My Photo Gear

I’ve used many types of cameras for reference photos for my drawings, and of course to produce the stand alone photographic images.  Again, there are many reasons for why certain artists choose certain tools.  DJ’s prefer one brand of turntables, guitarists seem to prefer one brand, and photographers have their own personal favorite makes and models.

By now hopefully everyone has been following the list, noticing that some of my art gear costs $.99, while some of the rest costs much more.  I’d like to think that it’s still more about the person than the tool.  In this day and age we’re too caught up in thinking that a more expensive tool will automatically make you a better artist or image maker.  I’ve been astounded by kindergartener’s drawings with crayons, so I think everyone should learn from our little friends.

However, like most of us out there, I still want the nice things, and wonder how the more expensive tools could help my art.

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One of my earliest digital cameras was a Kodak.  I still have this camera, and the 8MB(!) memory card that it came with.  It was the slowest camera before and after the shot, but at the time it was miles above what we had in the art school.

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Until the technology matured, I still relied on my Minolta SLR from the 80’s for some shots.  It was usually loaded up with Kodak black and white film, and for a camera with only 1 autofocus point, and centre weighted metering, it just had an uncanny way of producing images that were sculpture-esque.  Its viewfinder coupled with a simple 50mm lens just made for easy compositions.

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The Nikon Coolpix was such a small camera and it was fun finally using a camera that didn’t rely on AA batteries. 🙁 Image wise and functionality wise it probably wasn’t as good as the Sony’s or Canon’s I’ve used, but that’s not what this art game is all about.

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Moving to a D-SLR was a watershed moment.  It was nice to be able to change lenses again, and shoot for days without even draining the battery.  Editing in the computer was just something that I really liked, and considered it a necessary step before an image was “finished.”  For those that still complain about noise in cameras, and this camera not having this and that…it’s DIGITAL people, come on.  By virtue of just being able to see the photo on the back of the camera, we have it quite good. The imaging power that the companies let us have is quite obscene these days.  Some people buy cameras and learn to use them because they want to capture memories of people and things they care about, not to simply have an expensive toy collecting dust.

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So I hope everyone out there sees the progression of digital photography, the spin I take with my artwork, and the golden age of imaging that we seem to be living in.  I also hope that the people who like to list their equipment like parts of a tuner car realize that there is no such thing as “the best, sharpest, fastest, etc.”  There are legendary artists, long gone, that could do things with a paintbrush, that we can’t even touch.

For posts featuring my thoughts on the random toys, ahem, gear that I use, please click on the Photography category.

Boon Vong
www.b-vong.com

(I tacked on this post because it seems like it’s normally buried in all my stuff.  If you read this far, congrats you made my day, please continue! 🙂 )

I was never the type of artist that had an amazing traditional sketchbook, the spiral bounded diary of sorts that you didn’t want people to see, but in actuality, you kind of did.  My books always had torn out pages, barely legible writing, and other poor attempts at witty sayings and bad poetry.  In browsing the archive to transfer it to my new modern “sketchbook,”  I saw the cycle of things over the years.

The inside of my book, for those who would care to look…

…a satchel full of prints given out freely in the past…

…collaborations with eager minds today…

…just the same as the marks from the same pen passed around before…

…a stack of unsold/unwanted drawings in the past…

…a stack of unsold/unwanted drawings in the present…

…sketching away at the airport, hoping to be taken somewhere…

…sketching when mired at home, hoping for that job to call back…

…how can a person graduate college and still fail? easy…

…comic book ideas still rolling around today…

…recalling the sting of yesteryear…

…use to paint gouache and watercolor on the charcoal…

…now I color digitally on the screen…

…tried to boil down people to the essentials back then, with ink and color…

…same thing with the palette of pixels today…

…back then used to be obsessed with negative    s   p   a   c   e…

…still am…

…never really had a real studio back then…

…it was just wherever I felt like doing stuff…

…back then muses were found everywhere, and met face to face…

…comments and instant messages were spoken aloud and in person…

…not the nonsense that things have become…

…was unihibited by the old technology, no matter how grainy it was…

…today we don’t realize how good we got it…

…interlaced, jittery, grainy, but I still used anything at hand…

…fireflies then didn’t care what cameras we used…

…and they still don’t…

…trying to stay with the curve is hard and expensive…

…but making money is not the top priority of why I buy…

…in the beginning the cameras we had were simple, but the potential was there…

…to become the instruments of modern folk…

…in the early days, everything was novel and new, learning to attach humanness to circuits…

…it’s still the same these days, ain’t nothing changed…