Nostalgia

Photography

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I spent many happy hours yesterday sorting through the folders of old photos stored on the external hard drive I have for my computer. This began as an attempt to find some of the ‘missing’ knitwear photos, but soon morphed into a general tidy-up and rediscovery of all kinds of memories. I love days like that.

I was surprised by how much I still like the photos I used to take. I didn’t do a lot of staging, I didn’t use all my camera’s functions, yet the results I got have really stood the test of time. The photo above, for example, I took in 2006 and it knocks spots off anything I’ve done over the past couple of years. It’s not that I have ever thought I was a ‘good’ photographer, I have always not-so-secretly thought that words are much more important than pictures, but having a good camera taught me a lot about noticing the small things that go on all around us. I enjoy getting up close and personal with the subject of a photo.

Part of the reason for the change in photo quality, I think, is that I stopped using my big DSLR camera and just used the phone for everything. The phone is great, the phone is always with me, I think the phone actually has better resolution than the camera now. The phone is like my old Kodak 110 camera enhanced beyond belief, and when a snapshot is called for the phone is a hands-down winner. However, it lacks the nice, natural sweetness of the photos I used to take, maybe because if you can pick up the phone and take a quick shot or 20, you aren’t going to put the effort into making sure the shots are as good as they can be. Quantity over quality.

I know that it’s perfectly possible to use the phone and take really good photos; other people are doing this all around me. The point is that I don’t think of the phone that way. Also, I suspect that to get to the stage I used to be at with my DSLR (heaven only knows if I can still get a decent photo with it), I would have to invest my time and effort in improving my skills with the phone, buy some kind of tripod or tripod attachment to provide stability for posed shots, possibly buy lenses to allow me to do macro photos, probably get additional photography apps. That’s a lot of effort to expend on something that isn’t a real hobby of mine.

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s time to pull my DSLR out of the nest it’s been hiding in, charge up the battery, dust off the lenses, and drag the tripod out from the back of the cupboard. I’ll try and do a test run with my next knitting progress report, so keep your eyes peeled. Speaking of knitting, that’s firmly on the agenda for today.

5 thoughts on “Photography

  1. Good luck with getting your camera out again! I must admit to using a mix of my Olympus camera and my phone camera… although to be honest it’s more camera than phone! 😀

  2. Hi, yes, mine’s an Olypus too, ages old, but still good. Really the only issue I have with the phone camera is that I don’t take enough care over what I shoot with it, and the photos reflect that.

  3. Do the film photography challenge with your DSLR. Find an old small memory card one that you can only fit say 40 photos on to it.
    Then set your camera to a fixed ISO, turn off the screen previewing your photos after every shot. Go out and take the 36 photos. Then wait 2-3 days before you download the photos. You aren’t allowed to edit them in your computer or in camera. And that is it.
    Want to make it tougher…. turn off auto focus and stick to manual exposure control as well.
    It’s quite hard to do! Like going back to analogue film photography all over again!
    Have fun.

  4. Oh, wow, thanks Steve, that’s a brilliant idea. The restrictions you mention sound exactly like how life is when I go out without my reading glasses – everything has to stay on one setting and I can’t see a thing on the preview screen!

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