Tag Archives: pro

Pros and Wonky Exposures

Back when I was just starting to get serious with photography, I always checked the EXIF data of the photos that I found to be interesting. For me, the EXIF data was a learning tool. I thought that knowing what focal length and exposure to use to achieve a particular shot would give me a reference point in case I wanted to create a similar image later on.
 
 Fast forward a few years later, I realized that EXIF data is quite useless. I have learned that the images that I tend to appreciate have very little resemblance to the original shot that was captured on camera. Most photos that are above average are usually heavily post-processed. I do this to my own images as well. It is not uncommon for me to intentionally underexpose the shot in order to save the highlights and then push the shadows later in post. If a beginner was to follow my EXIF data, it would give him the wrong impression of the shot. Unless the viewer was at the scene of the shot, an EXIF data does not really tell how bright the ambient light was. You will have to rely on other external data such as the time it was taken, the location and the weather to make sense of it. It would be even worse if the final image was a composite of multiple bracketed exposures because the EXIF data would be totally misleading.
 
 I can’t help but notice that some photographers will include their exposure settings when describing their shots. Unless the images are totally unprocessed, I can’t find any relevance at all. In fact, there are times when I even question whether the photographer actually knew what he was doing. Consider this shot for example (taken from Australian Photography magazine)
 
 
 
20140517-182404.jpg
The exposure reads 1/320s, f/6.3, ISO 800, +3.3EV. If this was shot in aperture priority mode, why f/6.3? Why not something more exact like f/5.6 or f/8? If it was shot in shutter priority mode, why 1/320s? That is not even “flash friendly” (1/250s). The most confusing part is the +3.3EV exposure compensation. If you have to compensate this much then you might as well shoot in full manual mode. I’m not questioning the result but the exposure info is hardly useful. In fact, it is confusing even to an experienced photographer.
 
 This is not an isolated case. The winning photojournalism photos are littered with the same wonky exposures. One of them read 24mm, f/1.4, 1/8000, ISO 50!!! You can see that the photographer forced the shallow depth of field cliche of f/1.4 because it pushed the camera to its maximum shutter speed and the sensitivity was intentionally set to the wonky fake low ISO. Nevertheless, the shot was a winner. And this is where the problem lies. A beginner would think that this kind of circus act is proper photography. It’s not.
 
 Let this be a warning. Unless you are shown a completely unedited shot, do not take the EXIF data as gospel. Even in “true to life” photojournalistic shots, EXIF data should not be swallowed just like that. Think for yourself.

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N00bism #3

Hello world! This the third post of the N00bism series. I hope that the previous articles made you think about your own approach to photography. As I have mentioned before, this series aims to discuss the common mistakes beginners, and to some extent, even experienced photographers fall into. These are the same issues that I have experienced and/or avoided and have observed in my constant interactions with photographers of different levels of expertise.

Without further ado, let me discuss “premature manual mode”.

I have already written an article about this macho manual mode, or M mode as most photographers call it. It’s ok if you shoot in “M mode only” but puhleeze, don’t brag about it. It’s not rocket science. You do not have to tell the world about it because those who actually know how to use it will find your bragging quite underwhelming or laughable.

Those of you who are just starting with this expensive hobby should avoid using M mode. Trust me. I have been there. Allow me to explain:

Firstly, you bought that very expensive camera for what? It’s expensive because it is intelligent enough to do most of the work for you. You are wasting your money if you do not put it to good use. It has full automatic mode for a reason. Even the most expensive of cameras have auto modes. Auto modes make your life easier so you can concentrate on things that matter.

For newbies, what matters most is making the shot. You can have the most perfectly exposed shot but if your composition sucks then your photo sucks. Period. Why burden yourself with the exposure when you can’t even get your horizon straight? Why fiddle with those buttons when your shot is so hopelessly cluttered? Why shoot in M when you do not even understand exposure in the first place?!!!

Do yourself a favour. Use that green square mode and learn about composition before anything else. If you can’t help touching those buttons then leave your multi-hundred dollar DSLR and use your mobile phone instead. Yes, even if the “image quality” is inferior. A clean, crisp, 36Mp crappy shot is still a crappy shot.

So when should you start using the M mode? If you think that a better exposure will improve a good shot. It follows that you know what a good shot is. It also follows that you know what exposure is. If you can’t get a good shot with your mobile phone, your DSLR won’t help either. Because a good shot does not depend on what camera you use. In fact, more complicated cameras would probably hinder you from making a good shot.

I won’t cover composition here. It’s not something that you learn by reading. Yes, there are pointers like rule of thirds. Google them.

I will skip to the topic of exposure because that’s all this crazy M mode does anyway. Sorry but I won’t even discuss the exposure triangle here. If you do not understand that concept then you should not even be thinking about M mode. There are millions of web articles that discuss it and I won’t bother repeating them.

How do you learn exposure? By understanding light. Understand that during high noon on a very clear day, you will have the greatest intensity of light that you would normally encounter. I said normally because you might want to shoot directly at the sun or capture an exploding atomic bomb. Anything else would just be varying intensities of lower magnitude. This high noon light is often called “sunny f16”. It simply means that the correct exposure for a subject under bright sunlight is f16, 1/ISO for a given ISO sensitivity. For example: f16, 1/100 at ISO 100. We usually “round off” the shutter speed to the nearest “whole stop”, which is 1/125 for the above example. An example of light with lower intensity is when your subject is hiding under a shade to avoid the harsh sunlight. In this instance, light intensity drops by at least 4 stops so your exposure would be f4, 1/125 at ISO 100. Sometimes I give it f2.8 just to be safe.

