Spring is finally here

After what seemed like a long winter, and now a difficult spring due to COVID-19, spring is finally here and flowers have been blooming.

The first flowers are always crocuses in our neighborhood. It is always nice to see that flowers bloom where nobody has planted them.

The tulips are always so beautiful to see and it is especially nice to see multi-colored flowers.

Always love the beautiful magnolia flowers, but sadly they never last too long.

Love those cherry blossoms. Fortunately there are many beautiful trees like that in our neighborhood.

This year, we had a little bit of snow after the magnolia tree started to bloom, but fortunately it didn’t affect the tree too much.

Similarly, the crocus blooms were covered in snow as well.

After this day, we have been moving towards spring and more and more flowers started to open up.

Today I will close with a photo of some more cherry blossoms. Thank you for visiting our website!


A couple of weeks ago while we were waiting for hot summer temperatures to arrive, we had a lot of heavy rain which caused flooding in some areas.

One evening after the rain just stopped, we saw a beautiful rainbow at the end of our street just outside of our house. The sun was also about to set at the same time. We had perfect conditions for a beautiful rainbow.

The challenge was for me to find a spot for a nice photo, knowing that rainbows vanish very quickly. My first instinct was to get some photos right outside our house. After I got the first couple of shots I could be more deliberate about finding a better setting for the rainbow. I found it across from our house in a school yard, which provided a beautiful backdrop to the rainbow.

While I had quickly grabbed a wide-angle lens, an extreme wide-angle lens would be needed to cover a full rainbow. So I decided to stitch several photos together instead, which worked really well.

Here are a couple of examples:5 4 3 1 2

Winter is here – motives for photography are still abundant

Usually we get the first snow at the end of November or beginning of December at the latest. Last year and this year again, winter was in no rush. Two days ago, we finally got a significant amount of snow. Because it is cold enough, the snow is not melting right away any more.

Here are a couple of impressions from our neighborhood:

Winter light During winter, the sun is very low in the sky, which often creates beautiful warm light, even at a simple street corner.

Winter trees
I like the way trees look like after snow has fallen. The snow often highlights branches and the tree trunk in a very nice way.

At a local park, the texture of snow and the low sun light creates a beautiful winter scene. Every other time of the year it would be difficult to photograph straight into the sun, but in the winter it is possible without getting lens flare into the photo.

Photography in the winter months is definitely more challenging than any other time during the year. The daylight hours are much shorter. Trees have lost their leaves, and most plants and flowers are dormant. Overall it is a pretty desolate condition out there. In addition, it takes determination to be out there in the cold.

Unfortunately a lot of photographers miss the winter months. While there is not too much color out there (and our eyes get naturally drawn to color and color contrasts), there are still plenty of opportunities out there. The details that draw me to photography during the winter months are textures, sunlight in the landscape, and trees. Only during the winter months can we see the structure of tree branches.

Another photography opportunity during the winter months are beaches. In the summer and early fall lots of people are on the beach and it is difficult to photograph without getting people into the pictures. I also like to visit places in the off-season to see how they look like in cold weather or with snow on top.

Recently Kim and I went to Plum Island, which is a barrier island on the coast line North of Boston (Northshore). In the summer, it is sometimes difficult to get into the reservation, because so many people arrive already early. When we went there this month, we enjoyed the beautiful light over the marshes and the beaches.

Plum Island 3 Plum Island 2 Plum Island 1

So, if you did not plan to be out there this winter, maybe this post can inspire you to check out some beautiful places in your neighborhood. I know there are beautiful places everywhere. They may not be as famous as the National Parks in the Southwestern USA, but the are not less beautiful.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the winter months,


Excuses, excuses…

I has happened once again, camera manufacturers have announced new models at a Japanese trade show about two weeks ago (beginning of February 2012). This time it seems like the bar has been pushed very high by Nikon with the announcement of a 36 megapixel DSLR camera for about $3000. While I applaud Nikon for producing such a superb product, people are already discussing positive and negative implications. There are some that can’t wait to get their hands on this camera, whereas others are more skeptical and concerned that it may be difficult to create a computer infrastructure that can support 60-70 MB raw files.

