Saturday, March 5, 2011

What is a Camera

Recently I was reading an article by Mark Lissick  in Outdoor Photographer. He asked a very important question - What is a camera? How would you answer? The typical answers are "a device that records an image or an object that captures light". As Mark points out, how you view your camera can limit how you use it - does it just capture or record? As I thought about it, I realized my view of my camera has evolved over time. In the beginning I probably thought of it in the classical terms above (especially with my engineering background). However, at some point for me it became a tool or perhaps a canvas where I could paint most any image that I could imagine.

As I learned to use every control and capability of my camera I began to craft images as I visualized them in my head. I could slow down the shutter and paint moments of time on the back or canvas (sensor) of my camera creating brush strokes; I could blur out the backgrounds to create flowers floating in a sea of color; changing the focal length I could create depth. In this creative process the camera is just one of the many tools at your disposal. Reflectors, filters, lights, lens, etc. are additional tools. But as with any tool how well you know its capabilities and possibilities can limit or enhance your ability to create.

Take the time and get to really know the tools in your hands.

What is your camera for you?

Blog Images:

  1. A slow shutter speed pan of the SE Oregon grasslands creating an impressionist painting of the landscape.
  2. A slow shutter speed shot of flowers using the camera as a brush in circular motions.
  3. A shallow depth of field to create a place a yellow flower in a sea of blue.