It’s been roughly two years since I last owned an SLR camera. I didn’t have mine for long before I drowned it in sprite and made the decision to replace it with the more compact Canon G12. My thinking behind this was that I would take way more photos with a camera that I could put in my handbag.
My little compact SLR has served me well- give or take- but there are certain things that it’s not, and at the end of the day, it’s not the kind of camera I need to be shooting with if I have any intention on improving my photography skills.
It’s always more of a dream than a reality- buying a camera. And even then, it’s not something I fantasise about because I know myself and big, expensive possessions are not my thing. I can’t seem to look after my belongings properly and I can’t even blame it on my lifestyle, it’s just me. So a couple days ago when I found myself in the right place at the right time I made a (fairly) impulse buy and the fantastic Orms Direct in Cape Town.
My friend and host while in Cape Town, Sian, was going there anyway to replace one of her lenses. On top of that, someone else had suggested I visit this fantastic camera shop while I was in the Mother City. Next thing I knew I was doing a little research on what I wanted and could afford. Less than 24 hours later I was the proud owner of a new Canon EOS 650D, three lenses, a tripod, two SD cards and a great camera bag. Gotta love package deals.
I realised it was time for an upgrade on my first day in Cape Town when Sian put her camera in my hands and encouraged me to shoot with it. We were heading into town to be tourists with two Brazilians. Taking photos left right and centre- I realised how much I had missed actually looking through a view finder. That’s just not the vibe of the g12 point and shoot- the view finder on it is, quite frankly, a joke.
The rapid shutter speed is also something I’ve missed- the amount of great shots I didn’t get all because for two years I’ve been pressing a button and having the photo take a spilt-second later. Now it’s instantaneous. Here’s to many more, better executed, ‘in the moment’ shots which are arguably my favourite. I’m a big fan of shooting people going about their lives, whether they’re aware of it or not.
In my experience people aren’t really too fussed about having their photograph taken. If they’re not comfortable with it they’re probably a criminal. Just flash them a smile and maybe a thumbs up afterwards, just to say thanks. Obviously it all depends on the person and the situation but there’s hardly ever a time where I’ve needed to verbally ask someone if I can take their picture. At most I’ll use eye contact and body language. Others may feel differently about the lines this kind of photography crosses, but my journalistically trained brain reminds me that if its in a public space its photographable.
I feel good about my new toy and furthering my skills with it. Stick around to see what (and if) I can do.