A Half Priced Mistake

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here and it comes down to I haven’t had much to say let alone to update on. My life is not exciting and worth writing or documenting about in any form on a regular basis. It’s not a bad thing in my mind as I enjoy my quiet life. Still, I felt it worth posting a bit of an update as I have had a small adventure since the year began.

I own many film cameras but only one digital camera. My wife and I are not rich and live a happy yet frugal life and that’s just fine by us. So when my Digital camera finally gave out instead of going and just buying a replacement I had to spend time thinking about what to get and invest into. I was happy with the performance of my Sony SLT A33 as I don’t need anything fancy but since its release so many things have advanced that I’ve been wanting to explore. As such I finally decided on a camera and what should have been a simple order and wait for its arrival turned into an interesting surprise. Instead of getting the camera that I paid for, the Sony A77II, I received a Sony A7II. If you aren’t familiar with the Sony lineup to put it simply I paid $900 and got a camera package worth (at least at the time I ordered it) a little more than double that price. I found this funny because my last entry here I wrote how I wasn’t ashamed of my crop framed sensor. Hell, more and more professionals are shooting on them because of advances in technology and certain advantages they get from the sensor size but now here I was looking at a camera that was full frame and possibly to become my new digital camera. Keeping a long story short, I spoke with the company I purchased it from and about the mistake that was made on their end. They wanted me to pay for return shipping/stocking and were giving me the run around. I’m not going to name names here but in the end after talking with management I was told to keep it. I am now the owner of a full frame camera and paid a lot less than market price.

This does give me a bit of an issue though in that all my glass is a-mount and the A7II uses e-mount. The lens that came with it is OK but I’m really happy with the glass I have now and have been using for years. Luckily there is an adaptor of which I ordered and with its help have been getting to know the camera. Still, I long for the A77II because a good portion of how I shoot the use of a crop frame sensor is a nice bit of help. Namely that I use glass built for full frame and thus get a bit of a further reach. Besides, when I ordered the camera I also picked up extra batteries and a grip for it so I’d like to put them to use because again, the company wanted me to pay for its return and even stocking yet I’m not the one that made the mistake. In the end it’s their loss really.

So now I’m getting to know my A7II with plans of purchasing the A77II soon. Though I did buy a used A200 for $100. It was barely used and came without even a scuff mark on it and I’ve been looking to shoot on one for fun. It was my very first DSLR and ever since I sold it years ago I’ve felt bad for doing so. While not the best camera out there, even when it was brand new, it was still a champ at what it did and I’m honestly glad to have one in my hands again. As such I’ve gone from only ever having owned one digital camera at a time to now owning two and soon will own three.

Neither the Sony A200 nor myself are professionals but I still enjoy the results.

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Is It Still Photography?

I was recently asked by a person how they could take pictures like Holly Spring and I started off with saying how this sort of thing opens up a can of worms in my mind when it comes the art and world of photography, at least in the purest sense for me.

If you aren’t aware of Holly Spring and her work it’s really worth looking into. She has done some great stuff with a series involving daughter that is quite amazing. It’s imaginative and inspiring. Wondrous and full of dreams. The link to her Facebook page is below and I do recommend taking a look.

https://www.facebook.com/HSpringPhotography

Now while I do enjoy and admire her work I have to also say that in my mind I cannot see it as a pure photograph. I can see it as a graphic manipulation because of how much was done in post to create this world that without the manipulation never existed. It makes me sad when people think of it as just a photograph because it’s a photograph sure but with a world digitaly created and/or heavily manipulated to obtain a vision the artist has in mind.

So then I wonder where is the line between photograph and graphic design? Are there steps or levels to this process? I mean Ansel Adams created amazing photographs with nowhere near the technology of today and used chemicals and tricks to change a photo to bring out highlights or boost contrast. There are also well known images where they were changed to add or remove people, add clouds, change frowns to smiles and more. Sometimes for good, other times for evil, these were done and changed the image to reflect an idea. How much change needs to be made before it is no longer a photograph but a mixture of mediums to create a work of art?

I cannot personally answer this question as all I can say is that for me I feel more comfortable calling what I do photography if I make as few changes as I can to obtain my vision. The photograph below is a good example. With only my camera, a small LED light panel and an old piece of black cloth I took this photo of a peach purchased from a local farm. It was then brought into Photoshop where upon opening Brightness/Contrast I boosted the contrast by a factor of 50 and lowered the brightness down to 25. Does that take away from this being photography? Obviously there is manipulation but is it still photography without crossing the line to being more of a digital graphic art? In my mind no but as for Holly Springs work, while amazing I feel it to be more of a combination piece blending photography and graphic design for a look into an amazing world and not strictly photography.

I guess my only point here is to say that while I love what technology has brought us I dislike how it appears to have changed what is a photograph in this world, just a pure photograph and nothing more.

Peach