I happened on this article a while back and its message has always stuck with me (although I still obsess over new camera gear). But even a self-confessed gear addict can admit there are some pretty interesting points in there. The article by Ken Rockwell details his theory that you can achieve the results you want with a $150 camera or a $5000 camera, it’s just about understanding and working with the equipment. I don’t agree with everything he has to say, but it’s a good read for anyone lusting after some of the new, and ridiculously expensive, DSLRs popping up. And if you need proof of Rockwell’s claim that “a great photographer can take great pictures with a disposable”, look no further than Flickr where a simple search will yield some really amazing shots, all taken with disposables. A couple of my favorites are here and here. Also worth a read is Rockwell’s “$150 Camera vs. $5000 Camera” article.
I guess at the end of the day you’re really just paying for features when you buy a high end camera body. Easy access to settings, quicker focus, faster shots: it all adds up to an easier to use camera that allows you to get the shots when they present themselves. I remember my old Nikon CP 8800 fondly, it took great photos, but it was a total pain to use and I can’t even count the number of great shots I missed waiting for that thing to focus or write to the memory card (it took forever to do both).
Anthony Kurtz is a San Francisco based photographer who’s work I just recently stumbled upon. The second I saw his essay on India by train I was hooked. Anthony’s images manage to tread lightly into the world of HDR without stepping over that razor thin line into the overdone, hypersaturated cheeziness that plagues so many other high dynamic range photographer’s work. I love his palette and sense of atmosphere, the images feel modern and nostalgic at the same time. The simplicity and practicality of digital photography has led me astray from film so it’s nice to see someone like Anthony making digital feel so warm and vibrant (I am assuming these are digital, they have that processed digital vibe, but they could very well be film). There’s plenty more to see at his portfolio.
True to form for the Megapixel Wars, Nikon is said to be upping the ante with the follow up to it’s flagship D3 12MP shooter. The new D3x will apparently sport a 24MP sensor along with various other upgrades. I had the chance to try a D3 out earlier this year in Bangkok; it really was an incredible machine and I can only imagine what this more powerful version might be like. While the price on the D3x puts it well outside the range of my shortlist for new DSLRs, it’s still nice to lust over something so truly state of the art. Via Gizmodo via Gadgetlab
FivePrime have a nice collection of Rolleiflex / TLR shots posted that really make me want to get back into film, medium format particularly. For the uninitiated, TLR stands for “twin lens reflex” and Rolleiflex has made some of the finest examples of these cameras over the years. For those with deep pockets, you can pick one up on the used market (and roll the dice) or score a new one for the tidy sum of $4500 (but then again, a Zeiss lens is included). Until digital can match the tone and range of shots like these, film will never die. Link
Just in case you’re in the market for a new DSLR and all of the recentannouncements weren’t enough for you, this supposedly leaked ad from Nikon Japan just hit the web. The word “Big” appears next to a shadowy DSLR body, perhaps insinuating an impending compact, full-frame Nikon on the horizon. Here’s to hoping this potential model bridges the rather large chasm between the D90 and the D700 and maybe even throws in some of that HD video lacking from the D700 for good measure.
John Chiara is a local San Francisco photographer who built his own truck-sized camera. He details it’s operation in the above video and it’s nothing short of impressive the way he creates and manipulates the exposures. John’s process and results are fascinating, and it’s not just about the scale of the camera, the results themselves are truly beautiful. You can see more of his work at the Von Lintel Gallery site and get more info at the LighDark site.
Lomo has released "the world’s very first pre-loaded and ready-to-shoot RedScale film" and the results look pretty interesting. Redscale is an old concept; it involves loading the film backwards and shooting through the base which has a protective coating which shifts colors into the red. Now you don’t have to go through the hassle of loading your film backwards to get this effect. Lomography