To Wanda!

I finally got a digital SLR camera because the prices were coming down, but I long coveted one because of the joyous detail they capture. My compact Sony did a lot of nice jobs and occasionally captured a wonderful shot, but too many times it fell short. Be it sunset or smile, action or close-up, I could never count on it getting the color right or the focus true. I played roulette with too many great moments or scenes.

But the SLR, though — aiyee! — it puts the artistic side of photography suddenly at the hands of a novice. People come alive; scenes are what I imagined them to be.

What I love most about photography is the ability to isolate perspectives that exist in front of our eyes each moment but are rarely noticed. We take in too much in our field of vision (and our daily grind) to appreciate the vivid little details and wild perspectives that circulate around us. Photography brings those home. And the digital SLRs makes that photography accessible to my foolish hands.

The easiest home illustration is on our black dogs. When captured on the compact point-and-shoot, they are indeed as we see them in passing: black blurs of fuzzy dog-ness. But upon close inspection, they are combos of shaded hairs reflecting light to varying degrees. With the SLR, that blur transforms into the kind of vivid, complex face that would give a cat pause. And it takes two seconds and zero knowledge to capture.

Not enough bandwidth here to display the full effect, but here’s a hint of what’s possible.

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