Shut up and Shoot

Central Library Under Construction - Austin, Texas

Central Library Under Construction – Austin, Texas

With its relentless march, photography is one of the few ways to tame time. It’s an illusion, of course, but these captured moments allow you to replay experiences and remember things long forgotten. The photo above is the new central library, along with other west side buildings, under construction. I shot this three and half years ago. I found it locked away in my vintage digital time capsule, the Olympus E-300. The library and the surrounding buildings are all complete and the entire area is now transformed.

While snapshots of downtown construction may not be compelling to you, think of them as a proxy for your important subjects. The kids grow up quickly. We grow older. Loved ones since passed, are no longer with us. Precious memories saved via photography. I fear, however, photo enthusiasts, in their quest for the perfect gear, miss the moments.

Some ten years ago, I met an engineer that only shot a medium format film camera. A really nice Mamiya 7. I was impressed until I look at his photos. He basically took family snapshots with that thing. And, because of the expense and effort, he rarely took pictures. When I asked why he didn’t use a digital SLR instead, he replied that they weren’t good enough, yet. He was willing to consider digital once it matched his film camera. What an idiot. In his quest for (perceived) perfection, he neglected to capture all the moments with his two daughters. I wonder if he ever did get a digital camera.

I see less extreme versions of this happening all the time. People agonize over the right camera, when they hardly take pictures with their current device. Time and opportunities slip by and they worry if a camera has two card slots.

With the Nikon and Canon mirrorless camera announcements starting to fade, perhaps we can get back to the important things. Like taking pictures. Shut up and shoot. There’s no perfect camera. And time waits for no camera, even if it has two card slots.


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