One of the things noir artworks bring out is the quality of the camera and the lens that captured the image. Particularly with abstract works, not only doesn’t the camera matter so much, sometimes the work is all the more striking when starting with an image of lower resolution and less sharpness. I shoot with three cameras, one of them a film camera, plus a smart phone. But my Nikon V3, which is no longer manufactured, is my go-to camera. It’s a small, mirrorless camera with interchangeable lens. Despite good reviews which convinced me to buy it, professionals never warmed to it, so Nikon has replaced it with their new Z Series that costs three times as much even before lenses, which are also more expensive. I thought I was spending too much money for the V3. One of my lenses, and the one I was using for the Porchfest shoot from which this and the last several works were taken, is a 1.8 that is incredibly sharp. As this work illustrates, at the higher f-stops the focal plane is quite deep. I adjusted the color curves to push this work into the near infrared, just as I did with last summer’s tornado series, which helped the foliage pop even as the cooler colors darkened, creating a high contrast, sharp image. But I have to give most of the credit to this work to the camera and the lens.
But it’s that dependence on hardware, years ago, which dissuaded me from serious photography. To really shoot well, especially nature, wildlife and studio photography, requires ungodly expensive equipment. I knew I could never afford all the equipment I wanted, especially as I was trying to start a family. Professionals may invest tens of thousands on equipment, which is why I pray my work never deprives a professional photographer of a sale. It’s also why I differentiate so strongly my photo art from straight photography. Photographers create through the camera. Photo artists use the computer to create visions a lens can’t see. Either way, it’s an art.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.