During April break I tried something new. Something that made me cringe on the inside at first. I documented most of my family’s activities using my cell phone camera. It was just so much easier than running to get my dSLR camera or trying to carry it around with me! At the end of the break I went through the pictures and blogged them on my family’s photo blog. I wasn’t thrilled with the image quality of the cell phone pictures, but I was thrilled to have images documenting all the random and fun things that we did together. That was my goal for our April break – I wanted to enjoy the time with my kids, capture the fun and crazy moments, and use the images in our family history.
This experience demonstrates one of the biggest dilemmas I face in photography. For me, there is a lot of tension between wanting the awesome image quality and control of my dSLR, but also wanting the spontaneity and convenience of having my camera with me at all times. Cell phone cameras are getting better and better (not mine, it stinks for sure) and I find myself envious of my friends who take pictures all day long and post images to FB or Instagram with the touch of a finger. Should I be doing that? Should I give up the parts of photography that I love in order to capture more moments in my family’s life? My personal answer is evolving but it includes a place for both types of cameras. If I’m being honest, dSLR photography has more frustrations, disappointments, and expenses than I’d really like.
What keeps me picking up my dSLR? I love the weight of it in my hands, the fun of composing pictures with my eye to the viewfinder, and the feel of the zoom as I twist my wrist on the lenses. I love the “flow” experience of getting lost in taking pictures. I love, love, love that there’s no shutter lag on dSLRs; when I press the shutter button the image is captured. I love the quick and creative control that I have over the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. If I want my daughter’s swinging movement to be sharp as a tack, all I have to do is swivel the shutter speed control. If I want my baby’s eyes to be the focus of the picture, all I have to do is swivel the aperture control. I love having the ability to chimp on my camera’s LCD screen to see is the exposure is right or the image is sharp. I love the sharpness and colors of my images when I view them in Lightroom. These are the things I miss when I pick up my cell phone and try to capture my kids’ lives. These are the things that keeps me coming back to dSLR photography.