Tuesday 17 October 2017

The Thing about Photography

A recent post on a camera forum got me thinking recently, as this person was unhappy with his camera (not something unusual on a camera forum) but they said their camera, a Canon 6D, was an ‘antique’ and ‘wasn’t up for the task and it ‘only’ had 20 megapixels.  He didn’t go into details as to what he took pictures of or why 20 MP wasn’t enough for him, but he was determined to by a new camera.  Every response was to agree with him and give him advice as to which new, expensive camera he should buy.

Since getting my first digital camera, a 350D, visiting forums the trend has remained the same – so many people not happy with what they currently own, always wanting the next best thing. It makes me wonder why they even bother with photography.  They seem to be constantly feel limited by the camera’s ability, the next great camera will improve their photography.

This summer has been as slow and frustrating time, with little in the way of images to show for it, but it has had little to do with the equipment – the only time was with my visit to the Farne Islands when the dull grey weather caused problems with focusing on the fast flying Puffins.  A shiny new expensive camera may have fixed some of that but at the end of the day the lack of images this summer is down to my ability, motivation, luck and opportunity.

In September I decided to spend some money, not on new equipment but on a week away to the Lake District, Windermere to be precise – that was my motivation and opportunity taken care of.  The Lake District is known for its scenery but also for it’s unpredictable weather and on this case, rain, and it did rain.  Only on one of the days I was there that it didn’t, but that was all I needed.  On the third day I got up bright and early and headed off to Rydal Water, a small lake just north of Ambleside, in the hope to catch the sunrise but instead there was a very heavy mist that morning which, with any luck, would remain until I got on site.  The luck part was complete as it did.

So now it was just down to my own ability. To be honest, I tend to be my own worst critic and was a little disappointed with the mornings results as the didn’t convey the scene that I saw, which was frustrating.  I sometimes forget though, a large part of the enjoyment is simply being out there, seeing the views, breathing the fresh air and getting some exercise.  The following images are a selection of what I did manage to capture, most taken that morning.
Canon 6D + Samyang at 14mm f22 1/15 ISO 100
Canon 80D + Canon 18-135 at 18mm f9 1/125 ISO 100
Canon 6D + Canon 17-40mm at 34 1/200 ISO 100
Canon 80D + Canon 18-135mm at 20mm f11 1/125 ISO100
Canon 80D + Canon 18-135mm at 135 f9 1/320 ISO 100
Canon 6D + Canon 17-40mm at 17mm f11 1.3 sec ISO 100

IMG_7726-PanoRydal Water Panorama Stitched from 5 images - Canon 6D

IMG_0398View point of Rydal Water from one of the surrounding hills - iPhone 6s

IMG_7729-PanoLake Windermere Panorama Stitched from 6 images - Canon 6D

I guess at the end of the day, I take the view that most photographers, (as in those who don’t take just casual photos) fall under two categories. Those for who the tech, i.e. pixels, resolution, etc., is more important and those where the image or the art form of photography is.  I fall into the later category.  Although I like the tech and it plays a part in photography at the end of the day, the limitations are nearly always mine and not the camera.