With the unending rains and peculiar weather we have been experiencing for the past few days, I’ve been hearing numerous photographers wanting to go out and trying to shoot the atmospheric conditions outside their homes. Arguably, it can be both a challenging fulfillment and a dangerous thing to do, especially those who are just starting off in photography.
A challenging fulfillment, in a sense, that it is really amazing to shoot in this kind of weather where the silence of the world echoes, as the cold and wet weather lingers and the skies having such an unpredictable disposition. Shooting in rainy, or even in stormy weather allows one to capture the world, which is usually bustling and full of life, in a state where there is solace and stillness in the face of every situation.
However, it is more of a danger to anyone since as we all know, the cities of Metro Manila are flood-prone. And where there is flood, there is always a risk of infection and other diseases that I need not mention. Consider too the risk of your precious equipment getting wet and even unusable when it gets too wet or even submerged in water, especially entry-level gear. Add to that the risk of heavy winds and other environmental risks that come along with the rainy season.
Paul Quiambao once said, "No photo is worth more than your life."
I totally agree with this. Your health, safety and welfare should be the primary things you should consider when shooting photos.
This does not only apply to weather or situations like this, but to every photo opportunity and genre as well, be it landscape, street, travel or other photography genre.
Let this post serve simply as a warning to everyone who is considering shooting in this type of weather.
Don’t let me stop you from shooting. But you’ve been forewarned. :)
Keep dry, keep safe and keep shooting! :D
Oftentimes, I hear people give up on things they once loved and held dear. Before, they spend a lot of efforts and drain their finances for the something they formerly loved — and now forget.
Collecting stamps, travelling, and most especially photography…
A lot of people start off in photography having that desire and passion to shoot…to immortalize moments in time…to see things from a different perspective and get a glimpse of what our finite sense of vision can bring forth. But as time goes on, that flame of passion slowly dwindles, flickering dimmer and dimmer until it dies out.
Why? For some, it may be the feelings of apprehensions of shooting with mediocre or the so-called “entry-level” gear when standing among other photographers in an event. For others, it may be because of having the lack of time and motivation to shoot. For others still, it may be because they aren’t good enough and that they should stop before they embarass themselves when showcasing the photos they shoot.Whatever your reason may be, don’t you forget the primary reason why you first fell in love with your camera…it’s because of your passion for photography.
For starters, it’s not the camera that makes the photo…it’s the one who operates the camera. You may have a camera kit that costs as much as a small car but don’t know how to use it, you might as well use it as a posh paperweight on your desk. It’s better to have an entry-level camera and get the most out of it and upgrade to a better one when you have mastered the skills you need than buy a high-end piece of equipment now and become disappointed because photography has become a complex thing to learn than an enjoyable one.
Secondly, I believe that someone who is once a photographer is always a photographer, even if time and location doesn’t allow him to shoot. You just have to find ways to shoot…may it be indoors on your dining table or a plant on a sidewalk. Your imagination is only your limitation.
Lastly, and probably the worst thing to say is that you are not good enough a photographer to shoot. Stopping would only make it worse. Photography is like learning to write and practicing writing as a child…the more you write, the better your penmanship becomes. If you stop, your penmanship also doesn’t improve. You lose all your skills and end up writing poorly. Remember that all photographers that we all look up to today, began as noobs before. They didn’t know what shutter speeds, apertures and ISOs were. They had poor composition. They were basically unlearned when it comes to photography. But did they stop? Definitely not! What kept them going on, learning more and more each day is by practicing, asking questions, taking risks and experimenting until they mastered their craft and became who they are now today. And they are not a product of overnight miracles…this required hardwork of being critiqued, staying under the sun and shooting till dawn and a lot more sacrifices to become who they are now.
Yes, I admittedly felt the all of these before — the same feelings of being in the limelight in the past and shooting with “mediocre” gear, while others beside me shot with the fastest, best and most technologically-advanced cameras in the market today. Yes, I felt like giving up photography because I seemed unwelcomed in ”the group” of photographers because I wasn’t carrying equipment which are currently half a year’s worth of my salary.
I too lost my drive to shoot before. I believe every photographer is subjected to this once in a while.Creative constipation is what I’d like to call it. It’s like going to a place, looking around and saying to yourself, "Yep, I’ve shot this a million times. Wala ng pwedeng i-shoot." Like I always say, creativity comes from within. Challenge yourself in trying to view the world from a different eye. You’ll soon find out that the world is such a vast place to lose photos to take.
I am a still an amateur photographer; techniques-wise, I still have a a lot to learn, to practice, to experiment. I still have a lot to discover. I shoot because I love photography…I am passionate about it.
…And I believe that so areYOU.
Never lose your passion in photography just because of some very menial things.
Keep the flame burning! :D
Keep it alive.
Don’t stop shooting! :D
It’s such a thought-provoker for me on why numerous people aim to get new lenses in such a short period of time without even "mastering" the one that they bought in the first place. An example would be getting a new lens at the beginning of the month and then acquiring two more lenses before the month ends. It really seems quite illogical to me why people do that. Yes, let us say that they have the financial capacity to do so. But for personal improvement of your skill, would you do that?
