|When you are in this scene, stuff like "Dynamic Range", ISO, focal length, etc., become utterly meaningless and - frankly - hopelessly incapable of conveying the sublime feelings you experience|
In terms of photographic lessons, the most important one I learned during these past two weeks can be summed up in a single acronym: SWAGO. But what is SWAGO and how does it help you get interesting photographs? It's simpler than you think (and yet it revolves around photographic issues so deeply embedded into modern photographic minds, that it can be hard to embrace). SWAGO stands for
Stop Whining And Get Out
Stop whining about your camera or your lens
Stop whining about having 12MP instead of 36MP
Stop whining about having a DX sensor instead of an FX one
Stop whining about your lens being f/4 instead of f/2.8
Stop whining about ISO or dynamic range
And Get Out
Get out of the house, see the world
Get out of the house, travel, experience
Get out of the house and find wonderful scenes you can photograph
Get out of the house taking any camera available to you (if it's a D3200 and the 18-55 so be it - that was the only camera and the only lens I carried with me; all photographs in this page are with this combination)
|Like all other photos of my trip, taken with a humble D3200 + 18-55. So what? It's all about having something to say with your photos; it's not about the camera.|
Focal length too short? Go closer.
Focal length too long? Go farther back.
Light too low for the exposure you want? Choose another one.
Everything technical fails you, stars are falling and worlds collide? Stop whining about it and move on, seeking the next experience.
You see, the biggest secret on creating interesting, captivating photos is this: Be present, allow your mind/spirit to connect to the sublimity of the scene. Any camera that allows you to set exposure (or at least exposure compensation) is enough.
|To capture a scene like this you don't need 20-whatever-bits of portrait depth, nor a camera with 90-whatever DxO marks, nor 14-whatever stops of dynamic range. You just need to be there, both physically and mentally.|
We'll talk more about this in future articles, but the important thing to remember is this (I'll use my big bold font to convey its importance):
Your camera doesn't matter.
Your lens doesn't matter.
Your ability to connect to a scene, to discover emotions and experiences, DOES matter.
|This old man looks a bit peeved. Maybe he doesn't know how to apply SWAGO and he's too preoccupied with how many stops of dynamic range his camera has.|