Sunday, May 10, 2020

Small camera reflex syndrome

I left the house three times over the last week to take pictures. It’s nothing to be proud of but I’ve been asleep at the switch for almost two months. When I began processing the images from those adventures, I discovered I hadn’t made a photograph with either of my main cameras in seven weeks. It might be the longest I’ve gone without using a real camera in thirty years. Maybe much more. Part of the reason, you are tired of hearing, was the long-fused effort to build a new website. But the other, and more valid excuse, is that I’ve come to rely on the iphone in my front pocket. Or in my left hand when I’m running. It’s unobtrusive, expedient, and competent. I am but one of those.

Taking a real camera in your hand does change the dynamics of picture making. It's heavier and more complex than a smart phone much the way that a 4x5 was a slow anvil compared to a full frame DSLR. But you give up contemplation and craft when you rush things, naysayers sniff. You don’t take the time to wait for the magic moment, the ideal light and the perfect composition. Sez you.

Having dispensed with the bulk and snail’s pace of large format not to mention the vaporous darkroom 18 years ago I happily embraced the ease and speed of DSLRs and now I embrace the remarkable iphone. Call me a hussy but I like my action easy, fast and indiscriminate. And there are processing tricks on a smart phone that I can’t perform in Photoshop. I have one word for you citizen, Snapseed.

From the fabled adobe portfolio are this gaggle of images from my heavyweight Canon 5D Mk III and my ever ready iphone 7. They are of historic San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos and the equally important Martinez Hacienda half a mile down the road from us.

Pretty hard to tell what image came from which device.


John Ellsworth said...

I wouldn't even know where to begin with telling them apart. I wonder about the new iPhone and its new camera, too. Are you considering using it as well?

Steve Immel said...

What a delight to hear from you. As to a new iphone I have some interest but am in a frugal mood. And I simply love the iphone 7. There's an adage that I will paraphrase from a disgraced cyclist named Lance something or other He said, "It's the man not the machine." So, I'd offer, "It's the photographer not the camera." Still a boy does need his toys.

How's the trike?