I shall take myself as an example. I have had my camera kit for roughly around four years. 99% of the time, it’s my 18-55mm kit lens I use for all the photos I take. I have literally been through hell and water with that lens. Shot under the rain with it. Covered for various University events with it. Simply put, that lens and I had a long and romantic relationship. Yes, I have often cursed that lens for being stubby, unassuming when beside professional photographers, slow for action and low light and whole lot more negativity. And yet, that lens has never failed me. Through the course of the four or so years that I have been with that lens, I have learned it’s strengths and weaknesses, the pitfalls of a rotating front element and a whole lot more.
…and I still have a lot to learn in using that lens. :)
Bottom-line is, you never need “just-one-more-lens”. A great photographer once said thatthe best lens ever is the one you have right now. Most of us have a kit lens.. may it be 18-55; 18-70; 18-105; 18-135; 18-200; 24-85; 35-70 and so on…learn it. Don’t be afraid to use it. Don’t be ashamed of it. Kit lenses have gone a long way to be the lens it is now. They now have improved mechanics, manual focus override…even weather-sealing. Kit lenses have a reason why it’s bundled with most cameras you buy today…BECAUSE IT’S PROBABLY THE ONLY LENS THAT YOU’LL NEED. It’s wide and it’s telephoto. It’s light enough to be brought anywhere but tough enough to endure most shooting situations. It can even suit your macro cravings because it focuses quite close.
Master one lens first before buying a new one. Because in the course of mastering your lens, you get to see its shortcomings and further understand the concepts of photography. Think of it this way: you have a cabinet full of lenses — yet you don’t know how to use them. Such a pity.
Don’t have GAS — Gear Acquisition Syndrome. You don’t need every lens to cover every millimeter from 6mm down to 1600mm.
I bought my 50mm prime lens just last year…three years after I acquired my kit lens. Photography is a never-ending process of learning and re-learning what you know…adding concepts and experimenting. I too, am still learning…still experimenting…still trying novel ways on how to use my kit lens :)
A Tumblog of Vince and Agnes which chronicles their adventures filled with food, fun and the one thing which initially brought the together…the camera.
Do follow my girlfriend (aagnessie) and my joint Tumblr account. We normally fill it up with the things we love doing together, the times we spend and the places we go to…of course the ocassional photos are here to stay :3
Peace out! :3
Photography has captured my heart and my interest for the past few years already, and as I have started photography much like how this generation did - through digital, I was one of those “delete-the-photo-when-it-doesn’t-look-good-on-the-LCD” types of photographers. I was trigger-happy, shooting and shooting to my heart’s content. Who cared? I had an 8GB memory card, I can shoot two thousand photos and my camera can still handle more.
AND THEN I MET FILM.
Film and I had a love-hate relationship even when I was a boy. Growing up during the last decade of the 20th century, most of the people around me, especially my parents shot in film. Weddings, birthdays, outings…name anything, they shot everything in film. We even had a book at home on how to do film photography. It was my Dad’s. The book was from 1985 and it’s still at home. I still use it as reference.
During our photography class during my fourth year in college, we had a subject in photography. My professor after briefing us with the rudiments, he asked us to produce a photography project every week — WITH FILM.
At first I was hesitant, being versed in digital…being able to delete crappy photos whenever they didn’t suit my liking…being able to shoot thousands of frames without hesitation. Now I had to carefully plan all my shots. Film didn’t have any room for mistakes… no re-takes…no more trigger-happy shoots. Yes, you can take a photo again, but you’d be wasting a precious frame of film.
I WAS IN BIG TROUBLE.
Gradually, as the semester progressed, I learned to shoot with film. I learned to love it dearly. I learned to carefully plan my shots. I learned to be reserved when shooting.
After the semester, I bought my blockmate’s Nikon F50, a film camera made in 1994. I bought it because it’s film and Nikon too…and I can use my existing lenses on it and more.
Why did I buy an 18 year old camera?
Because it taught me to be reserved. To be focused. To be much more expressive and intimate in every shot that I take. Because it gives me an excitement every single time I have my rolls processed, waiting like a child in a candy store, waiting to be surprised and delighted how my photos turned out.
My name is Vincent Tanching, and I proudly bought a 18 year old camera.
Man is regarded as God’s most intelligent creature. Out of all that he created, He tasked man to take care of His other creation. Man is gifted not only in skills necessary for survival, but also skills which enable him to express himself.
Through the eons of time that passed, man has learned to better himself with the skills given to him. Innovations were seen and creativity flourished; man has expressed himself in various ways — dance, song, painting, poetry, sculpture, music, prose, and much more. But he has one expression that changed the world — the skill to capture and immortalize a moment of time, giving him an opportunity to replay or revisit that certain moment of history.
Photographers too, have long evolved from simply taking everyday photos to turning it into an art — even venturing it into a business. Photographers have begun to capture the world’s attention through their photographs, not only attention, if I may add, but praise and accolades as well, most especially those who are more well-off than others; who have better access to equipment, who have bigger and larger connections, and who can easily add more to what they already have. The world gives them more opportunities too — to shoot, to buy more stuff…to shoot again…to buy more stuff again…the cycle continues.
How about the ones from the other side of the spectrum? The ones who are on the flipside? Photographers who aren’t that well-equipped materially, but are equally good (or even better) than their counterparts? Sadly, the world turns a deaf ear towards them. All photographers are humans, in need of life and love. Sometimes giving them little praise wouldn’t hurt; that is, praise or even a pat on the back saying “Good Job”, “You shoot well” or even giving them small-time “business opprtunities” once in a while wouldn’t hurt. Everyone loves to experience “a little slice of heaven” once in a while, even photographers, and that is not exclusive to those ones who are well-off but also to those who are at the other side of the spectrum.
I heard someone once say to a photographer to “strive harder, if you really want something strive for it till you get it.” That in itself is noble act, and yet what if the world around you thinks otherwise? What if it does not give you any opportunity to reach your goal because you fall into the trap of being given a deaf ear? You may strive but efforts are in vain.
Let this open letter be an eye-opener for all of us; don’t give a deaf ear towards other “less-fortunate” ones. Hear them out, see their capabilities, give them opportunities and you just might find your “diamond in the rough”.
Anyone can bang on a piano and anyone can shoot a camera, but it takes an artist to get decent results from either one. The sad part is how many well-meaning people think photography is as simple as buying a camera.Ken Rockwell, 2010
Rear caps are one of the most important accessories you can buy for your lenses, next to filters. Probably, the only thing that you want to protect with your lens, other than the front element is the lens mount, where all your electrical contacts, the rear element of your lens, even the lens diaphragm is located.
Rear caps help protect your lens from foreign objects such as dust or grit from entering your lens’ rear element or contaminate the electrical contacts of your lens, which might cause your lens to malfunction or not mount properly, especially for lenses with plastic mounts.
When buying rear caps, stay away from counterfeit ones, which may not fit tightly on the lens itself when put on.
This is my camera. There are many like it, but this camera is mine.
My camera is my best friend.
It is my life. I must master it as I master my life.
My camera, without me, is useless. Without my camera, I am useless.
I must fire my camera true.
I must outshoot my enemy who is trying to outshoot me. I must outshoot him before he outshoots me. I will…
My camera and myself know that what counts is not the shots we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the flashes we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…
My camera is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother.
I will learn its weakness, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its body and its lenses.
I will keep my camera clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready.
We will become part of each other. We will…
Before God I swear this creed.
And it works on my camera! :”>
Well, actually I am not. I just chose the title to catch your attention. :))
Anyway, back to business.
I am just confused on what kind of photographer I really am.
Am I a Landscape Photographer?
Am I a Street Photographer?
Am I an Architectural Photographer?
Am I a Portrait Photographer?
I SIMPLY DON’T KNOW.
All genres interest me, and I just don’t know which genre to focus on and really master :(
If I were to sell my photos in 12” x 8” prints na naka-frame, or any size for that matter, tapos ipanreregalo mo or for your personal consumption, will you be interested to buy any of my photos?
I plan to do a photo of every building in UST as a tribute to it before I graduate :)
Does it sound good? :D
During our photography classes, our professor asked us to use film SLRs to complete our weekly photography plate. It started quite uncomfortable for me because I did start off photography by way of digital and going back to film was rather surreal.
With my trusty Pentax Z50P and its 28-80mm kit lens, I began conquering the world of analog photography. I started out rough, garnering only a 78 on my first plate. Weeks passed, my scores began ranking higher and higher. My last plate’s grade was a 90 :D
Film makes you think twice on your composition, lighting, and all other aspects that you take into consideration while shooting. When you shoots digital and have an awfulully underexposed, overexposed or just plain ugly picture, One just taps the “DELETE” button twice. On film, that frame is forever lost. A feeling of gulit and sadness fills you with the thought of a wasted frame.
And now as our class moves forward to the digital era and as I utilize my trusty Nikon once again, I can’t help but miss using my film camera. I can’t help miss the sound of the film advancing, and the buzz it creates as I the film rewinds. I can’t help but miss turning my aperture ring to f/16 to get a deeply focused image. I can’t help but miss the times I rant when I try to get a shot indoors using low speed film. I can’t help but miss the addicting smell of a newly opened canister of Kodak ColorPlus 200. Or the way I load the film inside the camera and watch the little LCD display show an “ISO 200” as it recognizes the film I’m using. I can’t help but miss the jitters I feel whenever I go to the laboratory to have my film developed and printed. I can’t help but remember the time I panicked because my roll of film overexposed and my project had to be repeated all over again. Good times, I reckon.
As I return to the school of digital photography, I have learned to appreciate film: its limitations, its permanence, both its stability and instability, its professionalism, its perpetuity, its beauty and the real skill and expertise photographers had for the past 103 years and still counting.