Too Focussed

Today was ‘shoot for yourself’ day.

So I took my camera and headed out to a local ‘flea market’ with a friend. The flea market is the upscale version of the old format, which means there are stalls rented by people who have Facebook pages and the prices aren’t anywhere close to flea market prices. The products… I’ll leave that up to you.

The day was dry and dusty but that didn’t seem to daunt people from walking around, picking up things at their whim.

The flea market is also a hot favorite with hobby photographers, like any other event with lots of colourful things. I am always surprised to see so many people walking around with black bags that generally say “Canon EOS Rebel” or some such thing.

After walking around the flea market and finding it a little too pretentious, I started watching the photographers. Most of them were focussed on the specifics of the colourful objects – the pointy tip of a feather earring, the top of a lamp, the row of lights etc. Strangely, words said by another photographer floated into my mind – The day you can compose a landscape to perfection, you can call yourself the master.

In the age of cheap SLR cameras, everyone has a Canon 1100D or a Nikon D5100. They even have fancy lenses. So why, in the name of everything holy, do they insist on shooting things at close range and those fancy focus point shots? This is a bright, vibrant, colourful space. There were people in all sorts of attire, children running, dust, dogs, wine and more.

True, it was quite chaotic to compose wider images but isn’t it worth a shot? I caught one photographer trying for a wider shot and he was the guy hired by the organizers to catalogue the event.

Does being able to use your focus points well make you a good photographer?

And the next time I see someone holding a really good (and expensive) SLR and shooting it on Auto, I’m gonna whack them on the head.

Buy. Learn. Shoot.

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