This post will be a continuation of my last post, Personal Photographic Perspective: Part 1. Basically, just some ideas and opinions regarding photographic equipment and what is, or isn’t necessary to capture good images especially when storm chasing. Keep in mind that in storm chasing, the photographer is often dealing with extremes in contrast, lighting, hazards to equipment, and not being in the right place at the right time. If you have the luxury of time to compose a great photo, fantastic. Quite often, it’s more a matter of documentation along the lines of fast-paced photojournalism. On more than one occasion I’ve been faced with the problem of simply pointing the camera, hitting the shutter, and getting the hell out of the way. “Art” doesn’t happen when a rapidly rotating wall cloud is approaching your location or cloud-to-ground lightning strikes are occurring dangerously close.
In discussing equipment, I can’t speak highly enough of Ken Rockwell’s site. His page, “Your Camera Doesn’t Matter” is a must read for ANYONE getting into photography, especially those who think sinking gobs of money into equipment will improve their images. “But if I only had the latest and greatest DSLR, etc, I’d be a great photographic artist. Wrong. Not true. Fable. Fallacy. Outright lie & pure rubbish. Read this: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm Your camera doesn’t have a thing to do with how good your photos are. If you suck with a point-and-shoot digital, you’re going to suck even more with a Nikon D3X that is ridiculously overpriced. Save your money and get one of these: http://kenrockwell.com/canon/fd/ae-1-program.htm The Canon AE-1 Program I have was made sometime in the early 1980’s has an all black body, and is simply a dream to use. Any Canon FD compatible lens works with it, and like my original AE-1 from 1979, is sturdy and can take the rigors of storm chasing. The link will tell you all about the AE-1 Program. What’s not to like about a camera that after over 25 years is still popular and commands top dollar on the used camera market? Simply put, buy one. Get some Fuji Velvia 50 ASA transparency (slide) film and you’ll be shooting the equivalent of around 22 megapixels. A lot cheaper, more practical, and same results as the top dollar DSLR’s from Canon or Nikon.