July 28, 2023

The camera with you

Photographer Chase Jarvis is well known for the quote that resonates so strongly with many of us, and that headlines this blog: "The best camera is the one that you have with you!" Check out his work.

I was lucky enough to take my family on a two-year sailing expedition down to South America and back, and of course as a photographer I wanted to document what we saw. Before leaving I bought myself a brand new Nikon D70s along with a more portable Nikon Coolpix 5400. For the day (2005) they were sophisticated digital cameras, and I did get many great shots.

However, the Coolpix died early on, leaving me with just the big Nikon and a bunch of lenses. On a sailboat this stuff had to be stored in a large Pelican case to stave off moisture, saltwater, and physical damage. Sailing is tough on even the best gear, and we quickly lost several laptops and other electronics onboard. By the time we made it to Cartagena, Columbia, we were limping along with many items onboard out of commission--just like every other boat in the harbor.

Luckily, despite the unreliable mail and shipping systems, my father was flying down for a visit and he was able to bring us new computers, hard drives, and a small pocketable camera, the Canon Powershot SD800. Well, despite having the big Nikon D70s available, the tiny Canon became my go-to for much of the rest of the trip. Yes, the Nikon could still produce superior technical results, but often my favorite shots from a location would be from the always-available Canon.

Just before Cristmas we joined a tour of the neighborhoods in Cartagena to see their amazing decorations. The streets were jammed with excited kids all jostling to say hi and ask for their pictures to be taken. The Canon was perfect for that night. It was secured by a wrist strap, and many shots were taken on the fly as we moved among the crowd. There were no worries about having my expensive camera gear broken or stolen, and people are much more relaxed when you use a "casual" camera.

Today I'd be using my phone camera in a situation like that, and I would be getting even better results! Today's best phones have amazing cameras, capable of taking great photos in low light, bad weather, or anytime. Since everyone else is snapping photos with their phones people don't freeze up, like they often do when you raise a big pro-looking camera to your eye.

The camera with you is truly the best camera to use!

No comments:

Post a Comment