I haven’t spoken a lot about camera equipment on this blog, because for one thing I don’t think it’s really important which camera you use. What is important is how you use it and what kind of photographs you produce. I do want to make a couple of comments about a new camera body that is available and how it changes the way I think photographically. Nikon introduced their D3 about a year ago and then recently they brought out the D700. I bought a D700. Both of these cameras bring to digital photography the ability to shoot very good images at very high ISOs.
The D700 allows me to shoot in very low natural light and produce stunning files. It has changed the way I approach things in a positive way. I’m not a tripod kind of guy. I find they slow me down and get in my way. The new camera lets me hand hold situations I could never shoot before. Frees me up to move and explore an image. It also allows me to use the available light more without having to light scenes. Believe me, I have spent almost 30 years lighting images, and there is nothing wrong with artificial lighting done right. But available light can be more natural, more real, and more moving in a photograph. Couple all this with the ability of digital cameras to shoot at variable ISOs on the same card, no longer having to worry much about filtration, and the recent advent of VR or vibration reduction lenses, and we have reached a revolutionary period in low light/available light documentary-style photography.
Photograph is of an old seed cleaner at Julian Milling Company in Julian, North Carolina.