Friday, November 11, 2011

"YOU HAVE A NICE CAMERA! " Do you need to spend a lot of money to have nice photos?

Photo Credit:  Richie Macdonald
My Nikon............ and My Canon ..............yep I have one of both!  I started with the Canon D40 until I won the Nikon D90.  I love them both for different reasons and use them both ALOT.    I am often told "You have a Nice Camera!"  or "Now thats a Camera" when people see my cameras.  Those are "lay" people, your average Joe's.  When the pro's see my Cameras ...........they say "OH"  or "Nice Lens"  because I really do own 1 nice lens.   You see I really don't have "pro" equipment, I have middle of the road, expensive (to the average person) but cheap to the pros cameras and lenses.  I don't have any filters and in some cases I don't even have a filter protecting my lens which is a huge no no.  I don't have a good tripod and I don't have extra batteries ,  as a matter of fact I don't have extra "ANYTHING."  

I am often told that I take beautiful pictures and that is often followed by the comment "with that great camera of yours" or "I wish I had a camera like yours."   Well, I am here to tell you , that maybe, just maybe YOU DONT!    If you want to learn everything I have learned over the course of 30 years and dedicate yourself to learning about things like Aperture, shutter speeds, reflective light, etc etc then you DO want a camera like mine!  If you want to throw that baby in AUTO MODE and GO you do NOT want a camera like mine.  Many photographers with a point and shoot can take better quality photos than I can with all settings being the same (AUTO SETTING) of the very same photo, and I have proof!  :)

Nice Clear Shot from the Point and Shoot from a Distance

Nice Blurry Shot from UP CLOSE (security guard took this for me)
Butch and I wandered into the CABO WABO CATINA a few years back and ran into none other than SAMMY HAAGAR on stage playing for a room full of people.  It wasn't long after we were in that they closed and locked the doors behind us.    Butch had his NICE point and shoot camera with nice lens, great zooming capabilities and I had my "nice big camera."    I got CRAPPY AVERAGE SHOTS,  his were EXCELLENT!  I had to get the security guard to use my camera UP CLOSE to get something REMOTELY GOOD and Butch was able to stand back and get his very clearly.  How can that be you may ask?   Well consider this..............when you have to grab a camera and quickly take a shot there is no way to HURRY and set your camera for all of the correct exposures and lighting conditions, change a lens, the ISO and get all "set up" quick fast and in a hurry, especially in the dark.  Butch just simply pulled out his camera , zoomed in and held it up and could SEE the shot in the back of his camera.   Who got the better shot?  HE DID ,  I don't have all of his pictures downloaded here, that is just 1 of the many great ones he was able to get, he got ACTION ones too.....if I have time later I will find the disk and show off more of his pics....... I don't have any others worth showing and was lucky to get this one from the guard.

I have a CRAPPY Camera on my Phone.  I have the straight talk plan with a 2 mp camera on it (at the very most) it is samsung and it has no flash on it.  Most of the pictures I take with it are marginal at best but does the trick to document or share certain things.  I love that technology lets me do this! ;)   ANYWAY ,  I took what everyone thought was a beautiful shot yesterday with my camera phone, yep, no zoom, no lens , low mp and just point and shoot.    My phone camera isn't too bad outdoors.   I pulled this photo into a photo editing program and adjusted a few things.............
Here I adjusted the exposure, cropped the photo, and added a vignette and my signature...... didn't this turn out beautifully?   Now would you say that I have a "nice camera"  no......... this was a crappy camera....  I did not need any expensive equipment or software........ the software is FREE .   
The photo and tree were beautiful on their own right , granted but a little tweaking took the photo and enhanced it to make something worth framing or putting on canvas.  

So you may ask WHY I need my expensive cameras then? If it is "all that" to have the lower cost cameras and you can "fix" your photos in the editing to be nice?   I learned to take photos in the old days with 35 mm film and learned the basic , fundamentals about lighting.  I worked in a studio (olan mills) for years and learned even more,  I take fast action photos that I am paid to take for the newspaper (sports) and for me, working in the NON AUTO MODES is what I do best in most cases.   I do NEED a good point and shoot too........ for those times that are unexpected and we just happen into a concert for 300 of your closest friends with margaritas and such....... or those times when I am pulling out of the driveway and notice that beautiful tree in my neighbors yard "showing off" as he calls it.   I am able to take better photos with my big camera because it is NOT in auto mode.  If I did use it in AUTO my photos would not be as good as yours, and that is a FACT!  ;)   

You see its NOT THE SIZE OF THE LENS YOU HAVE ITS HOW YOU USE IT!  So don't rush out and buy a big camera based on how it looks or if you can put a big lens on it thinking you are buying the camera you need to get great photos , you will be disappointed greatly.   I hear it all the time with people taking photos of their kids playing sports, "I don't know why my photos don't turn out right" is their most common statement.  The first thing you should ask yourself if you have this problem is "do I have my settings on auto?"  if you do, you don't have the right camera for you.

I am not trying to discourage all aspiring photographers but rather lead you in the right direction.  If you are going to invest a lot of money into a camera you need to also invest in photography classes and or books to teach you how to use it.  If you want great photos and don't want to invest time in learning then go with the high end point and shoot you will be happier, I promise!


G.P,S said...

I could NOT agree more Angie! very well said!
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Grandpa Jones said...

ahh.. Angie....

While I totally agree with 99% of what you said..

You mentioned putting a pic of that tree shot with your cell phone on a canvas?

I'd like to see that one. I think, up close, it would look more like one big blur.