So if you know me well enough, you know that I experiment with things that aren’t supposed to go together. I play around with computers enough to know that I can push the boundaries quite far, and this is my latest abomination that seems like it should work.
So to preface this, it helps that I have an obscenely fast computer to do this. My computer is stupid fast. It got me through college quite well because I needed a video editing machine at home instead of wasting my life 3 hours at a time in a computer lab on campus. I was a commuter student, so long story short, I wasn’t going through that hell on campus.
Fast forward to this, and I have an awesome camera that also got me through college. A Canon 7D, to be precise. I’ve got a bunch of lenses and I love the image quality it spits out, which is why I still have it. That said, the Instagram image above is the first image I’ve uploaded to Instagram that is not taken with my 7D. I’ve learned a few things, and decided to open the flood gates a little, so bear with me on this one.
The above picture is shot with an original Lytro camera, edited to be a focus shifting video. Expect to see more of these pop up. Websites like 500px support uploading Light Field images. This means that when there’s more than just a little detail to show, I’m going to attempt to push this and see how far it goes. It’s not always going to work, and until I get my hands on the newer Illum camera, the image quality is going to be a little on the rough side (exactly why I’m going to limit it to Instagram for a while). I think it’s important to keep the capabilities of your camera in mind. Take advantage of cropping and re-sizing as a way to cover up for maybe not having a fancy pants camera in your hands.
Several years ago, I was hanging out with a photographer I knew, and we drove past a farm that reminded me of when I saw it completely fog covered and didn’t have a camera with me at the time (unfortunate). He said to me, quite plainly, “the best camera you have is the one that’s with you.” Now, obviously, yes, but then I thought about it a little more, and decided to keep more than just one camera around most times.
I have a Dash Cam, the 7D, a GoPro Hero, I have a (ridiculous) 2mp Kodak digital camera, and I have a Lytro. I intend on upgrading to the newer Lytro for better image quality, and I’ll pass the current one on to my girlfriend, but I also intend on adding a 360 degree camera to the bag. You may think, that’s an awful lot of money to spend on cameras. You’re partly right. I buy plenty of my cameras used or at a steep discount, so I get lucky in that regard, but I want to change the thinking of just having any camera, to having a more immersive camera. There are few cameras out there that would be able to replace my 7D when it comes to chasing vintage cars and motorcycles at the beach, or if I’m peeling myself out of bed at 5am to go to Caffeine & Carburetors. I want to have the camera that’s going to put the viewer behind my eyes when it’s a situation rather than a detail.
I’ve shot concerts and car shows. I’ve filmed car shows. I’ve done camera work for live sports (football and basketball). I’ve been behind the lens of some form of a camera for hundreds of hours, and recently realized that technology is here for us to use and to take advantage of. Working in the home automation field opened my eyes to the fact that the only thing between an idea and the reality is putting in the time to research and develop. I know photographers that have exhibits all over the world and happen to be the most amazing people I know. Do I think I could ever get to that point in life? I can be hopeful and say it would be cool, but ultimately, I need to make my own path. If nothing else, I’ve learned that I want to add an experience to the galleries I put together on Instagram or any other photo sharing website. It’s going to be difficult to organize it, it’s going to take time to get things just right, but in time, it can happen.
My dream is a gallery of framed computer displays rather than printed canvases. It’s a gallery that would be changing before your very eyes while you’re watching it. I intend on making it a reality, slowly. I have the knowledge, the tools and the willpower. Some day, I will. The most important part is that you can too if you set your goals and chase them down.