arcane – Secret or mysterious, known or understood by only a few people.
The title of my new blog is a gentle poke at another site written by an Austin, Texas-based professional photographer that covers all aspects of photography, from the technical to the artistic to the necessary business side of the profession.
I am not that photographer and this is not that kind of blog.
While I certainly believe I know how to use my camera, that in no way makes me a photographer, professional or otherwise. I am what the camera vendors like to refer to as “an enthusiast”, which translates into an amateur with more money than sense, lustfully desirous of achieving the same levels of notoriety that professional photographers have supposedly achieved, through periodic application of liberal amounts of cash to purchase unnecessary photographic equipment.
Never mind that all the well known photographers have considerable talent and have devoted their time and energy developing that talent.
The camera makers love us, as we enthusiasts provide a sizable bulk of their income.
To add insult to injury as it were, we enthusiasts buy our gear, then use it as a blunt instrument in many photographic fora in fruitless folly, attempting to prove by every means possible, arcane or otherwise, why our selection of gear makes our work (and by association, ourselves) superior to every other camera toting enthusiast on the planet.
The sad irony being that if we spent as much time practicing the art of photography as we did fruitlessly defending our superior position we might be as good as we’d like to think we are.
Having turned 60 this December, I have over a half century of photography experience stretching back to when I got my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic 104, when I was but a mere lad of seven. Since that time I’ve been a devoté of photography, using a number of film cameras (35mm and 120/220) over the ensuing decades (Minolta, Mamiya, Nikon, and Olympus), going so far as to have been a darkroom rat in both black and white and color darkrooms. In 2006, when it came time to pick a brand for digital photography, I chose Olympus, and purchased an E-300 two lens kit on sale at Newegg. Since that watershed moment I’ve pretty much stuck with Olympus, only straying twice, once to purchase a Sony NEX 5N when it was heavily discounted, and then to purchase a Panasonic GX1 when it, too, was heavily discounted. Therein lies a personal trend.
The photo above (a “selfie”) was taken with an Olympus E-PL2 μFT (Micro Four Thirds) camera and a Panasonic 25mm lens. That body was purchased, on sale, for a fraction of its original MSRP. That’s not to say I haven’t paid full price for a digital camera, I have. But I’ve watched, over time, as the price of my camera bodies have plummeted in short order. It’s tough to drop over a grand on a camera when it’s first released, only to watch it slowly drop to around $200 eighteen months later. Cameras help make good photographs no matter what, and continue to operate just fine no matter at what point in time you purchase them. I’ve taken the position of waiting for them to reach end-of-shelf-life and are sitting in the discount area of the various stores. I’ve learned to wait, and to spend my time waiting on using what I have.
As time goes along I’ll write about my photographic experiences, along with all my other life experiences. I’ll try to write clearly and professionally enough, knowing that I have a number of readers looking over my virtual shoulders. I developed something of a reputation in the past as a ranter (especially about Linux). That part of my on-line personality will be toned down. As they say, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” a rather useless idiom, as the only thing that really attracts flies is dead meat. But I digress…
I write far afield from photography. My interests are broad, and I look on my cameras as tools, a means to an end, not an end unto themselves (although I will admit that there’s nothing more enjoyable than a well designed and well-built camera in your hands). There’s a reason why the blog’s tag line is “commentaries, computers, cameras, and more.” Not just the regular subjects you might read about on other sites, but the arcana of such subjects as well. Stick around, and you’ll discover what I mean by that.
Thanks for dropping by.
My Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wbeebe/