It is great to see how far camera technology has come in the last 10-15 years, we can now take decent photos at high ISO, take bursts of images without any delays, and have enough resolution for billboard-size photos from even inexpensive lower resolution models.

The danger of new equipment is (and that is why I have named the post as such) that the lack of using the latest equipment may serve as an excuse for us why we can’t do today photographically what we should be doing.

It is so easy to get lost in the promises of manufacturers that the newly announced camera will guarantee the breakthrough we have been waiting for. And so we pre-order the new camera, hoping that it will be available for our summer trip, because then we can finally do “real” photography.

The issue I have with this approach is that by arguing that we can only do “real” work with our new equipment, we should follow what we say and discard our old work to this point, because we just claimed that it was not good, because of outdated equipment. I always like to check in photo magazines how many photos were taken with “outdated” equipment. My impression is that it is probably around 90%. It is more the exception that somebody uses the latest equipment.

If we spend all our dispensable income on new equipment, we won’t have enough money left to actually travel, or worse, we may be afraid to take the expensive camera on a trip. This would be a pity.

A long time ago, I learned that nobody can look at a photograph and determine what equipment was used to make it. I once ran a test with some friends. I had one print made from a 35 mm film scan, the other was from a digital camera file. Everybody guessed wrong, because the film scan image had higher contrast, whereas the digital camera print had less contrast. People assumed that the higher contrast photo must have come from a digital camera, because they had become conditioned that the digital camera file must look better.

Since it is difficult to discern what equipment was used, how should the photographer select equipment, and what is its role? Well, as photographers we know the limitations of our equipment. For my film cameras, I know which shutter speed I can comfortably hold by hand, and I know what film I have available. For the digital cameras, I know what the ISO limitations are for each camera, what I feel comfortable using. This ranges anywhere from ISO 320 to 6400 (max) for my current cameras.

Camera manufacturers have trained us to demand higher resolution, which is great to have, although for web use only, most modern cameras are overkill. The pitfall of higher resolution cameras is that we will need to improve our whole computer infrastructure to deal with the larger files. We should consider all these requirements before we make a decision into buying new equipment. I like to make a list with the features I would gain from a piece of equipment and then decide if it is worth the price, including secondary requirements such as updated computer hardware, additional hard drives for storage etc.

Maybe a better choice would be instead to purchase a new lens in a range that gives us a new perspective. Or some studio lighting equipment. Or a new printer. Or a plane ticket to the place we always wanted to go. Maybe that would be a better use of our money than another new DSLR or mirrorless body that gets old fast.

The photos I used here in this post are from South Natick, MA. I was on my way to a photography exhibition. I stopped when I saw the interesting church and library building. After I stopped I saw the Charles River dam below. While I had never been to this place before, I really enjoyed the sunset and clouds over the river, as well as the history at this place. It made me become more interested in the Charles River, a very winding river that merges into the Atlantic Ocean in Boston.

I was using an old Kodak DSLR from about 2003/2004 for the photos. Could you tell from looking at them? My guess is probably not. I knew the limitations of the equipment (no ISO higher than 320, very slow, etc.), but it didn’t bother me, because I used what I had available. Since I was not afraid of this camera getting stolen, it was riding with me in the trunk all day long until I needed it.

What my goal with this post is to encourage you to use what you have available and to remember that you make great photographs today. No need to wait for new equipment that will fall short. Photography is about life, about our emotions, about what we want to convey, about our feelings for a subject matter. The rest is distractions.

Recording artists did not wait for better recording equipment to become available, they performed their songs when the time was right. Today we can still enjoy recordings from several decades ago. The same is true for us, we don’t know what will be possible in a couple of decades from now. Maybe people will still enjoy printed photographs, maybe not. In the end it doesn’t matter for us today, because we need to create our artwork for today, not for the future.

