Sir John Herschel coined the word, ‘photograph’ drawn from the Greeks – Photo(light) + graphe’ (representation through lines or drawing) = Photograph(drawing with light). Try saying the word to yourself, it has a distinctly beautiful ring to it, especially when you enunciate ‘ph’. It is truly my favorite word.
I shoot with a Nikon D90, an amateur’s camera, an APS with 12.9 mega-pixels, a larger LCD and higher ISO range than its predecessors. The hope is to graduate to a Full Frame Canon like the Canon 1Ds Mark III or even a Canon 5d Mark II. The D90, is the sturdy bike which comes with training wheels. The training wheels(auto mode) come off and you learn to take pictures in the manual and aperture priority mode with manual focus, a tripod, adjusting ISO, shutter speeds and apertures. All the while experimenting and making more mistakes than good pictures. Your balance is shaky for a while, can’t break in time, you dismount incorrectly….and then after days of riding around you finally nail it. You know the camera inside out, you know the basic principles of good photography, you know exactly what f-stop to choose, and how sensitive your ISO should be and at what aperture, while you adjust your TTL flash or your newly invested speedlite, you know to check the exposure and adjust for it, you know your white balance…on that day, you are left less satisfied than on days you had nothing but bad pictures. Why? Because, today is the day you start yearning for a bigger, better camera with the ability of rendering an image quality on par with pros. I assure you that these days of yearning and inadequacy will continue for the rest of you life. The yearning for the best and latest out there and the inadequacy from the learning curve which comes attached to it.
I take online classes with John Greengo and he had a wonderfully realistic graph on how we graduate from a point and shoot to a Full Frame camera through our life, whilst juxtaposing our perception of knowledge. Our perception of knowledge is very different from what we truly know, which is why most people believe that if they took some good shots with a point and shoot then they have an “eye” for this. One of the most disconcerting things about photography is that often what you see is not what you can capture. Example, shooting movement of any kind – if you saw it you missed it! But don’t be disheartened, once you grasp the basic principles(light, focus, shutter speeds, composition etc.,) and understand the equipment you require and use, it is possible to capture some of those moments. Simply put, a full frame is only as good as the one who wields it.
Do click on the images to see an enlarged version.