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Big Lens, Little Lens

November 30, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

When I first started taking photographs, back in 1980, there was only one way of doing it - with a very special piece of equipment called a camera. Strutting around college with my father's Petri 7S rangefinder, I quickly became known as the photo man. If there was a play on, I took the photos. If there was a student demonstration in the city, I was at the front line. It quickly grew to covering everything - parties, hurling matches, talent shows, award presentations, visiting lecturers & poets, gigs. That continued for many years and I was rarely seen without a camera. As the years rolled on, my camera collection grew - better, faster, more features, more lenses, more stuff. i was always the photo man. AmericanDays383 copyAmericanDays383 copy

Wind forward 40 years and while I still carry a camera with me always and everywhere, I've long shed my photo man mantle. Why? Well, cameras have become (for most) redundant as with the rapid development of mobile phone technology, everyone now has the facility to take photographs of anything, anytime. The quality, especially in the last three years or so, has become excellent, but something strange has evolved. While the sharpness and colour brilliance of photos taken with phones is really good, the actual quality of the images themselves has generally dropped. It now appears to be more about convenience and instant gratification. The big fat Nikon 50mm lens has been replaced by a little lens the size of a mackerel's eye. What about composition, lighting and selective focus and such? They don't seem to matter so much anymore.


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