I was watching this video on Bruce Gilden’s take on street photography. He basically just jumps in front of people and takes their picture. No permission. No fair warning. Just a flash in their face.
Anyway, this led me to investigate what kind of lens works best for “street photography.” As it turns out there are a lot of opinions on the matter. See here and here and here for opinions.
The consensus beyond whatever works seems to be some sort of “prime lens,” which was a foreign term to me. It’s a lens with a fixed focal length. Thus, “prime” is the opposite of “zoom.”
The advantage to using a prime lens is that it simplifies the picture-taking process. You can be quicker. You can become familiar with how best to shoot with that focal length.
So, that’s that. I don’t know much. But I’m noting what I learn here so I can remember. Please feel free to comment, correct, or inform me.
Superior Film Guy
Owning a film camera makes me use the words “exposures” and “shooting” more than I did before. No longer do I “take pictures.” Instead, I “shoot pictures” and “have three of twelve exposures left.” Part of this is because a picture isn’t a picture until you take it. Until then, it’s a potential exposure (an unexposure?).
It’s funny that reverting to old technology would give me a sense of photography superiority.
iPhone for First Impressions
I’ve started to frame shots with my iPhone before shooting them with my Diana+. By taking a picture with my iPhone, I get a sense of whether the picture is worth wasting a film exposure on. Or, more often, I am able to focus in on the most interesting part of the iPhone picture and then take just that with the film.
Looking at photographs online is a huge time suck for me. Once I start looking at the flickr Explore – 7 Days Interesting I’m lost for an hour or more. I could flip through the pages endlessly. I recognize that 95 percent of the pictures on there are rubbish, but every once-in-a-while I’ll find a good one worth favoriting.
Right now, I’m finding the photos on The One’s We Love similarly addicting.
The Ones We Love is a project highlighting young and talented photographers from around the world. Each artist contributed six photographs of the person(s) who is most important to them, taken outdoors in a natural setting. The goal of the website is to portray the people who are loved, cherished, and inspirational to these artists, and also showcase the differences and similarities in the photographs each of them took within the same guidelines.
I own six cameras:
1. Canon PowerShot SD800 IS (link)
2. Casio Exilim
3. Sony MiniDV Handycam
4. iPhone (link)
5. Diana+ (link)
6. Macbook Pro iSight (link)
I just got the iPhone and Diana+ this Christmas and have limited experience with both.
The Diana+ uses medium format 120 film. I’ve only shot in color. You can see my first three rolls here. Having to wait for the local camera shop to develop my film highlights how convenient immediate feedback on digital cameras is. And how impatient I am.
The iPhone seems to take great pictures (for a “phone”). There is no flash, so it is a poor substitute for my Canon PowerShot during nighttime outings. Otherwise I’m thrilled with it.
The Canon PowerShot has given me what I expected – portability and above average pictures. The lack of shutter control is frustrating, but otherwise a good compact camera. I also love the video capabilities and recently upgraded to a 4GB SD memory card that allows 33 minutes of video.
The Casio Exilim was my main camera before the Canon PowerShot. It has 4.1 mega-pixels and takes good pictures, but is slow to shoot.
I rarely use the Sony Handycam. I will make a point of shooting more higher quality video with it this year, although it is not HD. That leaves me somewhere in between the Canon video quality and HD.
The MacBook Pro iSight is used almost exclusively for goofy shots and video chatting.