What matters is that we can produce our artwork anywhere we go, and expensive new equipment may be limiting, because we may not take it in the mud, or in places where some water may sprinkle on it, which would be too unfortunate.

Thanks for reading,


More about photographic vision

Yesterday I wrote about my attempts to find something visually inspiring to photograph during an overcast morning in an area that is very familiar to me.

When we travel to places we have not been before, we find lots of things to photograph, whereas when we walk through our neighborhood we have a really hard time finding anything that is visually inspiring. Yet we are more prone to take cliché images in the places we travel to, because we look at other people’s work before we get there. Because we don’t live at the places we travel to, we can only get some superficial photos.

The place we live in we are intimately familiar with. Here is where we know the best places and the best light etc.

A lot of beginning landscape photographers are taught that the only “real” places for landscape photography are in the Southwest, and when one looks at photography magazines, this impression seems to be in line with this notion as well. Don’t get me wrong, it is a wonderful experience to travel and photograph in places such as Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Antelope Canyon, Arches, Yellowstone, Yosemite,… but don’t expect to make your best photographs there. Instead become familiar with the State Park near your home.

A place I have become familiar over the years is a (paved) trail from a former railway that connects the towns of Arlington-Lexington-Bedford (Massachusetts), the Minutemen Bike Trail. Every week I have the opportunity to walk on the trail. Unlike yesterday, this morning it was sunny.

The sun was gorgeous, as seen here through the building of the former train station in Lexington, MA.

I dug out my old digital SLR I got 6 years ago, because I like to try out different gear and different media (digital vs. film) for a change in pace. After processing Raw files from the old camera I was amazed how great the photos looked. I have definitely seen a large improvement in raw processor software from ~2003 when I first started using raw files. (Sorry for the discourse in technology.)

In one part on a downhill slope of the trail the morning sun perfectly hit a patch of dried plants that had a wonderful glow to it.

On the final stretch of my walk was a little creek left to the road. I suddenly noticed the ripple in the sand which made me wonder when the currently more stagnant creek was carrying enough water to form these ripples.

What do you noticed in your day-to-day environment that is unusual? I hope we can take a breath of fresh air every day and see something in our environment that is different from what we are used to seeing. This will help us to stay photographically alert.

Thanks for reading,


How to stay photographically creative

This morning I went for my weekly walk from Lexington to Bedford (Massachusetts). This winter has been extremely mild. So far we had only a little bit of snow, which melted each time within a day or tow. To top it off, this morning was overcast. Usually I like to enjoy the morning sun rays shining through trees and vegetation. Being overcast today, I knew that there was nothing to photograph, or so it seemed at first.

After getting over my frustration, I started to pay more attention, and then I saw “my” photographs. What follows now is a collection of what stood out for me this morning.

First I noticed the poison ivy roots growing on a tree and their delicate structure and coloration.

Then there were these mushrooms growing on a dead tree that were really colorful.

Next I really liked the tree reflection on the pond. Being that it was overcast, the mood of this photo just works out fine.

Just when I thought I was done, I noticed a little stream that was more stagnant than a stream, and I enjoyed the reflections of trees and the subtle color of leftover leaves from the fall in it.

These dead leaves on the branches just reflected my feelings of exhaustion and monotony this morning.

The last image I wanted to share here is an abstract image. It is the beltway that runs around our city (Rt. 128/I-95). During rush hour traffic usually looks like this. I have and continue to spend countless hours in traffic (when I am not walking to work). Sometimes I notice that I experience getting into a daze when my commute becomes very slow and I notice when I emerge out of the “slow zone”. This photo represents to me this daze I am in when traffic is not moving at all.

While I usually like to make photos that are as sharp as possible, this one taught me that on occasion the best photo may be one that is out of focus.

Are the photos I shared here my best work? Certainly not, but it showed me that when I change my attitude I can see better what is around me.

