Equipment: Do You Have the Right Stuff?

Bizarre moment #67 in the photo/graphic part of my life: A while back, I was happily snapping pictures in the Portland Rose Garden with my trusty little point-and-shoot, when a man said to me, “You need a bigger camera.”

?????

Ironically, I don’t have a photo of this dubiously memorable moment, so let me try and paint the picture for you: Here’s a complete and utter stranger, sporting an enormous camera complete with over-compensatory long telephoto lens, who has absolutely no idea what kind of photography work I do— and he’s telling me I have the wrong equipment!

Pink & Gold Rose

Pink & gold rose photo, taken with my apparently inferior camera. (It hasn’t been retouched at all.) For the record, my camera is a Canon PowerShot 2000 IS. Click on the photo to see more rose photos on my Photo/Graphic Design website.

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Resolution: Photograph less, live more!

Today my daughter invited me, on about an hour’s notice, to join her at the Portland Japanese Garden; apparently this is the first time in its 50-year history that they’ve opened this magnificent garden on New Year’s Day! So, since it is one of my very favorite places in Portland, I decided to go. It’s a clear and sunny day here today, but quite cold and frosty in the morning, so I couldn’t wait to get there and start taking pictures.

Problem: in the rush to get out the door, I simply could not lay my hands on my camera. Aargh. (I had my iPhone, which takes decent pictures, but I like to take extreme close-ups, and for great quality, I really needed my “real” camera.) After some frantic searching, I gave up, sighed, and left for the Garden.

On the way there, I thought about this, especially that sense of “Ooh, can’t wait to take some pictures!” I was going to the Japanese Garden, reputed to be the finest and most authentic of its kind outside of Japan, but all I was thinking about was snapping away with my camera. I wondered: When does photographing an experience actually take over the experience? Continue reading