The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

I’ve had a camera in my hand since the time I was 12.  Like most kids I started out with some sort of film Instamatic and took lots of horrid badly framed and out of focus shots.  I didn’t really get into the subtlety of composition until my Dad bought himself a Pentax SLR back in the late 70’s.  I’m pretty sure it had an 18 – 55mm lens and it was solidly built.  My uncle by this time was into developing his own color stuff and had a full dichroic unit, proper temperature controlled developing baths etc.  Dad had found a used developer with a filter pack to do color shots.  Basically you fiddled around with different combinations of RGB and Y to get your color mix.  Neither one of us could seem to get it right and the chemicals for color developing were a pain to keep at the right temperature.  Black and white by contrast has stable chemicals that will work at room temperature, so we stuck to that.  I also loved the drama that contrast infused the frame with.  Thus began my love affair with monochromatic images.

I don’t know what ever happened to my Dad’s Pentax.  He gradually lost interest in photography and developing but I’d been bitten by the bug and pressed on.  A good chunk of any money I earned went towards developing my film stock.  About a year after my wife and I got married my Father in Law gave me a used Canon AE-1 Program.  It was a great camera.

And it took me through many years of shooting.  It also survived flood and fire and just kept on working.  It was on this camera that I really learned the ropes of shooting well.  The downside was the cost of developing, it was only going up and up.  This was well before the days of picture perfect printing.  Printers had a very long way to go and the first digital cameras were hitting the market.  Reluctantly I put down my film camera and launched myself into the digital environment with a Sony Cybershot point and shoot.

We never really were a good fit.  I missed my SLR but film was still going through the roof cost wise.

It would take a few more years but eventually I took the monetary plunge and bought a DSLR and yes, it was a Canon.  A Canon XTi.

I was back in control of my shots again and the XTi for such a small package really delivered.

Of course after the XTi, Canon started to release a series of cameras one after the other that offered upgrade after upgrade on system after system and I’ll admit, after a bit you start to feel a little envy.  I however don’t like to buy new stuff (except for lenses) and as far as I was concerned I was prepared to wait and see what was going to shake out camera wise in the Canon EOS lines before I made another purchase.  Then I saw a T2i for a really good price on Craigslist and it turned out it was a friend of my daughters who was selling it.

The T2i was a huge jump up from the XTi.  Somewhere Canon had increased the color process making it more accurate.  It also took stunning video.  I started to get into long depth of field long exposure type photography and I was enjoying the results.

But if there was one area the T2i fell down it was in low light noise at higher ISO and it was starting to bug me.  Then Canon brought out the T4i with an upgraded low noise firmware package.  I broached the idea of getting one with my wife.  This led to a diatribe on the upgrade capabilities of Canon’s lines of cameras and how it was a world plot.  To be fair it was really just a backlash argument about Apple and their constant newer and better consumer strategy.  My wife apparently is not  fan.  She did however tell me, “Get the camera you really want, the one that’ll last you a while.”

Which brings me to the current weapon of choice a lightly used Canon 7D, I picked up for a very reasonable price.

Was it everything I hoped for?


Has it upped my capabilities?

Again, yes.  This camera is simply daft in respect to what it can do.


And I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I can do with it.

Found this weird assemblage on the beach today and just had to shoot it.

But I’m looking forward to the challenge and the discovery.



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