Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Camera Quandary!

Taking photos of botanical subjects is something of a 'dark art'. The advice given in many of the botanical art books suggest that being able to judge distance from the subject is an absolute must. Having lots of pictures of one plant where the flowers are all different sizes will not be helpful. Also, it is important to have images of the different parts of the plant. After all how can you hope to paint an accurate plant without the leaves or stem? See what I mean, a 'dark art'.

Not being a natural David Bailey or Mario Testino does put me at a slight disadvantage. Most of the pictures I have taken over the years are the usual holiday snaps of family. The sort of shots where some people are in shadow or the legs are cut off or they are out of focus. Not great if the idea is to build up a library of images that can be used to paint from.

Most of the professional artists working today will, at some point have to work from photos. After all, card companies or commissions may require images of species that are out of season. As these cannot wait until the flower decides to open, a photo is essential. Recently, I was told that many artists are working on Christmas designs at Easter!!

WDC Oct2011 cover
The October 2011 issue
What makes the situation even worse is that, (and here is the real problem) I don't have a camera. What do you go for? The world of camera kit is vast and scary. Digital would seem to have made things easier, no more waiting for the film to be developed before the results are revealed and a rubbish picture can be instantly deleted.    

Whilst checking out the What Digital Camera website recently, my eyes were drawn to a thing of beauty. For me, this would usually be shoes but this was indeed a camera. Small and light with a whole host of accessories, this camera was screaming, 'BUY ME!!!'. Who cares about comparing ratings or, does it have a longer battery life or anti-blur or a high ISO (pardon!), or continuous shooting capability. Quite!

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Just like new shoes or a cake, I don't care if I really don't need it with all those functions in order to take half decent pictures of plants, I have been swept along by the new joy of Digital SLR Cameras and my first love is the The Panasonic Lumix G3. Of course, this is just the object of my affection and other perfectly nice cameras are available.



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