Time to get snapping

21 February 2022

Over the past 50-odd years, technology has advanced at an astonishing rate. American theoretical physicist Michio Kaku’s famous assertion that today’s smart phone has more computing power than NASA had at the time of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon shot shows just how far we have come.

These empowering little devices make effective, pocketable cameras, and have democratised the art of photography on a truly global scale. Yet although capable of taking images of increasingly impressive technical quality, smart phones are nowhere near being an existential threat to conventional cameras. So don’t chuck out that old DSLR just yet.

It has been proven time and time again that you don’t need a ‘good’ camera to take a good photo. Of course, you get better creative control and higher resolution with modern cameras, not to mention a larger sensor; but I have seen some amazing images produced on smart phones; I have also seen some pretty rubbish photos (some by me) taken on expensive cameras. To quote the old aphorism: the best camera is the one you have with you. And as we all know, it’s not the camera that takes the shot, it’s the photographer.

With that in mind, some of you will no doubt be thinking of what to enter into the T&T photo competition so here are a few guidelines. Actually, there aren’t any guidelines: there is no formula for creating an effective image. You may be familiar with the rules of composition, focus, depth and lighting, and have used them to create fine results. But it’s also OK to break those rules and produce powerful, original images. Whether taken on a camera or smart phone, we are looking for content, not necessarily images that conform to this rule and that.

Ansel Adams famously said that there are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer. So, aim for photographs that communicate, are effective and touch that viewer. Tunnelling is a heroic activity and it offers great opportunities for stunning photographs. So, why not get snapping? The closing date is May 31.

George Demetri Editor