Friday, February 15, 2013

musings on photography and cameras

There are a few "i/phoneographers" whose work I really admire. One of them is Neil, who has an incredible eye for street photography and telling stories through images of complete strangers. Another is Rebecca, whose photos of her four kids routinely draw collective sighs and swoons all over Instagram (I dare anyone to look through their feeds and tell me cell phones can't produce beautiful, meaningful photographs). So when I saw that she'd published a photography how-to of sorts I sat up and took notice. And, as expected, it's one of the best general photography posts I've read in a while. If you're interested in that sorta thing, I do suggest sitting down with a cup of tea or coffee or whatever beverage of your choice and devoting a minute to reading it through.

When we bought our DSLR five whole years ago I felt like sort of a fraud spending so much money on this fancy camera because I wasn't a "photographer," I just liked taking pictures and wanted a better tool for capturing my soon-to-be first-born kiddo. Zach pushed me to actually learn what the little letters on the dials and buttons meant and how they worked together, and thus began a love affair that kinda took me by storm.

(No, I didn't mysteriously sprout another baby... this one belongs to a couple friends of ours)

And then about two years ago I got my iphone and fell down a whole new rabbit hole. The ease of taking, editing, and sharing pictures so easily from my phone was exactly what I needed at a time when I didn't have the time for anything else. I don't use my dslr nearly as much anymore, though I don't think I could ever ditch it completely-- the quality of images is too beautiful, I'm too addicted to it.  But, the simplicity and portability of my phone makes it so great for capturing everyday moments. It's also so much less obtrusive-- at D's birthday party I used my big camera (made positively monstrous by the external flash and zoom lens made necessary by the room/lighting/occasion), and I knew people were aware of me taking pictures which makes most people feel really awkward, which then makes me feel really awkward in return. A cell phone camera makes it so much easier to take pictures without being so obvious. I guess that's one of the criticisms people have against cell phone photography-- it's "too easy." Which, honestly, seems silly. If capturing/sharing/viewing photographs makes people happy, I have a hard time seeing how ease or expanding availability of it is a bad thing (said as someone who has reaped great enjoyment out of my easy digital photography).

Sleeping beauty

At this point I don't have a camera body or fancy lens that I'm lusting after, instead I keep eyeing the front & rear cameras on the iphone 5 (or rumored next model) and wondering when I can justify an upgrade. Yeah, I see my phone as camera gear... and one of my most prized possessions (for better or worse). I go back and forth on which one I see as my "main" camera, but I'm not sure they can really compete...they fill different niches/purposes in my photo-taking.

This morning Zach was telling me about a case they discussed in class about Kodak and how the photography industry has changed so dramatically in the past couple decades, which led to us talking about the shifting landscape of cameras today. I see people ditching point&shoots in favor of smartphone cameras or upgrading to DSLRs, others going to the new mirror-less interchangeable lens models, and others still who are going the other way and ditching their fancy DSLRs for the ease and portability of their phone cameras. It's fascinating to watch these different options emerge and evolve, and wonder what photography apparatus we will be using in the future.


  1. I couldn't love all the beautiful pictures you take any more than I do - iPhone or DSLR. And for Sam to star in some of them! Oh joy!

  2. You do take fabulous pictures, and I love seeing them. I am going to read the post now, I spend way too much time taking pictures, both with my dslr and my iphone. One thing I never do is edit, and I should really learn how!



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