Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The use of low tech alongside of high tech...sometimes it works better.

Hi Photographer friends.

We live in a high tech world and our photographic equipment is really 80% technology and 20% glass and tangible materials. There is nothing wrong with that, and I really love the current digital cameras technology. I shot films for more years than I care to admit. I remember when the "high tech" in cameras were the needle metering systems. Even then, some folks were comparing that technology with the good old days, and were griping about how it wasn't as good as the hand held meters.

I, for one, embrace technology. What I hate is that I won't be there in a hundred year to see how far we will have advanced. I don't think that photography, or a new advance photography method, will ever disapear.

This is a long introduction to bring you to the subject of my post "The use of low tech alongside of high tech...sometimes it works better". I use the Pentax K-5, but most of the current DSLRs have about the same capabilities. In this case, I am talking about the live-view. It's a great took and particularly useful for landscape and close-up photography. It's good for other types of images, but that's what I use it for the most. One problem I often incur, is how to look at the screen when the camera is positioned very low to the ground. I either shoot until I get it the way I want or have to put my face in the dirt. I don't particularly like eating dirt. Some camera models have a tilt and swivel screens but somehow, they are mostly available on the cheaper cameras. I guess professional photographers don't need that option!

This is where my low tech tool comes into action. Not so long ago, in the film era, some cameras had waist-level finders. In fact, the Hasselblad medium format cameras all had a level finder as standard equipment. I liked it because the image was big and you could really inspect your composition, better than you can with a viewfinder. However, the projected image was up side down and reversed left to right. In a way, it helped you in composing your picture because it forced you to go S-L-O-W.

I have not invented an add-on waist-level finder for the DSLRs, but there is an easy way to get there, and it's very economical. Most of works. I use a mirror attached at the end of a telescoping handle. You can buy those at Home Depot. Lowe's and most Auto Parts stores. They are only a few dollars, and you can put one in your camera bag. The images below speak for themselves.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque
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