Friday, September 10, 2004


Photography (including cinematography) has always been my favorite visual art form. While I can certainly appreciate drawings, paintings, and sculptures, in various different styles, photography is my true love. (I consider graphic design and architecture to be a somewhat different class of visual art because of their utilitarian nature.) Photography is also one of very few art forms that I have some actual talent in (I also consider myself to have some talent in graphic design). I'm really excited about developing some photographic skill to go along with that talent when I get my new camera.

I just wish it weren't so damned expensive. The camera and two entry-level lenses are going to cost me at least $2,250, no mere pocket change. If I get two high-quality lenses, it jumps to $3,500. Why do all of my hobbies cost so much? Software development is expensive. Computer games are expensive. (At least board games aren't too expensive.) Collecting music is expensive. And, photography is really, really expensive. Then again, I guess a lot of hobbies that other people have don't interest me that much: my lack of interest in cars, travel, dating, and alcohol is probably the only reason I can sort-of-afford the things that I do enjoy.

I've been asked by some people why I need such expensive equipment, being an amateur photographer. I think the main one is that while I do it for fun, I do it as an art form. The thought that my creative soul isn't being recorded at the quality it could be is too unsettling for me. But, another huge reason is that, unlike many other hobbies, putting a lot of money into cameras, lenses, filters, and accessories can actually significantly broaden the quality and variety in the art that you create. I could have bought lens A for $80, but I'm probably going to get lens B for $300 instead, just because lens B would allow me to take sharper pictures with more detail in them. My goal is not to buy expensive equipment to impress anyone (if I wanted to do that I would buy jewelry or a car), or because I think it will automatically make my pictures better. My goal is that having high-quality equipment will allow me to grow as an artist, and allow me to create pictures that I simply could not have taken without it.

1 comment:

Brad Smith said...

You're definitely doing the right thing getting the good camera and getting multiple lenses. I got the EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) a few months ago. I love it, but I didn't get more than just the lens that came in the kit. I wish I could get more now, but I just can't afford it (not being able to work while up here). Hope you enjoy your new Canon!