Saturday, February 14


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Get set for this.... okay... here it comes.... READY??

Wonder is a perishable commodity - interest, like bread, can go stale.

So? did I get that right? Huh? Huh?

And if I'm correct, then the challenge we face is in keeping our wonder engorged. And that's one of the reasons why photographers are generally gear heads. It's not that we expect to find the silver bullet in each new lens, filter, or tripod. Nope, we're not looking for the ability to be creative... uh-uh. We've done that before, know we can do it again, just as soon as the mood hits. Trouble is the pesky lengthening time between moods.

So gear isn't a substitute for creativity any more than Viagra is a substitute for sex. We don't want gear to make a picture, but we want it to stimulate one.

Which is probably one reason I just bought this new little point-and-click Canon PowerShot G10 that I showed off yesterday. Cameras don't make art, artists make art. But I figure if I can carry a full function camera in my pocket which will do more than the Leica M series could do back in the 60s... Hey... I ought to carry that camera around. If I'm going to walk about framing all the time, why not have a camera close by to exploit those frames?

So here today I'm posting the second image from my new G10. Yesterday visitors commented on the G10, but they wondered if yesterday's image was direct from the camera. Nope! Neither is this one. I don't want a camera anymore which will produce final photographs. I have lost my faith in a camera's ability to create images which express what I think or feel. But I've used cameras which cannot produce photos which I can enhance into the wonders or ideas that I want to communicate.

So the question I have about the G10 is not whether it will produce perfectly rendered moments, but whether it will give me material which is indistinguishable from the stuff I can gather with my DSLR and its lenses.

So here's my second try from Friday afternoon's shoot at the Amish farm. This bird house sat exactly to the left of the corn cribs on yesterday's image. I wanted to find wonder in that little spot. So? Does this create a sense of place? Is this G10 capable of doing what I've been doing for over half a century with my lenses and cameras?

Whudaya thihk about that challenge for the G10, and whuddaya think about "Birds"?


For those who are interested in reeeeely geeky stuff (like me), here's the virgin image direct from the HD card without any enhancement of this image. You can judge for yourself how much opportunity the G10 has provided me in kneading out my own feelings about the moment. I think this Canon machine's a keeper. Do you agree? I can see a lot of situations in which it could replace my 40D and my three lenses. There's only one problem though. It sure doesn't give me any authority. I doubt anyone will give me the respect that comes when I screw my Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens onto the D40. It sure doesn't feel like a serious camera. While it's about the size of the M series Leica's, well, with the large LED in the back and the just-slightly-clunky body... It sure won't get me into any place that excludes beginners. Which is a topic for another day, eh?

Suffice it to be said, this box, and its user (me) will probably be dismissed by other dedicated photographers. It makes it look as if I have failed to pay the dues for admission into the club... either in terms of gear or in terms of experience. Hmmmm.... that could be an important consideration here. But again, that's a whole new topic.


Michael Nelson said...

I couldn't agree with you more about new toys helping to re-stimulate interest in the hobby. I really like what you did with the "Birds" photo.

I have a new G10 too and have been having lots of fun with it. One I really liked was a HDR I did in the basement at Alcatraz Prison.

Ted said...

(Thanks Michael) Do you have a link to that HDR that you've pulled from the G10? Inquiring minds want to know!

Michael Nelson said...

Here it is:

Ted said...

Damn, can't get it to load Michael. Grumble...

Ted said...

Wait... wait... I GOT IT. ZOWIE! No... no... DOUBLE ZOWIE!

Michael Nelson said...

Thanks Ted. I wish I had had a tripod with me, the longest exposure in the 3 shot series was 1 second, so the HDR is not as sharp as I would have liked.

I guess my point really is this: If I hadn't bought the G10 I wouldn't have gone to Alcatraz that day. The new toy stimulated me to go out and find something to shoot, and I have a real problem with getting stagnant and staying home with my gear all packed up. The G10 makes it easy to take advantage of any sudden inspiration because it is with me, and my "better" gear is not.

Jan Klier said...

Actually, I know of many very serious photographers who make their living with camera who carry some version of the Canon G* around (David Hobby comes to mind among others). It's a great camera to always have on you, when it's not convenient or practical to lug the big stuff around. It's one way to always make sure you have a camera on you when you leave the house.

I have an earlier sibling the G7 and enjoy it very much. It doesn't do RAW files which is a big drag. The G9 and G10 have fixed that.

It's well suited for most editorial work, great for making sure I'll remember that location for a future project, or whatever else may come around. The one thing it won't work as good for, just like any other point-and-shoot, is sports or anything where the exact exposure timing is critical.

Enjoy your new gear ....


Andreas said...

Well, for me it's lenses. At the moment I am at 24/2.8, and I guess a 28/2.8 or 35/2.0 will follow.

I absolutely love it to explore a focal length, and when I am through with it for a time, to change lenses again. That moment is bliss: A dizzy feeling of disorientation, for a short time nothing is as it used to be, and in that moment a new way of seeing may be born. It does not happen all the time, but frequently it does.

Glen Goffin said...

what scares me is the possibility that that 'special moment' might occur and I only got a noisy version ... lol ... but then I visit portfolios like Richard Avedon and remember that noise is part of the composition too :)

Ted said...

As a matter of fact Glen, I did a portrait purposely at ISO 1600 in order to exploit the noise. It is wonderful. Um, at least I like it a LOT. However since my friend may not like the intensity of my PP... Well, you will have to take my word for the impact and grit of the noise. I'm not anxious to have him misinterpret the image.

John Roberts said...

First, an apt title for this image, because the birds turn this from an image of interest to one of wonder.

Second, for your intended purpose, providing raw material for your imagination to build on, the G10 is probably ideal. It has the features, creative control, and zoom range you need without the size and complexity that you don't need. The lack of "authority" will probably prove to be an advantage, as it makes you less conspicuous when you're on the prowl for images. Smaller digital cameras are so commonplace now that you will hardly get a second glance with the G10. I think that with a big, black dslr with a lens as big as a sewer pipe, people immediately wonder what we're up to. The dslr is definitely an attention grabber, whereas the G10 will go largely unnoticed. You made a good choice.