New gear with no idea

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If you have recently watched my YouTube videos or follow me on social media, it is no secret that I am now the proud owner of my first full frame mirrorless camera. I have finally made the transformation from a DSLR and simply put, I am loving the start of a new era. Why though did I change from a camera that was working for me in the place? The answer for me personally was simple. It was new. There was of course other factors.

I had been using my Canon 5D mark 3 for around 3 years. A work horse of a camera that never failed me, brought me confidence to be able to mount on a tripod during a rain storm and still deliver images that I was pleased with. The fact however that it was a camera that was 8 years old and it felt time I moved along and get down with the kids. I am near now to retirement than what I was when I purchased the 5D and had a desire for a younger model. A model that was lighter, less in volume and with a quicker brain. Perhaps I was going through a late mid life crisis after all.

Since beginning to write this blog, I have owned the Canon EOS R6 for a few weeks and enjoyed 3 fairly successful photography sessions with it in a location where my faithful 5D spent many an hour, The Lake District. I have only touched the surface of its capabilities and yet satisfied with the end product. I would actually put it on a level of satisfaction I had with my 5D. I love the similarities of the old camera such as the joystick as an option to navigate the menu and is simple to use. The dual card slot is also handy as I can record both stills and video separately. I loved my old 5D. Where am I going here? Why have I fixed something that wasn’t broken. Do I have GAS? I am slowly convincing myself I am actually having a late mid life crisis.

I will now list the reasons why I spent a good proportion of my monthly income on a new shiny camera;

  1. Lighter and easier to carry
  2. A vari angled screen to make composing easier
  3. In Body Image Stabilisation
  4. Updated processor
  5. A pro level sensor
  6. Dual stills and excellent video capabilities
  7. Its shiny and smells good

The last one will soon lose its attraction no doubt but the big question is, does it justify forfeiting a holiday abroad when the world opens its doors? Does it please the Mrs when the decorations have to be put on hold? Does it give a reason why my mortgage can’t be paid off quicker. No is the simple answer. For the person with a logically programmed brain, it makes no sense. For myself however who has a less logical mindset and a dreamy disposition, yes it does. The new camera has released some more of those endorphins. I feel good in the fact that I have a new up to date toy that I can use to fulfill my creative desire. I don’t care about the pros and cons. The fact is, this camera will make my life easier with its many features that I am slowly familiarising myself with. Will it though, make me a better photographer?

Not that long ago, I returned from a good mountain hike in the Mosedale area of the Western Lake District. I made a film of course which is a given each time I venture out to the fells. This episode however was slightly different. When I record a video, I usually use my smaller mirrorless camera, the EOS M50, to cover the b roll and narration pieces to camera. The main footage from this session was filmed with the R6 and the results of which were very pleasing. I am now able to improve my editing with the addition of colour correcting and grading as the R6 records in Canon Log, similar to shooting using RAW with my stills. It will open up a new avenue for me and may even replace the M50, although I do like the idea of a 2nd camera. This wasn’t the question however, I am digressing. Will it make me a better photographer?

Time will have to tell and its difficult to understand how a new camera will make me a better photographer. The purpose of improving my compositions, making the most of the conditions and having the eye to grab the opportunity was never on the list of the pros and cons of making this purchase. This was not the deal clincher. I can however say with confidence that I am more than delighted with what this new camera has brought to the table. The following 3 images were all shot hand held and will be added to my Portfolio. Perhaps this new camera will open up a new approach, perhaps it will even………let’s not go there.

In search of a composition

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Location: near Dale Head/ Dale Head tarn, Lake District

It is not easy being a landscape photographer. Not everything false into place and aligns just as you want it to. The important thing to remember however is that it is more likely it will not work out and accept it. The allure of finding the right combination of all the elements in one place is what grips us and keeps us going.