Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Warning - this photograph's terrible

How do I know this is a terrible shot? Well, I've visited the photography forums, and they tell me that if it isn't sharp it's no good! And this one is distinctly blurred.

Seriously though, too many visits to certain kinds of photography websites can be detrimental to your photographic health. I'm talking about those sites where posters speculate and salivate over the next whizz-bang camera that may be just around the corner. Or agonise endlessly over which is the best of the two cameras they've narrowed their choice down to. Or where they discuss ad nauseam whether camera X has more noise at 400 ISO than camera Y. Or - well, you get the idea!

Now I'm not saying that a decent camera and a decent lens aren't important, or even desirable. But isn't it the snaps themselves that are the whole point of the hobby (and profession) of photography. And isn't it the case that most digital cameras made these days are capable of producing good images. Moreover, it's surely a truism that the eye behind the camera is more important than the camera itself. Visiting the forums I get the impression that there are a lot of unhappy photographers around who've lost the plot! Remember, digital photography is all about composing an effective rectangle of shapes and colours - and it's creative and fun.

So, back to the rubbish photo above. This was one of those take it or miss it situations. It was the end of the day, hazy, there wasn't much light, and the fishing boat "Albion" was coming quickly up the Wyre Channel off Fleetwood, Lancashire. A long zoom was on the camera, and the possible ISO, exposure and speed meant camera shake was a distinct possibility. I had no tripod and no usable support on the beach. So I braced the camera to my face and fired off several shots. I'm glad I did, because the combination of vessels, gulls, haze and low lighting combined to give me a photograph that I like, that's resonant of an age gone by, and that isn't (I think) rubbish. What's more I can live with the blur!
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen