Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Process or the Result?

Old City Hall -- 5D & Leica-R 28mm f2.8. Larger Picture.

People who get into photography for many reasons. Some only like to lust over the expensive equipment, others like to look at the photographs they have taken, and yet more will enjoy the process of creating the images. I am sure there are far many other reasons.

I am a little bit of everything. I love well made gear and lust over top end stuff, but my bank account ultimately limits what I can actually have. Just think of it, well made and being great does not need to be expensive at all. For me, old lenses are prime examples, although there are some very expensive old lenses, in general, they are much cheaper than the auto focus equivalent, and in some cases they are even optically better, not to mention how well they were made, for far less money. If you have ever used a Pentax Takumar lens, no, not those cheap plastic PK mount ones, but the M42 or screw mount Takumars, you will know what I mean.

The process of image creation is also something that I enjoy immensely. I use both auto focus and manual focus lenses, but I use manual focus lenses more. Why? The act of turning the silky smooth focusing ring, the sound of the aperture clicks, and the touch of metal lens barrel, all combined to give me a sense that I am creating something. On the other hand, an auto focus lens focuses instantaneously, and in a split second, an image is captured, usually in perfect clarity. To me, what lens to use, depends on what kind of pictures I am taking. Guess what gives me the most pleasure?

I also care about the end result. After all, the lens and camera are made to take photographs. As I said before, those of us who do not have the creative juice or a good eye for composition to take good pictures, it's an eternal frustration. We try again and again, just hoping one day we can take one really good picture that we can be proud of. Unfortunately, at least for me, most pictures are mediocre at best, but, at least there is hope that next one could be better. For this reason, the equipment and the process are more enjoyable for me, for the time being.

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