Thanks for reading,


Photography: when to use film or digital

In my last post I promised to write about when I prefer to use digital and film photography, since I see both recording media as equivalent. I want to start this discussion by re-iterating that I use both recording media to about the same extent and like results from both.

I also need to clarify that when I refer to digital photography, I mean digital SLR (or some mirrorless cameras which come close in performance to a digital SLR). A comparison of digital compact camera vs. film SLR does not make sense because the high ISO and autofocus performance of the digital compact camera is not at the same level as digital SLR due to the smaller sensor and different autofocus module.

To begin, I want to highlight the strength and weaknesses of each recording medium and then mention examples where I use them.

Digital SLR

Strength Weaknesses
High ISO performance outstanding (now we can take photos in the dark)
Virtually unlimited shooting possible (no film changing after 36 exposures)
Adjustment of exposure and White Balance etc. afterwards possible with raw files
Immediate availability of data
Immediate feedback
Oftentimes heavier than film gear
Equipment relatively expensive
Requires shooting infrastructure: battery chargers, memory cards, field storage, field data backup
Dynamic range not as high as film (this gap is getting narrower)
Some colors not rendered as natural as film
With high burst rates it is easy to shoot hundreds of images, requires time to edit

…and for Film Photography

Strength Weaknesses
Equipment inexpensive
Cameras run forever on batteries
No need for field backup infrastructure
Lack of immediate feedback and availability of recorded images leads to more contemplative approach to photography
With a delay of at least one day until photos are available, allows photographer to envision an image and be surprised how different the actual photo looks in the end
Great inexpensive lenses available
High ISO photography pretty much irrelevant (highest ISO for color film was 800-1600, now difficult to get; ISO 3200 for b/w)
Not well suited for high burst events (requires frequent film changes)
Because of low ISO film, may require tripod
Delay of at least one day until photographs become available after development
No immediate feedback (this may be a strength)
Requires more steps in a digital workflow (processing – scanning – editing)

Here is my list of typical motifs for each recording medium:

Digital Photography Film Photography
low light
macro overcast day
handheld telephoto shots
scientific photography
studio flash setups
all commercial wedding
event, etc. photography
zoo animals
night skiing
fall foliage
photography during action/sports (using inexpensive equipment)
day skiing
high contrast scenes
landscape details

 * For travel photography, I don’t have any clear preference and usually take “one of each”, I try not to shoot the same motif twice.


Thanks for stopping by!

Why film still matters in photography

Recently I came across some photography technique books from 2004-2006, which I enjoyed because film and digital photography were given equal space and considered equal media. This was the time when a lot of professional photographers switched to digital photography, because the new medium was seen as mature enough. In books before this time, film photography usually is given more weight, whereas books after this time focus solely on digital photography.

I still use film on a regular basis, but of course enjoy digital photograph as well for other purposes. I have used more and more film after using digital photography for a couple of years, because film still adds certain qualities to my work that I like (this is my way of not saying “digital is better than film” or vice versa). I will write some other time for which situations I prefer digital photography, and for which film photography is better suited in my opinion.

Younger generations of photographers have never used film. In my experience, using film does enhance photographic awareness and leads to a more contemplative style. When I shoot film, I take more time composing photos, whereas with digital photography I shoot quick bursts of images that take me a while later on the computer to sort out (which of the four very similar compositions do I like the best?). Specific reasons why I think film photography is still important and will not disappear are:

