A Pen to Write With
There were pictures to be found in every direction. On a splendid fall Saturday in Central Park, the street performers, camera wielding tourists, and horse carriage rides were all set against the changing foliage. I've spent so many hours taking pictures in this park, but usually it's with my wide angle zoom, a 17-40mm. Fall is a season of change however, and I wanted to switch things up. For this adventure, I set out with just one lens, an 85mm prime with a beautifully wide aperture of f1.8. With no definitive plan in mind, I strolled quietly beneath occasional canopies of shade, following long winding paths. This peaceful setting lent itself to both photography, and inner contemplation.
Lately, a number of impressive cameras have hit the market, most notably the full frame Canon 6D for $2100 and the Nikon 600D for $2000. I checked the specs and of course they do look good. Those marketing folks know which buzz words get the forum trolls excited. Through all of it, there was one specification that stood out. The built in wifi of the 6D is one thing I've been hoping to see for at least 5 years. I mean, why can I email a photo from my phone, but not my camera? It just seems backwards, and finally this was a step in the right direction. Still, this feature alone does not justify a price point over $2k. I'm curious to see if this technology trickles down to the next set of smaller sensor DSLRs.
The 60D is a great camera but Canon downgraded the hardware to a plastic build instead of following the magnesium alloy model of its predecessors. During a time when smaller mirror less cameras made a huge splash, the 7d is actually heavier than most DSLRs on the market. It also has an unnecessarily complex set of autofocus options that have users everywhere claiming their camera is faulty. In photography, more is not always better. It's true with megapixels as well as autofocus points.
Just over a bluff, I noticed a beautiful scene with an ornate carriage pulled by a powerful horse. If I waited here long enough, It would come back around, so I scoped out the area by "zooming with my feet". Essentially, this is done by walking all around the area and exploring potential compositions. Zoom lenses are great, but they make us lazy. There, at the peak of a gentle hill, I saw an area void of traffic signs. In fact, the only man made element was a terrific old iron street lamp. It was around noon, and I was surprised but grateful the lamp was turned on. Moments later, the horse passes and I capture the frame just as I'd hoped for.
Once I have a couple of "keepers" in the camera I feel even more relaxed and continue to explore. Up ahead I watched as a little kid happily chases giant bubbles, racing to burst them with outstretched arms. I rattle off 6 frame in a second and the autofocus locks on effortlessly. It reminds me how comfortable I feel with this now ancient Canon 40d. It's become my pen to write with, only with images, not words.