BUDGET Photography Gear SHOOTOUT | ft. Daniel Norton | Ep 7
In the world of photography, it is often said that it's the photographer, not the camera, that creates great images. But what happens when experienced photographers are handed entry-level or outdated gear? In a thrilling showdown, we embarked on a budget photography gear shootout, challenging ourselves to capture stunning shots using inexpensive equipment that we wouldn't typically use. In this blog, we'll take you through our adventure and the unexpected results that unfolded. Join me, alongside renowned photographer Daniel Norton, as we dive into this unique challenge.
Setting the Stage: Excitement filled the air as we prepared for the shoot, but disappointment struck when my trusty Canon F1 film camera failed to cooperate. It seemed as if fate had a different plan for us that day. However, destiny had something intriguing in store as we both found ourselves equipped with the same gear for the first time, adding a new level of excitement to our friendly competition.
Getting Acquainted: Allow me to introduce my partner in this gear shootout, Daniel Norton, a photography legend known for his incredible work. With our ancient Canon 5D and a 50mm 1.8 lens in hand, we set foot in Asbury Park, New Jersey, ready to capture some captivating shots. The absence of modern features like live view and video capabilities added an interesting twist to our shoot, challenging us to rely solely on our skills.
The Shoot: As we embarked on our photography journey, we each had the freedom to shoot to our heart's content. The goal was simple: create captivating images and leave our mark on this unique challenge. The anticipation was high as we ventured into the world of manual shooting, embracing the limitations of our gear. I decided to start with silhouettes, drawn to the enchanting play of light and shadows.
Embracing Limitations: Without the luxury of advanced features, we relied on our experience and creativity to overcome obstacles. The vintage camera's meter indicated underexposure, but I knew the sky held the key to a perfect silhouette shot. With a few adjustments, I captured a breathtaking image against the backdrop of Asbury Park. Embracing the limitations of this old camera, I discovered the charm of focusing on silhouettes by using the body's edge.
Daniel, on the other hand, had a different vision in mind. He found inspiration in the surrounding environment, opting to shoot with backlighting. Armed with a reflector and a unique perspective, he positioned his subject strategically to capture the essence of mood and emotion. Despite initial challenges, Daniel's expertise shone through as he effortlessly directed the model, resulting in remarkable portraits.
Reflections and Choices: After an exhilarating shooting session, it was time to review our images and select the best shots. Focus became a recurring concern for both of us, a testament to the intricacies of working with aging gear. We analyzed each photograph, considering composition, exposure, and the emotional impact they conveyed.
In the editing process, we explored ways to enhance the images while staying true to their original essence. Each photograph had its own appeal, with Daniel's moody and stylized portrait contrasting with my preference for vibrant colors. It was a reminder that photography is subjective, catering to different tastes and perspectives.
Printing and Conclusion: No photography journey is complete without bringing the images to life through prints. Using the Canon PIXMA Pro 200 printer and a range of Canon papers, we aimed to tell the story of our shoot through physical prints. Carefully selecting the appropriate paper for each image, we sought to bring out their unique qualities and textures.