The Week Between

Jillian’s in town for a few days to create wonderful things with me. Four days ago, I played Santa to about 10 kids I didn’t know. Yes, with the red suit and the beard and the wig and hat and the ho ho ho. More on that another time. Morgan’s home again. Yea! Still preparing for the February gallery show at Echo. Still redesigning the web site. Almost there on that one. Can’t wait to make it live!

Yesterday Jillian and I shot a nice set of her in a little pink sweater and black furry boots. Even though I’ve been shooting in this space since May, I enjoy coming up with corners and walls and changing up areas to make each session not feel like they were all shot here. I think I managed to find another one yesterday.

And, at the risk of this entry getting a little nerdy, it was also the last shoot with my first digital camera, my Nikon D100. I knew the day I bought it, it would not be with me the rest of my life the way my Hasselblad and my Nikon F3 film cameras will be. The technology was just getting going and shortcuts were taken in order to keep the price in this solar system. And even though the camera served me fairly well and I made some absolutely stunning images with it, those shortcuts were starting to show up in some of the more detail oriented fashion work that I was doing.

So after much internal debate, I not only bought a new digital camera, but I also switched teams. I’ve been a serious Nikon shooter for almost 15 years. I love the lenses I’ve acquired over the years. I love that those cameras have been all over the world with me. But on the digital side, Nikon has been falling behind Canon. I patently watched the past few years, hoping that the leapfrog game that Nikon and Canon often play with each other would eventually give Nikon the advantage, but I just got tired of waiting.

So a few months shy of three years with the D100, it is being retired. A shame really since just yesterday I used my 1969 vintage Hasselblad 500C to shoot Jillian. It’s almost 40 years old and takes the most beautiful images. It is a perfect example of simple brilliant design that is as valid today as when NASA started taking those cameras to the moon the same year mine was crafted.

Same with my Nikon F3. Younger in that it was born in 1983, but still takes the most amazing images. It was the last Nikon that I would call a fully manual camera. No auto focus, and just a rudimentary light meter. But it’s never failed me. Something I can’t say for some of the other more electronic, computer-driven cameras I’ve owned over the years. I’ve had the opportunity to upgrade my 35mm film cameras quite often in the last few years, but I keep coming back to the solid reliability of the F3. It was with that camera that I really learned how to be a photographer. It’s a trusted friend I’ll have forever.


Which brings me back to the new kid on the block. The Canon D5. Switching to Canon I would liken to a baseball player switching to football in that all my tools are suddenly unusable. The Nikon lenses, batteries, chargers, adapters, extenders, all had to be replaced with Canon. So it was no small decision. In a few hours I’ll have a better idea of the leap I’ve made here, but after coming home last night after dinner with Jillian and pouring over the new manual while she worked on her website, I feel like the shortcuts that have been hounding me with the D100 will be distant memories. The camera feels good in my hands and even though it will be a little distracting trying to make art with an untested and unfamiliar tool today, I feel very good about it. I feel like I’ve been cramming all night for a major test. I hope I remember all the answers.

But when it comes to making beautiful images, if I can just remember to turn my brain off and shoot with my heart, I should be just fine! The photographs you see here are some of the last D100 images. Not a bad way to go out before getting fired. Sorry D100. I enjoyed the ride, but I’ve outgrown you now. Happy New Years Eve Eve Eve!

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