Cheap Camera Challenge for DigitalRev
I recently took part in DigitalRev’s ‘Pro Photographer – Cheap Camera’ Challenge in Hong Kong. If you’re a photographer and you haven’t heard of DigitalRev – you’re missing out! As well as being an online camera company and social network they have a highly popular YouTube channel. One of their most popular series is the ‘Pro Photographer Cheap Camera Challenge’ and is intended to be more comical than technical so I didn’t expect anything less when the crew decided to give me a toddlers camera to shoot with – possibly the worst camera they’ve given out! The japanese speaking anpanman (translated to ‘bean boy man’) has 0.3 megapixels, a tiny viewfinder and shutter-lag (due to the camera complimenting the subject in Japanese before taking the shot!).
View the full video on the DigitalRev Channel here.
Only recently stumbling across DigitalRev’s YouTube channel I got a sense it would be a fun trip (although very last minute!). The challenge for the shoot was to photograph 3 outfits on a model on the streets of Hong Kong – with the hopes of achieving some interesting images. My intention was to treat the shoot as i would any editorial shoot on location – choosing various locations that compliment the outfits, experiment with different techniques by using objects in front of the camera and add movement to the images so they don’t look too static. There were moments during the shoot where I completely forgot I was using a cheap camera – I even forgot that I was shooting in a public space altogether!
The challenge gave me a chance to reflect back on my roots as a photographer – I started shooting on a point and shoot Casio 3 megapixel camera, later upgrading to a 5 megapixel Sony Cybershot before investing into my first DSLR (a Canon Rebel 350D) at 16. With the limitations of my equipment my focus would be on the idea and using thrifty techniques to create visual interest. I relied on creative ideas to get my work noticed.
The shoot I did for DigitalRev would never grace the pages of a fashion magazine due to the quality but would a better camera have changed my process on the day? When I think about it – I would have treated the shoot in the same way! More than anything this challenge reminded me – it’s not the camera that makes a good photograph, it’s the photographer. Having an expensive camera doesn’t mean you’ll produce brilliant images – it has to be a combination of having a good eye and quality equipment – and in fashion, an understanding of styling and posing.