Coming Into Focus

Who would use a camera in 2019? 


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Considering how important my words are that is saying a lot.  Then again I am spending a lot of words without really saying anything so now I am just really confusing myself.  On to the topic at hand.  Time to go back to the future.


I’m your huckleberry 

People often ask me why on earth I buy cameras in 2019.  By often, I mean someone asked me once.

Seriously.  Who uses big giant cameras today?

It is a fair question.

It really is amazing what the phones can do with photography the past few years and in particular the latest generation.  There is little doubt that the phones can probably replicate the vast majority of photos taken and be an awful lot more convenient in doing so.  Computational logic in the software can pretty much handle the technical aspects better than a human being and fill in the gaps to make up for any shortcomings in size of sensor or lenses.  Point it, shoot it.  In particular if you primarily post photos on social media there is really nothing technical you are losing.

So, why am I buying expensive cameras and lenses and more importantly what does it have to do with this blog?  Settle in, it's about to get dry in here...

Here is the thing about this phase of life where you are no longer defined as a boyfriend, husband, dad.  It is sort of a blank slate.  So I decided to start something.  Not that I have ever been short on interests or hobbies, but I really wanted something to find something that really helped with this stage of my life.  I wanted something to fuel my soul for no other reason than my soul is feeling a little low on gas.  For me photography makes sense and buying a quality camera was one of my best investments.  If you are an avid outdoorsman in the mortal battle against time it just could be your bag as well.  Read on to understand why or bail to more interesting topics...don't worry, I will never know.

Photography, in its pure form, is one part art and one part science and the combo is pretty intoxicating.  I am not talking about taking pictures.  I am talking about making pictures.  There is something so awesome about manually controlling all aspects of that image entering your camera sensor.  From finding and framing that scene you sort of want to keep with you, to controlling how much light enters the lens, to how long your picture is exposed...it is like a delicate balance that is so cool when it all comes together.  I won't bore you with all of the exposure triangle and the science that goes into the image.  There are plenty of sites for that and you can lose a day just understanding exposure, iso and aperture.  Just know that manually controlling these three things along with the actual framing of a scene...well...just know pulling off a really impressive photo is art.  That is the geeky part of it all...but the real reason there is a photography slant on this blog is how it relates to life in a more general way.

Its a dumb hanging candle...yet...I notice it.  Acros makes all things cool.

You see, when you take a physical camera with a real view finder you notice things.  So many things.  It is completely unlike snapping a pic with your phone.  Once you really dig into photography you are start to look at things a little differently.  It is amazing the little details in the world I notice when I am paying attention.  It forces you to not just look, but to see.  I have never had more appreciation for the simple things in life until I started looking at everything in terms of whether I wanted to capture it and keep it with me.  It is like peering through that viewfinder brings magic to moments that otherwise go unnoticed.

To preserve a moment is sort of like stopping time and I am pretty sure we are all seeking that right about now.

I am not really into people posing and taking their portraits.  Don't get me wrong...I like capturing people and find many portraits absolutely stunning.  It just isn't why I pursued this.  It isn't soul stirring.  No, I am here to capture life and keep it with me.  I want candid moments that spark a memory to no one other than me.  I like to photograph my pups running against the wind because they are both beautiful to me and it makes me feel lighter.  I like to photograph scenes in nature and out on my adventures because moments hit me hard when I am alone with them.  When I look at those pictures I am right back in the moment.  It is a shelter against the world in a weird way.  More than anything, it makes me stop and appreciate the things I am already doing just a little more than I would if I wasn't trying to soak in the moment, through my lens.

So yes, I have invested far too much money in my cameras and lenses.  It lets me avoid pulling out cheater glasses to look at a phone screen because viewfinders have a diopter that lets me correct for my old-man eyes.  I see the world as if I was twenty when I look through that viewfinder.  Nice!  The world simply looks exactly how I want it to through that window...and since it really is all about me I like that quite a bit.  Besides, when I am not outside adventuring across rugged terrain, I wish I was.  This gets me closer.

My weapon of choice is Fuji.  I own an X-T2 and recently picked up an X-H1 as they are clearing them out at less than half the price they were a year ago and it has some nice upgrades I appreciate.  Now if I can just find enough other things to sell so I can keep my T2.  If one camera is good, two are better.   I just couldn't resist a better viewfinder...as I said, that is how I view my world these days.  I could wax on for hours about camera systems.  Sensor sizes, which system to buy, blah blah.  There are so many excellent sites and I will list a few of my favorites in the comments if you ever want more info.  At a high level,  just know that most sites you will tell you that everyone should buy what is called a full-frame camera.  Basically that means it has a bigger sensor than my Fuji, which is called APS-C.  The tradeoff is ever so slightly larger cameras but they do indeed let in more light and do allow for larger file sizes which can be handy.    So why am I with Fuji?

Well, first of all...money is an object.  An aps-c system will come in a bit less expensive.  More importantly though, I have always been a little bit of an outsider.  Fujifilm has a bit of a cult following.  I find the colors amazing.  They also put out pictures with film simulations that reflect older film cameras.  This is my passion to capture moments, not spend hours on a laptop modifying photos in software.  Trust me, most of these amazing photos you see around the internet are the result of hours of modification, adjustments, and serious processing.  It is honestly nearly as important to know how to use the photo software as it is to take a photo.  No thanks.  Not really my bag.  I like the creative aspect.  I like finding my moments, thinking through my moments, and capturing my moments preferably with a nod towards better days.  Fuji jpegs remind me of my entire goal in entering photography.  Stir my soul!  The manual controls, the ergonomics that remind me of older times, it is hard to explain.  They are also built like tanks and I am someone that will test that with my adventures.  At the end of the day there is virtually nothing you can do with a full frame camera that I can't do with mine.  Maybe even with a phone for that matter.  I am about the art, not the science.  The science is more forgiving with a full frame camera than it is with my Fuji's but that is just fine.  Make me work harder.  I will only appreciate you more.

If anyone reads this and does truly want some advice shoot me a note or comment in here and I will be glad to help.  If you dream of  pursuing wildlife or birds in flight types of things...or even sporting events there may be a better choice.  There are some great Nikon DSLR camera's that would be amazing and are starting to be seen at really excellent used prices.    Most manufacturers are going to what is called mirrorless (such as my Fuji's) as opposed to DSLR, which basically means it has an electronic viewfinder and I like my view of the world being sans mirror.  Far too much science for this type of blog.

So that is all there is to it really.  I can only say when you seek to redefine yourself in this new life, seek and find a passion.  Being on the water, being in nature, with my pups...and capturing it really fuels my soul.  Season to taste, your mileage may vary.  Oh...and no...I don’t have an answering machine though I am quite proud of my cd collection.  I was going to say cassettes but I am trying to stay relevant.  You know us middlers, gotta stay trendy (end sarcasm).

Disclaimer:  the term middlers will now forever be used in place of middle age as that phrase makes me throw up a little in the back of my throat.  Thank you.

- sincerely, NoEgg management


Keep chasing your passion people!


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