Camera Gear, Photography

When is a Camera like a Computer?

camerasWhen you are ready to buy a new one! You see the question you should be asking yourself when buying a computer or a camera, is what are you going to do with it….then this determines the type and ultimately how much you will pay for it. Many times I would hear friends say ” I love your photographs, you must have a really good camera”!  The reality is that it’s not so much the camera as it is the photographer who is making the composition, judging the aperture, speed and ISO settings to KNOW how the picture will come out. I have a few friends who have spent hundreds of dollars on expensive DSLR’s to take “better” snaps of their kids and family, always leaving the setting on “A” for Automatic  and never shooting in RAW or manaul settings, and learning HOW the camera works and what it can do.

So the question should be, what do you intend to do with the pictures you take with your camera? If the answer lies in the realm of just posting to Facebook, Instagram or other social media repositories, then just use your camera phone. But if you intend to create art, enlarge images, printing and learning  to be a photographer by using post processing software, then that will determine the camera for you.

As I stated in my last post, the photo taken with a simple camera can still evoke an emotion as much as an expensive one……….so, what do you want to do?



Camera Gear, News Commentary, Photography, Photowalks

FreddySue Who?

freddy-sueNo, not Cindy Lou Who. I live in the land of George Eastman, and if you  are not sure who he is, think Kodak. OR more formerly as Eastman Kodak. But this is not about Kodak and I will surely write a short blog on them sometime soon. As it relates to photography and film it is a very interesting story of how the film and camera giant missed it’s place in the technology evolution and was a little late to the digital camera game. All of us who have had family work for Kodak have a treasure trove of stories to tell about this company. But I digress. This short story is about the many famous companies and people that made Rochester great…as much as I can tell in this short space. Growing up here, Rochester is home to many colleges and universities, and companies got their start here. You probably have used a copy machine, invented here by Xerox. Or have worn contacts or glasses made by Bausch & Lomb (think Ray-Ban). Also, Champion athetic products are from here as well Hickey-Freeman suits, French’s Mustard, Ragu, Gannett (USA Today) and Paychex. Actors have included Taye Diggs, Kristin Wiig, Mimi Kennedy, Robert Forster and Philip Seymour Hoffman to name a few. Countless musical people as well, like Lou Gramm.

However for the task at hand, the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass lived here and women’s suffragette Susan B. Anthony is from here. Hence the name of the bridge in the picture, officially named as the Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Bridge. Or affectionately known as the Freddy Sue Bridge. Now you know, and no grinches were harmed in this story.

Photo shot with Canon EOS 60D, f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/800th sec and Sigma 10-18mm lens at 18mm focal length. Post prosessed in Lightroom.

Camera Gear, Garage Sale Finds, Photography

Rite of Passage-What the VW bug and Pentax had in Common.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s it was quite common for a young mans first car to be a VW bug. They were plentiful and cheap and often seen at many high school parking lots. The bug was a rite of passage for a 16 year old boy to drive. I always wanted one, had many friends that did. However my first car was a 1962 Ford Falcon that I bought for 75 bucks from a good friend. Looked like crap, but hey, it was transportation. The other right of passage to any aspiring photographer was their first camera. In school, the instructor made everyone get the Pentax K1000 because it was the best camera to learn photography. Everything was manual. I never had one of these either. Certainly having my Canon AE-1 Program which was fully automatic (except focusing) you didn’t need to learn about the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and ISO. I kinda missed all that whilst setting my camera to P for Program, almost all of the time. Never did use manual. Today with my Canon EOS 60D, I almost always shoot in manual mode, unless I am somewhere and the situation calls for speedy transitions. However, back to Pentax. So I missed out on learning photography the right way and a few years ago I bought one off of Craigslist for $25. Can I tell you I absolutely love this camera? There is a certain feeling you get when you are controlling the process, turning the aperture ring on the lens, setting the shutter speed and watching where the match needle hits thru the viewfinder. It took me awhile, but I finally had my rite of passage with this camera. How about you, did you have one?

Camera Gear, Photography, Vintage Photography

My Dream Camera

img_2424I remember as a young boy wanting to get into photography, but just could not afford the cost of a new Nikon or Canon SLR. We often face those dilemmas in real life, cost vs. value or quality. What do we concentrate on? Well for a long time when I was 13-14, I used to look in the back of Popular Photography  or Modern Photography magazine and browse the ads for cheap cameras, or lower cost cameras I should say. I would scour the ads from Cambridge Photo or 42nd St. Photo every month drooling over the cameras, lenses and anything photography related.. There was something magical, yet educational in reading those ads. That’s how I learned. By reading ads.Even to this day I will still read ads to see what was being advertised then look up more information about the item. What lenses were being advertised and for what purpose. Why was a 50mm 1.4 better than a 1.8 and so on. Remember Spiratone lenses? I never bought one, but always wanted one. I settled on a Hanimex Praktica to be my first camera. Because it was cheaper than all the others. I still couldn’t muster the few hundred dollars to buy one. But many years later I did see one on Ebay , and bought it. Only to be disappointed that it didn’t work. It seemed the shutter didn’t work properly and it was a fairly common thing with those cameras.I bought the camera because it reminded me of an innocent time in my youth. And I just wanted to be there again. Sadly we move on from broken things, but just can’t seem to part with the idea of what we thought we could do with them. But we still hope.