  1. Film photography equipment is VERY inexpensive. – With the “digital revolution” going on, people are abandoning their trusted film cameras for new digital equipment, which has led to very inexpensive prices for all types of film gear. Now is the time to use the film camera that was not affordable 15-20 years ago. If I don’t buy equipment from eBay, my favorite store is KEH. The quality of their equipment and the prices are outstanding. There is a huge supply of inexpensive film equipment and lenses available.
  2. Film integrates perfectly into a digital workflow. – While film requires chemical processing of some sort to make the photographs visible, it is relatively easy to scan film afterwards and use the photographs in the same way as digital camera files. It is also a possibility to get scans of film done in a photo lab at the time of development. In the next couple of weeks I will post some tutorials on the different steps. Some of us may already have a film scanner, because many flatbed scanners come with a transparency adapter for film scanning and the results can be very good. Of course a dedicated film scanner can usually produce better results. The following diagram compares the workflow of film and digital photography:After scanning of film, we have a digital file that is equivalent to an image file produced with a digital camera. The same possibilities exist once the film has been scanned. By the way, I would keep the scanned film, just in case better scanning technology becomes affordable.
  3. Film renders color differently than a digital sensor. – In a digital sensor, we have an array of photosensors (i.e. for a 6 million pixel sensor (6 MP), the dimensions of the array would be 3000 x 2000 pixel). The photosensors by itself do not “see” color, which is why each is coated with a color filter, either R(ed), G(reen), or B(lue). About half of all photosensors are green-sensitive, the rest is equally divided between red and blue. The arrangement follows the so-called Bayer pattern. In the example of the 6 MP sensor, in the end the recorded image will give us a pixel at each position that has a color value for all three colors, which means that the missing two color values are interpolated from neighboring pixels. As we all know, the results of this process are very good. Film, in contrast, has a layered structure. The C(yan), M(agenta), and Y(ellow) layers are stacked on top of each other. Dyes is each layer act as color filters and later react during the development process to form permanent dyes. As you may have noticed, film follows the CMY color model, which is complementary colors to RGB. In reality I have noticed differences in the color rendition of film and digital photography. The photo of a rose bush was taken with a digital camera (left) and film (right). While I like the digitally recorded photo, I prefer the photograph recorded on film, because the colors just seem to be more life-like in my opinion. The digitally recorded photo has a little bit too much blue for my taste.

    Since blue was to strong in the digital camera image, let us reduce blue globally and see what we get:

