This week has been a busy week for DSLR shooters in Hong Kong. Just about everywhere you go, you can see someone with a DSLR dangling on their neck. While I do not doubt some of these users have some of best high end lenses around, I question whether they have the right lens?
One experience that I often find myself in is hearing young photographers talk about how they must have a fast lens (as in wide aperture). While it's true the wider the aperture, the better the chances you can grab a photo with decent exposure in any light environment, but not necessarily will that be the best setting for that particular photo.
One example of this is for Photo-Journalism. Photo-Journalists rarely shoot in wide aperture. Usually Photo-Journalist shoot at around F5.6. This is because when shooting lifestyle portraiture it's usually not very clear cut as to single subject and background and usually the background is just as if not more important than the subject. By shooting wide open at all times, the background is usually blurred out and all you get is the focused subject neglecting its surrounding that may have played a key importance in the story telling of the photograph.
I am saddened by this because nowadays I feel most people use their cameras like a rebel with a machine gun. Constant firing and very few hits.
I urge our photographers of today and tomorrow. To aim at for the exposure and not at the equipment. You see famous photographers with high end equipment not because they are proud of having expensive equipment on hand but because the job requires it. In fact most top photographers don't even own cameras (most of them are lent out to them for exposure).
The DSLR owners of Hong Kong have become more tech junkies then photographers. Chasing after the latest camera or accessory. I always use a little trick once in a while to ensure I am using most of my photography skill rather than my tech skill and that is to shoot with nothing but ISO100, with a lens not faster than F4, and use nothing but manual selection (yes even focus). If you can still pictures you are crazy about then you are still on the right track, but if you find your photos just a bunch of meaningless exposures, then you really have to ask yourself whether it is your camera capturing your stunning pics or yourself.