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Category: photography

My New Camera: the Best!

I have many writing works in progress which I will be publishing, without marketing or hoping for many readers. I’ll be writing shortly about this.

But as one of these projects involves photography I have made a further increase in my debt by splashing out on a Sony RX100 Mark 3. It’s a gem, is highly recommended everywhere, including by professionals. Originally introduced at £800 in 2014, as is the case with all electronic and photo goods, the price keeps dropping as manufacturers bring out new versions by the year. Th original Mark 1 is available for £300 and this Mark 3 can be had for around £450 (unless you want to splash out £750 for the Mark 6!).

I needed a replaceent for my Nikon Coolpix which costs around £60 (and if you want the best cheap, simple point and shoot you can’t do better

This new camera of mine has:

  • a ‘very fast’ lens. At f1.8 it is good for low light conditions.
  • an extremely advanced sensor for a camera in this class which makes for sensitivity and reduces noise.
  • a VIEWFINDER! I don’t like having to use the screen on the back of a camera. This has a very high resolution viewfinder.
  • a very wide 24 equivalent lens.
  • The screen, though is very bright and hinged through 180 degrees for shooting from many angles.
  • a flash unit that tilts so that you can bounce flash from ceilings for a softer image.
  • inbuilyneutral density filter for those difficult lighting conditions.
  • fully manual if you wish, aperture/shutter priority etc.
  • large range of customised settings.
  • function control on lens barrel

I bought it for £449 which came with a case and a very useful grip to attach.

It’s small and neat, and carry anywhere. I do have a big, heavy DSLR ith three lenses but while this will deliver better options, I’m wondering whether I should sell since the difference in quaityof images is negligible.

The camera dispenses with those 40x superzoom cameras you can get much cheaper, and only has about 3x zoom, but those big zoom cameras are OK (although the more you zoom the more the image deteriorates), like cameras offering large sensor profiles are often disgising essential weakesses. The lens is paramount,  and the Zeiss on the Sony is excellent.

It will make me a better photographer out and about in the ordinary world, the unobserved, th streets, the forgotten…. And it will make me a better writer.

Writing and Photography

Even a brief look at the relationship between photography and literature suggests affinity. For instance, both take wide views or closeups. The serious photographer, writer or poet is always looking at the world, its people, at the relations between people and things. Both know that they are representing the world, can never present it transparently as if unmediated by their art.

Writers and photographers are fascinated by light and shadow, the positioning of people and objects, the locating of fore-, middle- and background. Both are highly skilled in their media. No matter how skilled, they require that singular element, the unique vision or voice that is their creativity.

Sometimes the connection between photography and literature is explicit. The imagist poetry of the early 20th century, the imagery of the much older haiku, recall the importance of imagery in literary and visual arts.

Words and photographs frequently appear together. They may complement each other in a documentary story, or a single image may be anchored to a caption.

A single photograph tells a story; a collection makes, perhaps, a photo-essay. A more intense collection produces the moving image, cinema. Early cinema used forms taken from novel genre; later literature took forms from filmic genre. We know what is meant if a novel is described as ‘cinematic’: as cultures develop, different forms interpenetrate: we learn culture without diplomas.

The writer W.G. Sebald produced not only writing that is stunningly visual, he supplemented it with photography. A piece of writing or a photograph is always ghostly and never fixed. In a different level of thinking, fiction occurs over time while a photograph ‘captures’ and isolates a moment: this is partly true but it is partly true of the nature of media rather than the affective dimensions.

I think a writer may have many other interests from collecting stamps to looking after an allotment. For me, writing is my main focus but my photography hobby does enhance my ways of seeing and my ways of looking. The two activities meet as I work towards supplementing the text around The City of Dreadful Night with images, including photographs I have made.