    Now the results are a lot better than in the above image, but for my taste the colors still look cleaner in the film image. If I had only gotten the digital camera image, I would have been happy, just in comparison I think the film image looks more life-like.
  4. Medium and large format film is the affordable high resolution option for low budget shooters. – The highest resolution sensors available at the moment are for medium format camera bodies and produce up to 80 MP files and at the time of this writing cost approximately $40,000. For most people, including a good portion of professional photographers, this is not affordable. Medium and large format film gear on the other hand is very affordable. The larger than 35 mm film size provides the option for detail-enriched, high resolution scans. Medium format film size is either 6×4.5 cm, 6×6 cm, 6×7 cm, or 6×9 cam, depending on the camera used. The Mamiya M645 system I use uses the 6×4.5 cm film format. The actual recorded film size is 56×42 mm (approx. 2.20×1.65 in). While flatbed scanners have very high resolutions, for the following calculation of pixel dimensions I assume a relatively conservative resolution of 2400 dpi (dots per inch). A scanned file has the approximate dimensions of 2.2o in x 2400 dpi = 5280 pixels on the long side, and 1.65 in x 2400 dpi = 3960 pixels on the short side. Multiplication of 5280×3960 tells us the total amount of pixels, which is 20,908,800 pixels, or about 21 MP. An increase of the scanner resolution to 3600 dpi or 4800 dpi leads to even larger files. A digital camera with a comparable resolution is still very expensive. Another difference is that a film or flatbed scanner actually scans all three colors, whereas a digital camera has to interpolate two colors per photo site (see above).
  5. Film grain provides pseudo detail that is very pleasing to the eye. – Within digital images we all had to get used to the appearance of digital noise, which comes in two “flavors”: luminance noise affects all three color channels and results in loss of detail and artifacts showing, whereas chrominance noise results in the appearance of single speckles of color in otherwise uniform areas of color. Film shows a different “noise” characteristic. With a higher ISO film, the silver halide crystals need to be larger to lead to higher light sensitivity. At sufficient magnification, the intrinsic structure of film becomes apparent as grain. Grain oftentimes creates the illusion of detail. The photo posted here compares digital camera noise (left) and film grain (right). Film grain creates a texture that is more in flow with the image, whereas digital camera noise appears more disruptive to the image. Some of that perception may have to do with our experience that film has been the recording medium of choice for so long. Fortunately there is software out there to mitigate the appearance of digital camera noise and film grain. Because of the pseudo-detail structure of film, film image sometimes appear to be sharper than comparable digital camera files.
  6. Today’s films are designed to be scanned. – In the past, companies like Kodak sold variations of similar film with slightly different characteristics such as color saturation and contrast. We have already and will continue to see the number of films declining, because manufacturers streamline their lines of film to just one variation. A recent examples for this is the Kodak Portra color negative line. Kodak used to sell Portra NC for medium contrast and medium color saturation, and Portra VC for higher contrast and color saturation. With digital imaging, the need for different film response curves has vanished, because digital imaging software lets us fine tune these parameters to one’s preferences. You may wonder what happens to film people have developed and printed in drug stores (one hour photo labs) – purely optical enlargers have completely disappeared. Most stores use Fuji Frontier or Noritsu systems. Color negative film is processed in a standard C-41 process, and then the film is scanned afterwards in a high speed scanner. A quick image enhancement is applied to the scanned files and then prints are produced on a photographic printer that exposes the image onto photographic paper using LEDs or lasers. The exposed photo paper is then processed in a wet chemistry process (RA-4). This is why drug stores can accept digital camera files, it actually saves them from having to process and scan film.
  7. Film scanning and photo printing technology is mature and quick. –  About 10 years ago a company called “Applied Science Fiction” (ASF, no kidding) developed a system to eliminate scratches and dust during scanning of film. Kodak bought the company. The system is known as ICE3 or ICE4, depending on the iteration used. To eliminate dust and scratches, the film image is scanned with an infrared light source, which shows the defects in the film. An algorithm is then used to patch the defects. The results are typically very good. A lot of relatively inexpensive scanners utilize this system. Now there are also even faster systems available that use which utilize a dedicated digital camera to record an image of the film. Inkjet printing technology has mature significantly over the last couple of years. Ten years ago, I needed a six color inkjet printer to achieve photo quality results. Printed b/w was very difficult, and the results very poor. Nowadays even four color inkjet printers can produce photo quality results, while at the same time the printing speed is amazingly fast compared to the earlier printers. For b/w printing, the more expensive printers have grey inks. A less expensive alternative is to dedicate an inexpensive four color inkjet printer to b/w printing by replacing the standard inks with a grey set of inks.

Photographic materials available today provide us with unlimited possibilities, no matter whether film or digital photography is utilized. Both recording media have their place. In the end, it is information that is recorded, whether on a digital sensor or film. It is a great time to be involved in photography, because we have so many options and materials available.

Thank you for reading!

About creativity and Fall Crawl Day 5


As part of the Fall Crawl we will stop by Abby’s blog today at http://dirtontherocks.com/. Abby shares a multitude of different life experiences on her blog, highly recommended.

As the title says, I wanted to write a little bit about creativity. Lately I really enjoy b&w abstract photography, because certain patterns or textures stand out and stand out differently in b&w instead of color. This got me thinking about how others point out “creative” or “artistic” individuals as some who were somehow born with the gift of artistry. Yet at the same time, there are classes in painting, drawing, or photography available. This implies that arts can somehow be learned after all.

To confuse matters further, the term “crafts” is also used sometimes interchangeably with “arts”. We talk about “good craftsmanship” of a building for example.

The apparent contradictions are resolved by establishing two layers of function to art: on one hand the “mechanic” aspects of an art form exist such as applying brush strokes to paper, or setting the camera correctly for the next exposure. This level of mechanic proficiency is often seen as “craft”. To mature as artist, the craft aspects are first practiced consciously, and then subconsciously. Most of us have experienced a similar process when we learned to drive. We first had to pay a lot of attention of how to accelerated or brake the car. After a while it became second nature. The understanding is that we store certain processes in the cerebellum, and thus they become “second nature”. Similar to learning how to accelerate and slow down the car we need a similar comfort level with our tools in the arts. In photography it needs to become second nature what settings to put in the camera, so we can focus on what we want the photograph to be about.

