Spotting the Light

“If I had a good camera like you have, I could be a great photographer!”

I wonder how many photographers have heard this quote before? I have heard it a few times. But getting an education in photography is about more than our professors teachings us how to say “cheese.” In order for me to go forward as a photographer, I need to understand how to compose my photographs using the elements of art and principles of design. Don’t get me wrong; a great tool can help make things easier. I think photography is made, not taken. Anyone can snap a picture that turns out good. When this happens it is if someone shoots an arrow and runs down and paints a bulls eye around the arrow where it lay. Just as great writers would say having a pen and paper doesn’t make you a writer. Rant complete!

I get asked all the time what camera is better, Canon or Nikon?, and the answer is, it depends on what you want to use it for. I use several different cameras. Mostly for black and white 35mm I use a Nikon N90s or my Canon rebel. For medium format I use my Mamiya RB67 pro-s (love this camera) but it is basically a square negative so it is difficult to use for landscape, though it does do a nice portrait. For digital I use a full framed Nikon D610. A a few of friends at school loved mine so much they got one for themselves, even Sam Olfano (the light jedi) got one, figured it would be better easier for us to relate to what he was teaching us if we all had the same camera. I think he just wanted a new toy. I also have a back-up DSLR. Its old but still takes a good picture. And of course for snapshots I use my iPhone. I am actually impressed with the resolution of camera phones today. Of course you can’t adjust ƒstops, shutter speeds, ISO, or focal length, but I am always amazed at some of the pictures you can get with it.

Camera Test – Can you tell which camera took which picture?

  1. What photograph is the 35mm black and white (gave you an easy question first)
  2. What photograph is the Nikon cropped sensor DSLR (Nikon D3200)
  3. What photograph is the full framed Nikon (Nikon D610)
  4. What photograph is the IPhone
  5. What photo is the medium format Mamiya (hint it is the featured image)


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