they would do. He liked darkrooms and he liked cameras - old ones. He liked taking them apart and fixing them and making them work again. But he wasn't much of an artist. He just marveled at the little wonder-boxes and was fascinated with the idea of photography. And he was a walking dictionary of photography.

So it takes all kinds.

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stevo23
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Jaberwok, 10 months ago

Jaberwok wrote:

wudyi wrote:

I found this good blog post for those of you who aspire to actually take pictures.

I fear that posters to this thread have entirely missed the irony - sarcasm in the original blog and have taken the thing literally..

Where's the clue to the irony and sarcasm?

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hdr
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Jaberwok, 10 months ago

Jaberwok wrote:

I fear that posters to this thread have entirely missed the irony - sarcasm in the original blog and have taken the thing literally...

Technology, camera specs and features are certainly significant distractions to the simple good old practice of photography, the primary aim of which is to capture good pictures. Good pictures are usually the result of the photographer focusing his/her attention and dedication on the photography, and not the technology. Thus, there is a difference between camera geeks and  photographers.

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John1940
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My DSLR is a tool, not a jewel...
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

wudyi wrote:

I found this good blog post for those of you who aspire to actually take pictures.

I use the camera to create something that is supposed to have an important property of a jewel: nice to look at for some people. For most people my pictures are born--and looking at jewels is totally boring for me. I have hundreds of nifty tools but no jewels at all. They are useless and cost a lot. My electronic and mechanical tools are useful and cost a lot.

Jewels are much like my pictures, actually. But the pictures don't cost much anymore--if I ignore the cost of going on cruises, that is.

John1940

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stevo23
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to hdr, 10 months ago

hdr wrote:

Jaberwok wrote:

I fear that posters to this thread have entirely missed the irony - sarcasm in the original blog and have taken the thing literally...

Technology, camera specs and features are certainly significant distractions to the simple good old practice of photography, the primary aim of which is to capture good pictures. Good pictures are usually the result of the photographer focusing his/her attention and dedication on the photography, and not the technology. Thus, there is a difference between camera geeks and photographers.

People like to say this a lot around here, but the two can't be unlinked.

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hdr
hdr
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to stevo23, 10 months ago

stevo23 wrote:

hdr wrote:

Jaberwok wrote:

I fear that posters to this thread have entirely missed the irony - sarcasm in the original blog and have taken the thing literally...

Technology, camera specs and features are certainly significant distractions to the simple good old practice of photography, the primary aim of which is to capture good pictures. Good pictures are usually the result of the photographer focusing his/her attention and dedication on the photography, and not the technology. Thus, there is a difference between camera geeks and photographers.

People like to say this a lot around here, but the two can't be unlinked.

Yes, photography and photography gear cannot be unlinked. I for one love photo gear, all sorts of gear and accessories. And the mere sight of my camera collection and gear brings me exuberance no end. It's certainly more like having two different hobbies in one ...

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Dennis
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In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

There's quite a market built up around convincing people that their cameras are indeed jewels. You need weatherproof gear to shoot outdoors; LCD protectors, body armor, the timeless UV filter. And even if nothing happens to your camera that causes it to break, it might affect (ready for it ?) ... RESALE VALUE !!! Heaven forbid our digital camera be worth $110 instead of $130 down the road. Far better to pamper it, even if that means spending $50 on various protectors.

But it takes all kind, from those who baby their gear to those who outright abuse it, and all of us that fall somewhere in the middle. Same goes for everything else you buy.

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Erick L
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

My cameras are tools. After moving in a new place, I needed to hang some frames. I didn't have a hammer so I used a Nikon F3.

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wudyi
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Erick L, 10 months ago

My cameras are tools. After moving in a new place, I needed to hang some frames. I didn't have a hammer so I used a Nikon F3.

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Erick - www.borealphoto.com

Good job...creates tool character.

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Ian Stuart Forsyth
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Erick L, 10 months ago

Erick L wrote:

My cameras are tools. After moving in a new place, I needed to hang some frames. I didn't have a hammer so I used a Nikon F3.

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Erick - www.borealphoto.com

With a PK -150 adaptor you can mount any pentax camera to a standard hammers handle

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The Camera is only a tool, photography is deciding how to use it.
The hardest part about capturing wildlife is not the photographing portion; it’s getting them to sign a model release

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amalric
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Ian Stuart Forsyth, 10 months ago

Everybody should be aware of the excesses of consumerism, but only some react to protect the art of photography, which can be done with very simple tools indeed.

There is a reaction I subscribe to called Slow Photography, but it could be dubbed Minimalism, etc.

It draws attention to photography not being ownership of cameras, which camera companies must sadly encourage. And the internet is its vehicle. So trolls try to make you into a criminal, if you take the natural restriction which is good to test real projects.

Am.

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