Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sophie: Thoughts on New Things

Sophie: Thoughts on New Things
Originally uploaded by Dannybhoy
Isn't it some unspoken rule that upon recieving a new camera you take a picture of your pet?
I suppose usually you get the camera to take pictures of the pet, but in my case, the camera came first, then the pet.

A freind came and found me at school the day before graduation and told me they had found a kitten in a drainpipe who needed a home. A few minutes later I had a kitten in my satchel bag hitching a ride home. Meet Sophie, the coolest, most laidback chill cat ever. She reminds me of Jazz.

Well, with graduation I got a new camera, the Canon 40d. This is a huge step up from my little point and shoot, and a small step from my other film SLR's which keeping calling me jealously from my camera bag.

I remember when Napster came out. I downloaded it and soon had access to basically anysong I wanted. But once I had that, the music became less valuable to me. Having all of it at my fingertips made it seem a little cheaper. I speculate that this is because it became divorced from a context of appreciation and shifted to a form of musical gluttony. I don't want this to happen with my new camera.

For a long time I really wanted a digital SLR, but after taking mainly film for the past six months or so, I feel a little guilty at the ease with which I can take pictures now. The luddite in me makes me contemplate the aesthetic and creative differences between working with film and digital mediums, and so far I've come to several conclusions. As far as I can see in my untrained thinking about photography, I can seperate photography into two categories, Photojournalism and Fine Art. These lines inevitably cross and blur, but they are distinguished in my mind as such: Photojournalism is the attempt to communicate an idea,event, or situation to other people effectively. This includes weddings, events, journalism; all which can be very artistic and abstract but are intended first with an eye to more concrete communication. Fine Art is an attempt to communicate abstracts and ideas that are more personal reactions to culture and life. One begins with an event and captures the ideas, the story taking place; and the latter starts with the idea, and then tells the story.

So my intent is this, digital photography excels beyond film's capabilities in the photojournalitic areas, but film allows for (in my humble opinion) more creativity and finer quality. (Please don't hear me as devaluing the wonderful creative aspects of photoshop and digital technology, I'm not.) My new camera is a tool to sit beside my film as an equal, set aside for different purposes, One I will use for weddings and events, the other I will use to try to stimulate my creative side.

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