But what has all of this to do with creativity? Well, our tools are just that – tools. It comes down to what we want to say using our artwork. People who have something to say are seen as “creative”, because their art work resonates with other people’s life experience, yet appears unusual and refreshing from their perspective.

I oftentimes feel that my interest (or obsession) with photography helps me in my day job as a scientist to be “creative” when it comes to understanding data or solving problems. Of course when we analyze data, we look for patterns – big surprise, in photography we look for patterns as well.

I created the photograph for today’s post on a rainy Sunday afternoon at home, when I suddenly noticed a lot of patterns in our dining room.

And one more thing: while we call our blog “Crafts and Photography”, my wife Kim’s “crafts” are very artistic and I know she is an artistic and creative person.

Confusion about cameras and other equipment

What a great camera!” I first heard this at a friend’s wedding over ten years ago. At the time I was one of the (back then) few people who were using digital cameras. I had just captured the bouquet toss of the bride mid-air, when somebody attributed it to my camera gear.

When photography became available to the masses, there was always a focus on the mechanical aspects of it. Clicking the shutter seems so simplistic and mechanical. The issue arises because photography has may different uses, one of which is its use as artistic medium.

Even those of us who use photography for artistic purposes get confused at times about the role of our equipment. Most of us who use digital cameras get trapped in the “upgrade hamster wheel”, where we feel we constantly “need” the latest cameras to be able to make outstanding photographs. Photographers are probably the only visual artist who fiercely discuss merits of equipment.

When I thought about the role of equipment, I noticed that…

  1. The well-known famous photographs by past photographers were made with cameras most people wouldn’t even touch today, because they would be considered so simple. Yet the idea in those photographs is what transcends into our time, and we don’t really care what process the photographer used at the time.
  2. Nobody (except maybe some serious pixel peepers) can look at an image and tell that it was taken with a “substandard five year old digital camera”. Or to put it differently, it is better to make a great image with an older camera, than to make an insignificant image with the latest equipment.
  3. Digital cameras are marketed as electronics and follow the same patterns as other electronics. Marketing pushes new products onto us constantly with insignificant new features, although most of us don’t use all the features of our current products.
  4. We are about to reach market saturation for digital SLRs. This means that manufacturers may slow down their product cycles, and we may see longer time periods between releases of new products and more significant added features between products.
  5. Most people that have a halfway decent SLR body get more value out of a new lens than a new camera body. Most people do not make better images because their digital SLR sensor has higher resolution, but instead with a new lens that adds new capabilities.
  6. Prime lenses (fixed focal lenses) instead of zoom lenses still offer a lot of advantages, mostly in light sensitivity and weight.
  7. Not everybody needs a high resolution camera, unless images are frequently enlarged. Of course there are workarounds like stitching images, or using medium or large format film and cameras when high resolution is required.
  8. It is oftentimes better to have a less valuable camera that can be taken everywhere than to use an expensive camera that stays at home because of fear of getting stolen or damaged.
  9. We oftentimes think about buying a new camera body to get a change in pace and think this will improve our photographs. Instead it may be better to spend money on accessories that give us new capabilities, for example: inexpensive studio lighting kit (2-3 light stands, umbrellas, monolights, or continuous lights), battery-operated multi flash kit, inkjet printer to print your own work, macro lens, extreme wide-angle lens, underwater housing for camera, compact tripod for sharper images in the field.
  10. Before we can create art, we need to master the technique (or craft) of photography. When we arrive at this stage, using the camera becomes second nature and is controlled subconciously. To get there, we need to practice every day. Then we can focus on the image, how it makes us feel, what we are passionate about, whatever camera we are using.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Lars Waldmann