valadilenne: (Travel: Big Ben)
The thing that I like the most about photographs is that they give me a reference point I don't usually get from actual experiences. I like to take a lot of photos when I'm on vacation so that I can remember what everything looked like exactly. It's hard for me to remember things like that, because what I come away with is usually a single exaggerated moment that's distorted through my opinions and feelings. Sometimes I secretly wonder if I have a bit of a memory problem in that sense.

And while precise photographs and the desire to remember things exactly as they were are useful and normal, photographs reassure me that I wasn't crazy to think that the door we passed at this landmark was red, or that it was a cloudy day.

Still, I like weird and distorted photos for the sake of art, too--and sometimes those trump realism in a way that's sort of indescribable.

The problem with photographs is that people take too many. Luckily with digital cameras we don't print off the bad ones and waste resources, but I'm sure we still look through folders of .jpgs full of red-eye, bad composition and stupid expressions. Photography is really meant to capture something important, not 47 blurry out of shot photos of your boyfriend's ass.
valadilenne: (Default)

Hope it doesn't hotlink. If it does I'll fix it.

No, I didn't get this camera. But I really want it. It's the Nikon d40, which is the starting range of "budget" dSLRs, and I've been looking to convert from point and shoot to something with weight and a nice lens.

My family has something of a photography addiction--my mom got into it and was always chasing us with a Minolta, and my brother was lucky enough to get to take photography classes in high school and develop his own pictures. Photography at Booker T. was really tough to get into so I never had the joy of working in a crappy WWII pre-fab building dark room. I did get to hang out with Eric when he was Erik, stealing photo paper out of people's lockers at TU and playing in the chemicals (hope that doesn't come back to bite me).

So I've had the Kodak z740 for the last three years and it has served me very well. I took it with me to London and got some fantastic shots--the 10x zoom is amazingly useful in crowds, and I'm really happy with the over 1000 photos I brought back with me (not so happy about having to rush to get them all in a scrapbook this summer, but that's a different story). I am not ungrateful to this wonderful camera that I outfitted with an accessories kit and put quite a bit of effort into acquiring.

The problem for me is that I kind of bought it as a pseudo-dSLR specifically for London. I wanted good pictures, but I wanted something a bit higher than the PowerShots that everyone has. I wanted something lightweight and easy to carry around. And this has done that for me.

But lately the Kodak has begun to lag. It gives a disproportionately large lag time when the shutter closes even when I have it on Auto and it's a sunny day outside. It takes too long to process the image, and I don't get that fantastically satisfying feeling of continuous burst photos like I did with the Mega SLR back when I worked at the paper in Little Rock and had that pity stint in the photo department. I could take like 5 pictures a second! Now I'm being forced to wait it out, and view each picture in between all the takes. Also the batteries can't hold charges as well as they used to. Or maybe I'm not using the camera as often as I should and it just isn't doing as well.

Either way, that's almost $500 of my summer job money, and although I'm set to have more money than I've ever had before in my life by August, that's still a pretty big purchase. I'd really like this new camera to take to Aunt Jim and Jean's anniversary party in July (and the fireworks display at Mount Rushmore) but I'm afraid the price will drop dramatically this fall and it will have been a bad decision.


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May 2009

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