The Light We’re Given
It will come as no surprise to both of my regular readers to learn that photography has been for me a kind of liturgy of living. There is a close affinity for me between memory, vision (in both uses of that word) and the press of the shutter of whatever camera I have with me at most times when I’m outdoors.
Photography, then, for me, is a way to keep visual markers along the way, but maybe more than that, it is a kind of attitude of awareness and appreciation for the light I am given. Had I not “become” a photographer, I would have missed so many opportunities to slow down, stop, comprehend, gather and then reflect.
I speak about all this as I make a transition in the tools I will have at hand for this way of life across whatever time remains.
I am finding that convenience and portability are taking precedence over some of the other camera factors I used to think I needed. Bigger is not necessarily better now for what I will do with any image I’m likely to take this year or next.
My camera bag holds a Nikon D200 with an 18-200mm lens; a Canon Powershot A620 that I only use for macro shots; and a Sony Handycam CX260v. Yet most of the images I’ve taken over the past year have been with my iPhone 4s that is always in my pocket. Convenience and portability rule the day.
And not to say the phone does not take some great shots, like the one above. It has a lens and takes pictures, but it is lacking in what I’ve come to expect from a DSLR. The iPhone is not a camera, but performs as one.
So I’m selling the Powershot and the HandyCam (with less than an hour’s worth of actual video use.) The Handycam, I just don’t like the ergonomics. It does not fit my hand, and I don’t like having to tote a separate camera for video.
Long story short: tomorrow I’ll receive the (Panasonic) Lumix LX7. It won’t be perfect. But it is a coat-pocket camera with very good, fast glass and many of the features I’ve demanded from an SLR since 1970. And I am more likely to have it with me than my old sternum-brusing Nikon that my crummy hands like holding up to my eye less than they used to. Life goes on, and we adapt
You’ve been warned: I’ll be field testing the Lumix, and you’ll be my audience.
Another major benefit that photography has brought to life for the past four decades is its ability to reproduce in your eye, mind and heart what first appeared through the viewfinder to mine, that reality of light and color, depth and texture, symbol and statement, transfused between us in a photograph.
That’s a pretty major means of sharing and communicating, and the blog–even as it pales against what it once was to me and for visitors–continues to be my voice in this way.