The camera or the photographer

February 05, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

All photographers have heard this: "You have a nice camera." or "You must have a nice camera." And I do, but, let's discuss both sides of this as illustrated by this photo.

Not a spectacular photo admittedly, but it may be the best I'll ever get of a bobcat. This is a very tight crop from the full image (I can post that later if anyone likes).

Part 1 - the great camera

This was taken with a modern full-frame DSLR with a 70-300 image-stabilized zoom. It is amazing the quality that can be achieved under less than optimal conditions with cameras today. The modern sensor allowed for a high ISO with low noise to get a reasonable shutter speed. The image stabilization helped make up for shooting from a car window handheld. The autofocus almost (it is actually focused a little behind) made it on the second try before the animal turned tail and walked away.

Part 2 - the photographer's experience

The camera was, as usual, on the passenger seat of the car beside me. As I pulled the camera out of the case, I set the ISO to match the dim lighting (recognition of lighting, familiarity with the equipment) and zoomed the lens. Everything else on the camera was set already (RAW, AF, etc.). Three clicks and the bobcat was gone. Of course an experienced wildlife photographer would have gotten even better results. With a little judicious post-processing of the RAW file the results are something I am very happy with -- not for a large print perhaps.

Part 3 - that unknown factor

The bobcat happened to stop after crossing the road yet within a close distance. And, I happened to have the right lens on the camera.

So, take more photos and keep your camera with you.


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