The plants are starting to turn and the walnuts and their tree leaves are starting to drop.
I took these pictures yesterday morning using different cameras and lenses. The first was the earliest and the other two were later. In the last one the grass seed heads were back-lit. There is nothing special about the pictures other than I am still testing how to use different cameras and lenses under different conditions as I ponder whether I want to supplement these cameras with another. I am at the point where the ergonomics and ease of carrying and using the camera are over-riding image quality considerations for these types of pictures.
I am always intrigued how a camera records an image that is different from what I thought I would get when I took the picture. The images are often remarkably different. The above are examples. We bought a new car in a color called sunset. I went out into the garage in the morning to get something and I noticed the way the sun was shining through the window onto the car so I went back and got my camera and took the above images. They look different from what I thought they would. The color is correct, but I didn’t notice the extent of the reflections and highlights when I was taking the pictures. And I certainly didn’t see my distorted reflection when I took the picture. I thought that I was just capturing the color.
The lesson to be learned … take lots of pictures. You might be surprised by what you see in the image. I often find birds, etc. that I didn’t know I photographed and often find that the reflections, tones, etc. surprise me.
Camera and lens sales have declined, declined quite a bit. There have been many stated reasons for this decline, starting with smart phone cameras taking the place of small P&S cameras. That is a good reason for the decline of many entry-level cameras; but higher quality DSLRs have also been on the decline. I think that has been partially caused by the decline in photographer businesses and careers due to decline in magazines and newspapers. They have been going out of business and the few remaining no longer are willing to pay for photographers on staff and are also finding that smart phone videos are good enough. But there are other causes.
One subtle cause has been the aging of our population. The older photographers are finding that they now can no longer handle the large and heavy “pro” DSLRs. These changes in the high-end of the industry have occurred at the same time that the younger generation has grown up with small digital devices, which now have cameras in them. The result is that the demand for “cameras” is less and has been squeezed from both ends.
Another cause is the change in interests of hobbyists. How many of you remember hobbies like Macramé, stamp collecting, cooking, printing pictures, etc. If you remember them you are getting old. The younger generations have different hobbies like keeping their thumbs and eyes busy with their smart phones and small computers while they play games, cruise the web, take selfies, etc. If you think differently, go where there are younger people and look around .
Photography will not die but it will change. Down the line a ways there will be less art hung on walls, fewer wedding photography books, etc. In addition all documentary photography will be videos and the camera as we know it will be gone. There will be no more line-ups of photographers with enormous long zoom lenses along the sidelines of football games, etc. The coverage will be with smaller video cameras. Still images will diminish accordingly as current living generation’s age and die.
On 21 August 2014 the Homewood at Plum Creek Men’s Group visited the R. H. Sheppard Company. They were split into two groups. The group I was with was led by Peter Sheppard. His father founded the company in 1937 and it has been owned by the family ever since. I was impressed with how they have continued to modernize and keep up with technology and be competitive.
Don’t forget to click on any picture to see them all in larger gallery mode.
I took the above pictures when the Hanover Barbershop Chorus was practicing in the Chapel in Homewood at Plum Creek. They are getting ready for their 46th Annual Barbershop Harmony Show … “Moonlight & Love Songs.”
I really liked their music! They are very good. You can read more about them by going to their website by clicking here.
I hope to see some of you at the show. It will be on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 7:30 in the Hanover High School Auditorium. Tickets are $15 and you can get them at the door or by clicking here and to learn how to get them in advance.
There are several techniques that aging photographers can adopt so that they can keep on photographing after they no longer wish to carry or hold their heavy DSLR camera. They can switch to lighter, smaller prime lenses and change what they photograph; i.e. stop photographing wildlife with big heavy long zoom lenses. Or, they can switch to smaller lighter cameras with smaller sensors. Even Saul Leiter moved “down” to micro 4/3 cameras and he hadn’t been shooting with a heavy DSLR camera or long heavy zoom lenses. I have mentioned these techniques before as I adopted them. This article is about a third scheme … using a lighter, smaller entry-level DSLR with a prime lens in order to cut weight.
One characteristic that I have noticed with my arthritic hands is that a lighter camera-lens combination is a big help but having a lighter camera-lens combination with a good hand-grip and buttons that aren’t too small or too close together is even better. In addition, I thought that an appropriate hand grip would compensate for a little more camera weight. For that reason I ordered a Nikon D3300 camera with a 35 mm prime lens to try. My hope was that the hand grip would compensate for the heavier camera with an APS size sensor and lenses and mirror. My motive for trying this approach was that I wanted to get a little better image quality in low light than I can get with my micro 4/3 sensor camera. I also hoped that the 24 MP sensor would enable me to do more crop-zooming with the 35 mm f/1.8 DX lens.
Well, I tried this third approach and rejected it. I didn’t find that the larger sensor was much better and I didn’t like the focus capability of the D3300. It focused fast enough in good light but it needed to use the focus assist light in low light and I didn’t like shining a small spot light on my subjects. The real killer was that the 35 mm lens back-focused about an inch. Having this problem along with the camera-lens combination being larger with few external controls was too much to warrant me keeping it. I returned it.
Another more subtle problem was that I didn’t find the cheap quality of the camera to be pleasing. I need to like my cameras. They have to feel and look like they have been well-engineered and constructed. I think I have learned a few lessons. One, I am done with the DSLR cameras and their large lenses. I have sold mine with a few attempts to try others one more time, but this was the last time. Two, going cheaper is not the solution.