This past week I have been pondering a couple of questions. One is why do I prefer digital over film and why use my Canon 50mm f1.8 lens? I’ll tackle the digital question first.
It was asked on one of the Facebook pages I follow why I think digital is better than film?’ I don’t think it’s better, it’s simply different. With film you had to wait for the outcome and didn’t always know what was on that film; was it any good? was it usable? and if you didn’t work it in your own dark room and lab you were at the mercy of a third-party developer. My father had a dark room and I watched him many times manipulate his images in the darkroom element. I did some shooting with film, but never did my own developing and sometimes was not happy with what was returned to me. In the beginning of shooting digital I would take numerous photos download them and get frustrated because there were too many images to go through. Now, I tend to shoot as if I am shooting film and really think through each image before I press the shutter. I’m much happier with what I capture and processing time is cut way down because there is less of it.
The second question is why don’t I use my Canon 50mm f1.8 more often? I did use this lens a few times on my cropped sensor camera and have never used it on my full frame. I wasn’t very happy with the results as they seemed a bit soft, so I basically stopped using it. However, a couple of days ago a fellow blogger Rob Moses whom I follow (or stalk because his images are amazing and I think I follow every one of his social media sites.) had posted some incredible images using a 50mm (follow his blog here). After a few exchanges he convinced me to give it a try (thanks Rob). I only took my Canon 6d with the 50mm f1.8 attached. At first I felt hindered and kept thinking “what if I see something amazing and I need my 300mm?” After a few steps on this overcast morning I realized I was only going to take scenery and waited for the perfect spot. The water was glass-like and I was able to capture incredible reflections. I was also able to get close enough to photograph a couple of squirrels; one licking water from the branches and another eating his breakfast. Overall I think I did alright. I need to practice more before I decide to use it in a concert situation, but I liked the results, still a bit soft but with practice I think I can become quite proficient with this lens.
Experimenting definitely makes me a better photographer and I love that I will never be perfect at it, and I like that it keeps me fresh and creatively challenged. I also like that I have fellow photographers whom I’ve never met willing to give me such wonderful advice.