Remember when you bought your first digital SLR camera? You thought, “What a piece of engineering!” You opened the box and took the first glance as excitement and joy ran through your veins. No more film, no more limitations and the ability to take as many photos as you want. The world was your oyster. You went through the manual and the number of options, menus and settings left you gasping. While the battery was still charging you were already planning your first photo endeavour. Then you ran outside with your shiny new camera and started shooting like mad. After all, with digital there are no limits. In the evenings you hit the Internet. You were sure you had the best camera on the market. You read all the reviews that were proving your point. But wait, you thought, “Maybe I should get a better lens, a better-rated lens.” You scratched together all the money you could and bought a huge, beautiful pro-rated lens. “Now I can take really stunning photos!” you cried. You drove to the nearest park and photographed everything around you: benches, trees, leaves, people, even hydrants. You uploaded your photos, looked at them at 100%, and admired sharpness and dynamic range. Again, you went on the Internet, hit the blogs, forums and ratings and thought, “If only I had a telephoto lens, I could take even more amazing photos.” The next day you visited your local dealer and came back with a massive telephoto 2.8 pro-rated. WOW!
But wait! Another question hit you. “How I am going to carry all this equipment?” You ran back to the store and picked the largest and best camera backpack you could afford. Daily you carried the backpack with your expensive SLR and superb lenses and took hundreds of photos. Sure the bag was heavy and the camera overwhelming but you told yourself, “This is the price I have to pay for top quality.” You justified an inconvenience. You kept uploading your photos to the computer, then processing and uploading them on the Internet. Next, you repeated your mantra about your camera’s superiority. You followed this sequence religiously every day. But despite your best efforts, photography had become an almost robot-like endeavour. Then it hit you. Something was not right! You noticed that others were taking much more interesting photos that were more engaging, more powerful. You went through them, you counted every pixel and you compared. Sure their photos were not as sharp as yours, the resolution was lower, the dynamic range was nowhere near yours but somehow their images were so much better and more interesting. You grumbled to yourself, “It is not possible! After all, I spent thousands on my equipment and I feel I am going nowhere!” You nervously studied the 300-page manual and asked yourself, “Maybe I am missing some settings? If only I knew how to set up…” You fell asleep with the manual as your pillow. Next day in the field you set up a tripod, put your brand new, huge, super-fast lens on your camera, went through your settings, played with all the buttons and you came back home… with even more mediocre photos. Your frustration was growing. Where is the joy? Where is the passion? Should I buy a better lens? Should I change my in-camera settings? Weeks and months passed and you left your heavy backpack at home more often. You became unengaged and uninspired. You started avoiding photography. What a chore it had become! You think, “Maybe that’s just how it is. Maybe I am overreacting. Maybe this is the new normal.” The following day you bumped into a kid next door and he showed you a few photos he had taken with his iPhone. You immediately dismissed the quality and told him to buy a real camera but deep down you admired his images, creativity and passion. You went home depressed and discouraged. Then, one day you came across your old friend who was holding a small and interesting camera. Out of respect and curiosity, you took it, looked through the viewfinder and played with the controls. At first, you felt hostile towards this tiny camera. After all, at home you had whole backpack of expensive gear. But deep inside you had a strange feeling. Something drew you closer. It was the strange but familiar feeling you had when you shot Leica or Contax film cameras. You could not stop thinking about the little camera you held in your hands today. After a few days of internal struggle you decided to go for it. You realized what had been missing.
How many of you have had a similar experience? I did………
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