Raising the quality bar and a #365Project update

It’s been a busy and diverse few weeks for me in photography. Rather than pasting in a grid of photos I’ve decided to give you just one photo to enjoy from my ongoing 365 Project. If you like it please do check it out in all it’s glory in my portfolio and see it’s brother and sister pictures taken a day or two in its past of future.

The below was a very simple photograph. It was shot in fairly low light with a 50mm lens on a Canon 5D MKII.

This picture is of a Linhof Technika 4×5, Gavin Seim’s to be specific. He came and spoke at our Smug Mug Users Group in Seattle this week. He had some interesting perspectives on large prints. I was a little skeptical at first however after some presentation, discussion and sharing some large print work with us I started to get his point. We do tend to be trapped in the world of 5×7, 8×10 and… increasingly facebook.

I think there is something in what he had to say about the pursuit of quality. Facebook and camera phones lower the bar in quality whilst raising our output and ability to share. Now, I’m also aware of the work by many photographers such as Chase Jarvis who espouse the camera you have with you and cell phone cameras being a perfectly valid tool. Seim’s point was beyond 5x7s and provided an interesting contrast in perspective.

Where do I stand on the topic? A little bit of both makes sense to me. We can’t dismiss the importance of prolific photography on our lives, connections and sharing moments. Plus you can create a wonderful composition with a small camera. The flip side is if you wish to do big prints then you need better equipment. Yes a camera phone can produce some excellent work. Honing your skills on more advanced equipment can enable you to take that to the next level on screen and in print. Plus I like to think it provides a degree of future proofing.

My $0.02 anyhow. What do you think?

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Street Photography

I read a good article on “up close and candid” street photography the other day on my Windows Phone (Samsung Focus) whilst waiting for a table at a restaurant as my family enjoyed the pet store next door. I digress.

I really like the concept of shooting from the hip, getting the candid shots. Something you really don’t get from holding the camera up and pointing it at someone.

Technique: I found the relative quiet of the supermarket required and a short sharp ‘cough’ as I hit the shutter helped to keep my camera secret. Also my 50mm is too tight and its hard to aim, need to get a 35mm prime me thinks.

Strap: Having an Optech USA strap slung bandolier style in reverse (so the lens normally points down) and one (two is too long) extension gives me the ability to do this. My Optech wrist strap would work too, but if out on a long walk you will appreciate the neck strap.