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Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. Sanibel Island; Nature photographers zero in on a roseate spoonbill, far afield.  Note their long lenses. Who says that size doesn’t count?     Feb. 2020. Paul Goldfinger ©

 

Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Photography Editor@Blogfinger.net

I like to photograph photographers. Sometimes it is a person doing a selfie, and cell phone photos are, by far, the most prevalent device around the world to capture pictures.  Photography has been turned around by the cell phone phenomenon.

Most people who shoot with their phones don’t care much about the quality of their images. They just want to be able to move a photo to the Internet.   But some do, and the latest cell phone technology, eg. the iPhone 11, produces fine quality pictures.

But there is another world of photography and that is occupied by serious photographers using serious cameras.   For example, a new version Leica-M digital sells for $8,000 without a lens, whereas a new iPhone 11 Pro is about $1,000. And the newest Hasselblad from Sweden costs $45,000.00

In the world of nature photography, there is often the challenge of hitting a home run from a distance;  sometimes the distance is from home plate to right field.  So you need a serious telephoto lens for that.

I used to shoot sports (kids’ soccer)  with a 300 mm Nikon lens on a tripod, but the birders seen above, are using lenses approaching 1000 mm.  In the past such huge and heavy lenses required a tripod because of camera shake and risk of hernias.   Now, with anti-shake technology, a small person can shoot “hand-held” with a long lens without camera blur.  In addition, such new lenses are lighter in weight.  The photographers in the picture are purists who seek absolute focus clarity, and/or they are using older equipment, so they are still working with a tripod, and that’s what I would do if I were interested in birding.

I don’t own any long lenses, because my interest is primarily in “street photography” which values “being there” in the midst of the action as an important virtue. Such as our “Faces at the Farmers’ Market.”

Some of you may have seen my recent shot of a white pelican which was posted last week.  That was shot with a short tele (75 mm) portrait lens.  The only reason I got that photo was because the bird was kind enough to go fishing  about 15 feet away from me.

My latest project is to capture images of photographers at work.

The tip of the day:  Regardless  of what kind of gear you are using for photography, always pay attention to the light:

SPAMALOT soundtrack— company bow:

 

 

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