I received a communication from a newbie photographic friend the other day. It went, “Have you used a Tamron lens? I’m thinking of investing in the 18-270 pzd. I’ve recently read some mixed reviews. I’m shooting the rugby at the weekend and want a lens that covers wide angle team shots and the action without having to keep changing lenses. I thought it would also make a good traveling lens.”
Changing cameras can be a very difficult decision. For one, cameras do not seem to be getting any cheaper, even point and shooters. More features, but still around 5,000-10,000 baht.
If there ever was a “rule” of photographic composition that is ignored by most photographers, it is WYSIWIG. By breaking this rule you run the risk of being disappointed with your final result.
Have you ever heard of a ‘sacrificial’ lens filter? Actually, I made that term up, but it is what I consider the first lens that the light has to go through to produce a final image.
Are the skills associated with film photography still used with digital photography? There seems to be a very common notion that ‘somehow’ digital photography is different from the old fashioned film photography. I do not know how this happened, but let me assure you that digital and film cameras do exactly the same job. It is only where the light falls and how it is stored and recorded that is different.
There is so much more to photography than taking pictures of young Thai women holding up two fingers and looking just as silly as all the other Thai women holding up their two fingers. At least they seem to have grown out of the V between index finger and thumb held under the chin. This week, try ‘macro’ photography.
Sometimes the commonest or simplest items can produce eye-catching photographs. No difficult shots, no special effects, no exotic lenses, just great shots by the simple technique of keeping one’s eyes open.
Many years ago I became friendly with a famous Thai photographer called Tom Chuawiwat. Tom had an office on Soi 24 Sukhumvit in Bangkok and ran a photo library from there. However, Tom was more than a friend, he was a mentor and we eventually ran a studio together. I learned a lot from Tom. And one of the lessons involved looking at each photograph I had taken, being critical of it and working out how to make it a better image. I still carry out that message today.
Acquiring what I call the “photographic eye” is something that can be learned. Certainly there are those who have the artistic streak in-built, but developing the necessary vision will increase your ability with a camera, and is not dependent upon hi-tech toys.
Portraiture is an exacting photographic art, and not to be confused with happy snaps of your wife and children. A portrait has to look pleasing, even to an outsider’s eye, and must appeal to the ego of the subject. Without those two features, a portrait is lost, and you can never sell it. Piggy bank remains empty.