Monday, September 23, 2013

Putting a smile on a shooter's face

A Canon S90 proves it worth.                                                                    © Ken Wightman
I've enjoyed taking pictures all my life. I have a shot from my childhood showing me taking a picture with an old Kodak Brownie Autographic mounted securely to the top of a tripod.

In high school I bought my first SLR kit: A Pentax Spotmatic body with three prime lenses. My 300mm f/4.0 was my pride and joy. I used that stuff through art school and continued to use it at my first job as a photographer for a little, Northern Ontario daily.

Over the years I went through a Nikon stage, doesn't everyone, and finished my career deep in my Canon-shooter period. My 200mm f/1.8 was the last love of my professional life. When I left the paper, I left my camera gear behind. The paper owned my photo kit.

Today I shoot with a Canon S90, a small point-and-shoot, teamed with a Fuji FinePix HS10, a super-zoom amateur camera.

Do I miss my top-end Canon stuff? You betcha. Am I happy with my present camera kit? You betcha again. My heart is poor, my back is weak, my ability to carry a large, heavy camera bag is but a memory. If I had to shoot with my old stuff, I wouldn't be shooting. Period.

My picture of the Kestrel falcon displayed by a birder at Hawk Cliff before its release to continue its migration south is only possible because I am shooting with a small, light, take-anywhere camera.

Purists may shutter at the photographic image quality. I don't. I'm pleased to have the image and the memory-reinforcing photo. If you can handle a big DSLR, go for it. The results will put a grin on your face. If you can't, get a good point-and-shoot. The results will still put a smile on your face.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Minimal photography

Some would argue this image is too complex. Too much is going on for some minimalists.

Recently I joined a Facebook group, Abiotic Minimal Photography. I'd encourage you to join and contribute images but unfortunately the site has been closed. I believe it is now only open for viewing. Being a member, even for a brief time, exposed me to the minimal photography concept. Without knowing it, I've been shooting minimal images for years.

The AMP site had a few rules. One was that images based on flowers or other vegetation were off limits. I expect this was because it is simply too easy to shoot great minimal photos with a flower as the subject.

That said, a colourful wall featuring a colourfully painted window is a pretty obvious subject as well. I see no reason to declare vegetation an unsuitable subject for minimal photography. If it works, for it.

Now, in the spirit of minimalism I am going to keep my writing for this post to a minimum. I'm simply going to supply a good link: 8 Tips to Become Excellent at Minimalist Photography.

If this concept interests you, google 'minimal photography.' There's a lot posted on this movement. Now, get out there and enjoy.