If you aren’t already acquainted with the Digital Photography Review website (http://www.dpreveiw.com), I’d like to introduce you. Whether you are looking for advice about your first digital camera purchase, looking to upgrade or add to your arsenal of lenses, or need some feedback on your photos, dpreview.com can assist you. I stumbled upon this site about 6 months ago, and bookmarked it instantly, qualifying it as Random Stuff We Like.
Almost daily, the home page feeds you with tutorials, news articles, discussions and reviews. The forums have a variety of subject matter from welcoming beginner chats and questions, to all things Canon, to all things Nikon or Pentax, to “wanted” or “for sale” equipment, to retouching photos…and everything in between. The product reviews and previews are succinct and helpful. That’s right, you can get a sneak peak at the newest equipment you never knew you needed before it is released! I love the side-by-side comparisons you can do with cameras, lenses, printers, etc. as well as the sample images from each camera and lens. For the visual buyer like myself, this is fantastic! Have a photo on which you would like feedback? You can do that in the forums too.
Because of the plethora of information, the site, to me, seems crowded and “heavy”. However, I usually leave the site satisfied and inspired instead of overwhelmed. I know I will continue to use this site as a valuable comparison tool and will continue to learn from it. I would encourage you to get acquainted with dpreveiw.com today.
I have a camera. I love my camera. I take pictures. I love taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Almost daily. Okay, daily. I’ve always felt alive behind the lens, excited to see a new shot, thrilled by the drastic changes of just a slight shift in angle, hypnotized by shadow and light, lines and forms. You can take a shot of the same place at first light and then again in the evening glow, and it can seem to be a completely different site. You can take a shot of rusty metal from 10 feet away, and then again 10 inches away and you might not be able to tell it’s the same texture or surface.
Not only do I feel alive, I feel comfortable. If I’m having an off day or off moment, I can pick up my camera and settle in to the familiar, knowing I’ll see amazing stories and fantastic images on the other side of the lens. You can imagine, then, my comfort level plummeting when my sister asked me to help her out and participate in a photo shoot for her hairstylist portfolio. Participate…as in be on the OTHER SIDE OF THE LENS…like a model. “No thank you,” is what I wanted to say. I knew that “no” was not an option, and certainly wasn’t going to “thank” her. So after some stammering and blinking…and more stammering, I relented.
And I survived. I survived, but not without some extremely comical facial expressions and stories captured permanently. Think blackmail material. Seriously…how awkward can one person be??!! Well, I sure showed them. After all, I’m used to capturing details, not being captured. I’m sure I was supposed to learn a lesson in stepping outside my comfort zone and facing a fear. Maybe I did. Maybe I grew just a little bit. Maybe I didn’t. The other side of the lens did give me some insight though. I was reminded that we all have talents. I got to see my sister use hers and shine that day, creativity oozing from her fingers and captured in the photos. I got to see a very talented photographer at work who amazingly made me feel about as comfortable as I was going to be on the other side of the lens! I watched others come alive while having their photos taken, vibrant, confident and lovely.
We all have talents. It is up to us to figure those out and use them. We must use them, not waste them. And we can’t let fear, or fear of failure hold us back. “Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” ~ Henry Van Dyke