Saturday, October 12, 2013

Stepping forward into the future

A week or two back, I picked out a new domain name. My old domain name of was fine and dandy but it was a bit verbose. It was a lot to key in. Thus I have a new, shorter domain name - which should be much easier to remember. There's a hidden advantage too - the registrar wanted $10.99 to renew the old domain but only $3.99 for the new domain. I'm up for saving $6 and making life easier into the bargain.

Originally, British Photography was the name I had for my photography business. It was suggested that I made my Britishness my unique selling point for photography. This would have worked had anybody actually been hiring photographers. I don't know whether it's the Lexington/Columbia SC area that's particularly appalling for photographers but I rather suspect not. I rather suspect that it's all over for photography as a profession or a business.

I have a feeling that since the Chicago Sun Times sacked all its photographers and gave its reporters iPhones and instruction on how to use the cameras, the end is in sight for all professional photography. It's not just that but the fact that all the cheap instore photography studios went bust. It's also the stories I keep hearing from other photographers. One who was a photographer for 25 years just went bankrupt, others are seeing dramatic decreases in income. Many are thinking of exit strategies from the business. Even 20 years ago, it wasn't rosy. One of my friends was a really good photographer but spent his life swinging between periods of affluence and longer periods dependent upon welfare. It wasn't even brilliant when many of the "names" were growing photographers. They got to where they are not through skill but through staying power and bulling their way through situations.

So, now I have dumped the business, I am free once more to enjoy photography. How I arrived at having one shall remain forever shrouded in the mists. That's not really as important as the present.

Right now I'm giving some very serious thought to selling all my camera stuff so that I can go for one of the new smaller camera formats. My favorite is currently the Nikon 1 system. I really like the size and its capabilities. I'm really not keen on the poor quality of the 10 - 30 lens which in areas of high contrast displays really appalling fringing. The Fuji X system is appealing as it's very like my Fed 2 which was a copy of the Leica II. These days I am much more into smaller and lighter things. When I was in Key West, my XT and 17-35 Tamron lens were a bit bulky and heavy when walking in 90% humidity and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I'd really like a much more compact system based around a single camera rather than two. A professional needs two bodies. An amateur only needs one. A professional needs many lenses with duplicates just in case. An amateur needs no duplication.

As I'm thinking, I'm selling the stuff I don't need, ready to get the stuff I do but without making the mistakes of the first time around when I bought everything new. I'll never make that mistake again. Thus, I'm in no stunning hurry to get myself a new system. I'm selling off all the bits of the old system that will be hard to sell or which still have depreciation left in them. One of the side benefits of a smaller system is increased depth of field.

  • With a full frame 35mm camera, F8 at 3 feet would give 0.07 feet of depth
  • With an APSC digital camera, F8 at 3 feet would give 0.26 feet of depth
  • With a CX format digital camera , F8 at 3 feet would give 0.47 feet of depth

Notice how the depth increases with each smaller sensor format. The focal length used was for the equivalent of 88mm for each sensor size. That was just my somewhat arbitrary choice based on the fact I do all my high-speed imaging with an 18-55 lens set on 55mm.

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