Save the kilobytes!

xkcd speaks to me this morning (click for original):

And this time, don’t think about pocketable, or not having to carry extra lenses, or that big LCD on the back.

I cover this with my students, first thing, so I might as well hit it here too: The first and foremost cause of bad photos, the thing that wrecks more of them than anything else, is motion blur – camera shake. Steadiness is essential, so the goal is to remain absolutely still. For best results, this means two hands, elbows tucked down against your body, viewfinder tight to eye.

Yes, this means you won’t be using that stupid LCD to frame the shot, or walking around with the camera held out in front of you doing the “temple offering.” Photography depends on getting a certain amount of light to the media, and small, inexpensive lenses are not made to admit a lot of light, so the shutter speed goes much slower to compensate for these inadequacies, especially indoors. A tiny twitch of the camera is enough to mess up the image.

And for Bob’s sake, when shooting video, try not to induce motion sickness! If you don’t know what ‘level’ is, or take the camera away from shooting position while it’s still recording, don’t upload the goddamn file!

Listen, I’m real cool on not chasing equipment. I don’t think it’s the camera that gets the shot, it’s the photographer, and some great results can be achieved without fancy or expensive camera gear. But if you’re the least bit serious about photography, a pop-up lens that can be entirely blocked by a coin just ain’t cutting it.

And if you need rules to live your life, here’s an important one: Any picture taken with your phone did not need to be taken in the first place. That’s computer and server memory that could go towards something not stupid.

I feel better now.