Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Smile for the Camera

I'm not sure what triggered it, but I seem to have become re-obsessed with photography over the last couple of months. It was always something I enjoyed, but from the files just on this hard drive there have been big gaps when I haven't had the camera out at all over the years, never mind back in the pre-digital days.

Parlty this has come about through Flickr - having a few positive comments (especially from people I don't know in the real world), invites to groups and favouritising of shots is a natural boost to the ego. And of course that then spurs me on to try and do better or be more interesting next time. I'm also looking for more and different subjects to train the lens on - partly through browsing the groups or other people's photos randomly in search of inspiration.

But then I have tried to be a bit creative with my camera for as long as I've had one. Which I guess will be 20 years this Christmas for one of reasonable quality (OK, so that was only a cheap Halina point and shoot 35mm jobby, but it did at least take full-size pics in colour!). I also tend to overshoot compared to others.

When we went on a college field-trip to Morocco I used three rolls compared to the one averaged by most of the others. It seemed extravagant at the time (after all, three films and processing was a lot on a grant) but I did then have the luxury of choosing good shots for the essays and stuff when we got home. And the day after we first went to Canada and I took ten rolls in for developing still sticks in the mind too.

Of course now with digital cameras and memory cards cheaper than real film it is easy for me to whip off several hundred shots in a matter of days. Maybe quality is preferable to quantity, but at least I can weed out the good ones from the mundane before sharing them with the world.

But now I face a real choice - where do I go now? If you don't count phones, I am now on my third point & shoot digicam. The first lasted a good six years, the second a mere six weeks or so before dying and now number three is approaching its birthday. And I want something more powerful. So should I go for one of the new superzoom compacts (up to 24x zoom has a certain appeal) or move on up to a digital SLR?

I really fancy the latter, but am not sure I can justify the expense. Especially as I know I will want extra lenses which puts the cost up immensely (after all, I do love my macro shots, and also want to get that telephoto ability too). I just can't decide.

Of course, being able to stuff the current Samsung in my pocket is a big advantage too. Plus living in such a lovely County and having a job that takes me out into it on a regualr basis is also handy - especially as I have to get pictures of bus shelters/stops etc for work. So if there is something just as photogenic next door it isn't really any worse for me to stop and snap that as it is for the desk-bound taking a fag break every half hour.

Oh yes, and being out today has taken me over 16,000 steps in one day for the first time!