Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Sleepwalking through January

Trees in Winter

I find it difficult to believe that January is almost over.  Generally speaking, I can’t remember having actually done anything except eat, sleep, and read.  I certainly haven’t done a lot photographically.  The month has been a blur of inactivity.  With near unanimity, each of the past 30 days has melted seamlessly into the next, each has been just as cold and bleak as the last, and nearly all have been characterized by a gray, perpetual twilight.  And not just here in western New York.  It’s the entire eastern half of the country (just ask the folks in Atlanta and Charleston).  Although the last 3 days have offered a small amount of relief.

To liberally quote Frank Herbert, “the sleeper has awakened”.  At least temporarily.  We have, you see, had 3 consecutive visible sunrises, followed by actual daytime sunshine.  Right here in Rochester.  Any local meteorologist will tell you that that is indeed a rare event.  Clouds are the norm.  Sunshine is not.  But for these 3 days it hasn’t looked like twilight at noon.  It’s still kind of chilly, but at least you don’t have to turn your lights on when you go to the store at 11:00 in the morning.  But don’t get too excited.  That all ended late yesterday.  The clouds (and maybe snow) have returned.  So maybe I’ll go back to hibernating (which means sitting in a comfortable chair with a good book).  But it was fun while it lasted.  I still haven’t done much photography-wise, but I did manage to check out some blogs and at least think about picking up the camera.  That’s progress of a sort.  If there was anything worth photographing around here in January I might have gone out.

In my temporary wakened state I did, however, notice a few folks making some noise about camera manufacturers in the photographic blogosphere.  These particular people seemed to be defending Nikon.  I didn’t dig too deep so I’m not sure why they were tooting Nikon’s horn (other than the fact that they owned Nikon gear), but I found it a little strange.  I honestly thought that those discussions of “who’s best” had gone the way of the moderate Republican.  Generally speaking, there is no “best” today.  They all work just fine.  In terms of image quality you really can’t tell one from the other.  Nikon = Canon = Olympus = Panasonic = Sony and on and on.  In my opinion, it boils down to which one feels best in your hands.  Which one you feel most comfortable carrying around.  All the rest is nonsense.  They all make perfectly good images, even on the printer.  No matter what the print size (unless, of course, you routinely make posters).

Truth is, all of those camera makers aren’t making any money.  The parent companies are, but the camera divisions aren’t.  And sales are declining.  Nearly half of all picture makers today are using smart phones.  Just my opinion, but I think the large DSLR’s are going to disappear.  Soon.  There’s just no reason to buy a new, big camera.  Unless you like carrying around a lot of useless weight.  Personally, I don’t.

OK.  This wakefulness is beginning to wear off.  And that’s a good thing here in Webster (where they say life is worth living, except maybe for the nearly constant power failures this town endures all year long – Baghdad probably has a better record of keeping the lights on than we do).  Makes it easier to sleep, though.

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6 Responses to “Sleepwalking through January”

  1. Cedric Canard

    That picture makes winter look totally magical and inviting Paul, at least to me.

    I agree that DSLRs are on the way out. I was talking to a guy recently who shot nothing but Hasselblad and a Canon 1D, and he now only shoots a Sony A7R. But as you say, camera manufacturers are not making the profits they used to and again I would have to agree that phones are the reason for this. Nokia made a funny advert about it: http://petapixel.com/2014/01/31/nokia-decides-royally-piss-photographers-new-lumia-1020-ad/

    Reply
    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Cedric. Actually, that picture was taken about 10 years ago with one of my first digital cameras (a Canon D60). By today’s standards it’s an ancient artifact. But I’ve printed this image as big as 12″ x 18″ and it looks just great.

      I hadn’t seen that ad – it’s really funny. I love the part where the guy drops what looks like a medium size Canon lens on the pavement. Oops. As you imply, more and more photographers are going smaller – even professional photographers. In the not too distant future, seeing someone carrying a large DSLR and heavy lenses and a tripod will be like seeing someone walking around with a boombox instead of an iphone with tiny earpods.

      Reply
  2. John Linn

    Interesting post.

    >>I love the part where the guy drops what looks like a medium size Canon lens on the pavement.

    What I found funny was the way the lens bounced! Never new they were able to do that. I will have to give it at try! 🙂

    Reply
    • Paul Maxim

      I went back and watched it again, John. You’re right – the damn thing bounced about 8 inches! I didn’t think they could do that, either………ouch.

      Reply
  3. Earl Moore

    Camera’s are certainly moving towards more power and quality in smaller and lighter packages with mirror-less systems pulling even with many of the “professional” DSLR’s. I’ve considered lately selling my Nikon DSLR gear. But I haven’t been able to pull that trigger yet — maybe soon.

    Older photo or not…that’s a lovely winter scene. Glad to see you’re embracing the season, Paul! 😉

    Reply
    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Earl. Although I wouldn’t say that I was “embracing the season”!

      I definitely think that the future is mirror-less. It’s going to happen. Big DSLR’s are becoming photographic dinosaurs. Having said that, I was surprised at the apparent demand for that kind of gear (on eBay) when I sold my Canon stuff. Based on what I originally paid for it I got about 60 cents on the dollar back. That’s a whole lot better than resale value on a car, I think. I made almost enough to pay for another trip west. Now I just have to hope that the EM-1 performs as expected………

      Reply

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