Thoughts On Cameras
In the film, Helmut by June, Helmut Newton talks about cameras and composition. Newton says the camera he uses is one used by amateurs and that much of his work occurs in “his head”. The technology surrounding photography has changed over the centuries yet composing a photograph has not changed. When I think about cameras and photographs, I don’t allow the lastest model entice me–I look towards cost and strip my technological needs to a minimum.
I first started shooting photographs seriously when I was attending the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Several cameras were available to me through my major in Theatre Studies and Film Studies. Using opportunities to film school performances and class assignments allowed me to tryout several brands of cameras: a Pentax while filming in-class performances, a Canon Rebel T3i loaned to me by my instructor, a Nikon checked out for class assignments from the college film lab, and I used my Samsung Rush’s camera phone at the race track. Much of my film and photograph experience was shooting flowers, people working on race cars, and filming sprint cars performing on the track.
The Samsung Rush became my primary camera as it wasn’t as intimidating as the other cameras and if I broke it, I could afford to replace it. It allowed me to practice using menus and experiment with some of the computer’s camera options to see the actual changes that occurs with the programming.
In order to improve my pictures, I would need to jump to the prosumer cameras. A prosumer camera has more options for working in an environment filled with motion. The lenses that come with the camera would allow me to shoot from greater distances. Reading a number of recommendations by racing enthusiasts and professional racing photographers, both groups tended to recommend either Canon or Nikon. Shutter speeds and surviving flying dirt were considered the most important aspects of choosing a camera.
Returning to my college experiences, I wanted to purchase a Canon EOS Rebel T3i which my film instructor, Rusty Sheridan, owned and allowed me to use. I wanted this camera because I had used it in college and had some experience with the settings. Buying a T3i is no longer possible because of personal budget constraints and the model being discontinued. So I purchased a refurbished Canon EOS Rebel T5 to learn.