The other day I was going fishing with Mauro and it started to snow. Since I had gotten an underwater camera to take fish pictures, he decided he needed (a much nicer) one too, and he handed it to me to take some pictures. Never having used the camera before I was having some issues. He advised I “just put it in SNOW mode.” Which, of course it had, modern cameras having removed any requirements for thought or skill. I was mocking him for this when I found out my camera also has a SNOW mode.
Then yesterday my sister and I went out shooting. I’ve long since decided that the only way for me to shoot digital, especially quickly, is to do hand held HDR, where I use motor drive and take a “under-exposed” shot, a “properly” exposed shot, and an “over-exposed” shot. The quotes being because I’m using in-camera metering. This way I usually get one usable shot and I can process the rest in HDR software to get a shot that looks like what my eye sees. (All of which your iPhone will do in one of it’s modes….)
Now, I’m a very crude post-processor. Largely because I know that if you don’t start with correct white balance or calibrated monitors, you really aren’t doing it right. And I don’t have either of those things. So I have a few settings and I import them into my program, and don’t much fuss with it. In other words, I just realized, I post process in exactly the way I eschew for taking the images in the first place. I set it into a mode an go. Of course the difference is that “someday” I might actually learn to do it right, but the reasoning is the same: in a world of ubiquitous temporary images, some things are “good enough.” And that is even for B&W! Because if I get a “great” digital B&W, I still wish it was on film.
A while back I gave my sister a DSLR which actually has more features than mine, so I’ve stopped even lugging gear back and forth. There is an old train yard the next town over where people use the cars like RVs, hooking them up and taking trips around the state. I’ve always meant to go shoot a few images and yesterday we took a break from Christmas errands and played with cameras for a bit.
I did learn one important thing on this shoot, that memory cards come in different speeds and if you are shooting in bursts you need a fast card. At first I thought it was just because it was 4F out, but I finally figured it out after endless “busy” signals from the camera.