Back to Simple Photography

I still remember getting my first "real" camera years ago at a Kmart in Newport News, Virginia. I was in the Navy and had a newborn at home. I wanted to capture every moment! It was a 35mm Mamiya SLR with a 50mm 1.8 lens. No zoom, and, oh, no flash. You cannot get any simpler than that. I was lucky, and I emphasize "lucky" enough to get a camera that would allow me to make existing light images of my first born in our dimly lit apartment. Did I tell you the camera and lens cost $125. Anyway, I took some of my most memorable and treasured images with that camera. It was compact and simple enough to take anywhere. Since it was not a zoom lens and relatively fast I was able to take images quickly without thinking about too many things. Photography was simple. Making images was fun and free from rules and expectations. Fast forward many years, cameras, lenses, and technology developments later. Things are not as simple. Very expensive equipment and so much of it. Closets of it! Lots of thinking going on to make the perfect image. As a matter of fact "too much" thinking. As an aside, I just finished watching the George Harrison special by Martin Scorsese and George's wife Olivia. One of the still images in the film was of Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and Eric Clapton at a table in a bar. The image was black and white, blurry in areas, grainy due to low light, and not composed very well. It is, however, a priceless image. The image was most likely made with a fixed focal length fast lens. I miss that spontaneity. So while I have certainly not decided to abandon all of that wonderful technology, today I received the latest addition to my photography arsenal. Wanna guess what it is? It's a 50mm f 1.2 fixed lens by Canon. My how things evolve. Simplicity at it's finest. And I plan to again make memorable personal images, albeit of the next generation. I love it. Always remember, "the best camera is the one you have with you."