Pew Pew Pew! Aw Shoot!

Wow, I am tired in the morning! I work twelve-hour shifts from 7pm to 7am and then have a one-hour hike home. Long daytime shifts are no problem for me. The nights never feel natural to my body's clock. So I'm not feeling energetic after the shift is done. Because of this, I have passed up a lot of opportunities to photograph. That and I am having trouble staying awake while driving. The only image I care about is one of my head on a pillow wrapped up in blankets.

This recent morning was an exception–it was gorgeous! I had two choices. One, I could have photographed before the sun broke the horizon. There was so much floating fog everywhere in the fields, towns and various nooks and crannies. Two, I shoot when the sun is up. I chose the second choice. I would consider this to be the more conventional, if not cliche, of the two. If I ever get another foggy morning like that, which may not happen for awhile, I will shoot before the sun rises. Either way, I was happy with my choice and even happier to make some images come to life.

I fired off a few rounds from my partner's old Canon point-and-shoot. Goodness, the sensor has so much dirt on it that I didn't bother cleaning up these images. My Nikon D70 has been sitting in the backseat of my car for a few days. We're in this love/hate relationship. That and I got a new memory card for it as the others have gone bad. It's good news to me! I got a great five years out of those memory cards and over fifty thousand actuations.

The point and shoot reminds me of a medium-format camera. I can see the image instead of peering through a small viewfinder. It is a different way of shooting. I can see what the image will mostly look like without using much of my brain to visualize it. Through an SLR viewfinder, I make notes to how it will look like based on the settings before I press the shutter. I turn off my image review by default to keep my eyes and mind sharp. The SLR viewfinder, to me, means to live in the Now.

I'm looking through a hole to see an image that doesn't exist. I love this about viewfinders. I have to focus intensely through this hole and mentally pull from the scene. It is very different than standing and looking at the entirety of what it is I'm photographing.

The Digital World has made me lazier. I can fire off more shots which, good for correcting mistakes, makes me rely more on luck than actual ability. It has taken me years to shoot less at the nice nudging of my mentor Chuck Kimmerle. I would shoot ten shots of the same scene that were barely different. Oh,the impatience of youth!

Perhaps I'll understand more about what it means to be a photographer. I have a lot to learn about the craft. I came at a time when DSLR's were moving to the forefront. I didn't learn photography with 4x5, 8x10 or 120 cameras. Digital offers instant gratification. I remember how impatient I was in the darkroom to develop and print a photograph. I spent more time complaining about the hours it took instead of if my images amounted to anything.

Now I am understanding the lessons taught to me several years later.

Here are a few more shots from this past Monday morning. More to come in my next post.

Oh and to reiterate, these were taken with a Canon point-and-shoot. I didn't say this for  wow factor. I said this to remind the gear-crazy folks blinded by marketing hype that tells them a better camera with a ton of megapixels will take better photos. The latest equipment isn't the end-all. Upgrade your equipment if you are limited by it. :)

Speaking of hype, I'm ready for you Nikon d7000.