Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tools Are Important

When people see my work, either on the internet or when its exhibited, they often ask me what kind of camera I use. I get the feeling that the underlying message is that if they could use the same equipment, they'd be able to get the same kind of picture. So I dodge answering the question. Doesn't matter their level of experience - more than me, same as me, less than me - they're not me, they can't take the picture I would take, theirs would have to be different.

But then again, what camera I use is important to me. The tools I use define the limits of what I can do with my insight and intuition. If I'm shooting with my D700 and 24-70 f2.8 lens, I can do things that won't work with the X-Pro1 (regardless of which lens I'm using), and the reverse is also true. The D700 response time is much faster than the XP1, it's also much larger, heavier, and more conspicuous. The XP1 requires me to work with a different sense of timing - I have to be more selective and pick my shots more carefully, and I have to do a split second's more preparation to get the shot - and it's smaller, lighter, and much less conspicuous so I can work much more easily in crowds, in close, on the street. 

The tools I use are important to me. Just as the tools someone else uses are important to them for what they want to, or can, do. I shot this with the XP1 and the 18-55 zoom lens (with the OIS set to continuous) at 55mm, f5.6, 1/250th second, ISO 1000. Processed in Lightroom, Nik's Dfine, Color Efex Pro 4, and Silver Efex Pro 2. For my street shooting the continuous OIS is essential, I'll just have to live with the battery drain (I now carry two spares with me). If you could view this image full size, you'd be able to see every little strand of fur on the collar of her coat, and every strand of blowing hair. 

Just look at her eyelashes!