So, after much research, reading and vascillation, I decided it was high time to enter the world of blogging. I must have read at least three of four articles over the course of the last few months on the subject. The greatest virtue expounded by the authors of said articles is the ability for web bots to log some of this and help with the location of my site when people use search engines. In the old days, that wasn’t much of an issue, but lately, with the proliferation of flash sites, the liklihood of being found in a search has grown smaller and smaller. So, from that standpoint alone, the whole blogging thing sounds good to me!
My background, for the uninformed, errant, vistor that stumbles across this little island of 1′s and 0′s in this great sea, is that of engineer and photographer. I started my career as a structural engineer and climbed the proverbial corporate ladder, achieving multi-state professional engineering licensure status along the way. I also obtained a masters degree in structural engineering at the start of the new millenium. I currently operate my own structural engineering company as well as my own photography studio. And that is what prompted me to be here.
Photography has always been my hobby, since I was yardstick height. I recall the days of the Kodak Instamatic and those pesky little flashcubes….4 flashes..replace….4 flashes…replace. LOL Anyway, my interest grew and in time, when I was old enough to afford it, I purchased my first 35mm camera. Wow, was that cool! It was a Ricoh KRM something or other. I was in my late teens at the time and I couldn’t get enough. I saved up and bought a few lenses and shot and shot and shot. I learned alot by doing.
I just realized I started out typing a “good evening” to the world speech and it has somehow morphed into a historical background of my careers and my camera gear. Hmmmm….let’s see if we can bring this to a profound point in the end…..
So, as I captured many images with my SLR, digital photography started to elbow its way into the world. Being a gadget freak, I was immediately enamored by the prospect. Early adopter is a term that applies to those that embrace, and generally purchase, new technology before the mainstream. That word very accurately described me back then. I jumped head over heels into the medium and purchased my first digital camera. At the time, phhotography was still a hobby to me, so I went with a Sony DSC-F505. It was such a cool camera, with the articulating lens barrel allowing you to take high angle shots by swiveling the body as you held it overhead. But, it was a digicam (upscale point and shoot) camera. I would eventual learn a lesson…read on.
The camera worked great, but I always looked for an upgrade path. So, when the DSC-505V came out, guess who had to have it? Aha. The F505V looked identical to the F505. If I recall correctly, it had more pixels.
Sony went through a series of upgrades to this camera concept. They were the DSC-F707, the DSC-F717 and finally, the DSC-F828. Guess who bought all of them. Aha.
One day I had a revelation. It was as if I awoke from an extraordinarily long dream. I stepped back and looked at the landscape. Not the landscape in my viewfinder mind you. The landscape I was referring to was where I was stadning in terms of my equipment and the limitations it placed on me. I went from an SLR to a series of pimped up point and shoots! What was I thinking?
At that moment, I made a paradigm shift to move into a DSLR. It was 2002 and my goal was clear. I wanted the biggest, baddest DSLR on the market. The problem was my budget. I couldn’t afford it. Luckily, through a friend, I was referred to a small boutique photography dealer in NYC. The shop is www.photovillage.com. I made a visit and he had a used Canon 1Ds Mark I in the case. After I cleaned up the drool on the counter, I asked “How much?”. When I opened my eyes, I saw the paramedics huddled around me. They were just about to yell “Clear!” LOL OK, I exaggerated a bit there. The price was steep (about half of the new price) but I knew I had to do it. I found a way, along with a Canon EF24-70mm f2.8 L lens. And…..we’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of oz!!
Over the next few years, I scrimped and saved and increased my lens arsenal. I bought some new, some used, but always “L glass”, including a 600mm at one point! “Investments in my future.”, I kept saying to myself. Eventually, I sold the 1Ds and moved up to the 1Ds Mark II.
Canon 1Ds Mark II
I recently upgraded again to the Canon 1Ds Mark III and still have and use my Mark II as my backup camera.
- Canon 1Ds Mark III
I have also followed a similar upgrade path with my lighting gear as well. What started as one Canon 550EX Speedlite, has transitioned through multiple Speedlites, multiple Alien Bees and, as the dust has finally settled, grown to be a complete set of Profoto studio generators, battery packs and strobes. Phew.
All this talk has been about gear. Why? To make a very profound point that has taken me this long to realize. I can sum it up it one word………..”Tools”.
Your gear is just a set of tools to aid in the realization of your creativity. I started from a technical background, interested in the technical aspects of photography, all the while being very gear conscious. These days, the gear is transparent to me. My ability to exercise the creative side of my brain is far more fulfilling. Coming up with a creative concept, working out the details, seeing it through, and having the knowledge to implement it properly is so gratifying, that all the gear talk in the world pales in comparison to a mere sentence relating to a stellar concept soon to be realized.