It’s not enough that you know the different light intensities. You should understand contrast as well. In the above example, if you want the subject in the shade to be properly exposed then everything outside that is lit by the sun will render as white. If you want to properly expose what’s outside then your subject will be barely visible under the shadows. In this example, no amount of screwing around with M mode will help you. The argumentative folks will probably say, yeah shoot at f8 then pull the highlights and push the shadows in Photoshop. Whatever.

You see that it’s not enough that you know shutter speed and aperture and ISO to warrant the use of M mode. Because if you do not undertand light you will end up screwing around with those knobs until your camera’s LCD tells you that you have lined up the exposure slider dead in the center. You are basically wasting your energy following what the camera is telling you. M mode has become the automatic mode for stupid people. M as in moron mode. Shoot in full auto instead.

So beginners, please learn to compose first before confusing your brain even more with M mode. And experts, there’s no need to brag about it especially if you are just lining up the sliders.

Stop Shooting Flowers

Ok, this post would probably hit some sensitive nerves but whatever. Anyway, I’m just voicing out my opinion based on observation and experience so it’s up to you whether to take it seriously or not.

If you want to develop real photography skills, stop shooting flowers.

That’s not say that flower shots are bad. In fact some of them are really good. Actually, it is very easy to get good flower shots. Anyone can do it that is why they are usually the shots n00bs make during their formative years.

Set your camera to auto mode and get as close to the flower as what your lens allows and trip the shutter. That’s all it takes to photograph a flower. No need for composition really. A flower dead center in the frame will still look nice. All you need to worry about is getting the focus right. Easy.

So if you really want to learn photography, stop shooting flowers. Your shots will suck but that will force you to learn how to improve them.

Let me suggest a starting point:

Do still life photography in the comfort of your house. Use natural light. Positioning your subject next to a large window will give you that nice soft light. You can use white paper as reflectors. In short, you will learn how light interacts with your subject and proper exposure. Don’t just shoot a solitary object. Use multiple objects and arrange them so you will learn the basics of composition. Use different focal lengths. To get a noise-free shot, you probably would need to use a tripod so you can shoot at low ISO and avoid blur caused by camera shake. Later on you can incorporate the use of strobes or flash.

This still life study will prepare you for landscape photography. Why am I not suggesting landscape as a starting point? Because you do not have control of the light. To have a better chance of getting good light means being on location at least 30 minutes before and after sunrise or sunset. Any other time means ugly cold light. Being in the right location at the right time does not guarantee good light though so it is still a hit or miss situation. If you are persistent, mother nature might reward your efforts. Such is the joy of landscape photography.

You may want to do portraiture next. Portraiture has different challenges although it is very similar to still life photography. The biggest hurdle is that your subject can now complain. Everyone wants to look good on camera even if it they have a face that only their mother can love. It means you will need to master the art of photo retouching. You will have to pixel peep like never before. Your friends may ask you to shoot their special events once you start getting the hang of it. Now that is a challenge.

Another area of photography that you may want to try is wildlife. Here you have a subject interacting with its natural environment. Avoid cliche shots of birds because that will bring you back to the same level as flower shots…only difference is that you now require a lens that’s ten times more heavy and more expensive.

Do macro photography when you get bored. It’s no different to flower shots. Just more tedious. The results can be jaw-dropping amazing though. I enjoy looking at macro shots but I’m not really that interested in doing them.

Street photography and photojournalism can quickly become craptography if you do not have the compositional skills. It requires a lot of skill but more importantly, an even greater amount of luck. Things must happen in front of you and you have to be there to capture it. Depending on where you are, extraordinary events may not happen at all. You are better off taking photos of your drunk friends. Now that I have mentioned drunk, street photography is also dangerous in the wrong locations. Be ready to deal with people who are paranoid. Persistence will pay off. The world’s most memorable photos are, afterall, products of photojournalism.

Avoid sports photography when you are just starting. It encourages bad habits. It’s slightly more rewarding than street photography because you can almost guarantee that there is some action happening where you are. If there is a brawl then you get to do photojournalism as well. There is minimal thinking involved in sports photography. It’s more of a hand-eye coordination thing like playing video games. Reaction time is very important. It also relies on how long your lenses are and how fast your camera can flip the shutter curtain. Of course, you would need to anticipate the action but sports photographers just fire a salvo of shots hoping that something magical happens. Highway patrols do the same with their radar guns. I am not making fun of them. I’m just telling the truth. The fact that sports photographers can manage to capture incredible shots is a testament to their persistence. They know that their keeper rate is lower than Joe Blow’s grade in college calculus but they still do it anyway. And that’s dedication. Sports photography is not for everyone especially if you can’t afford the five-figure equipment.

Again, if you want to improve your photography, stop shooting flowers.

It Has Never Been the Camera

The deeper I become involved in photography, the more I realize that equipment does not matter at all. Case in point, I have more fun photos captured with my iPhone than any of my other cameras combined.

Well actually gear does matter but not like most “photographers” would make you believe. The most important thing about equipment is that it should never get in the way of your creative vision. Also consider the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect tool. There will always be something that would tick you off and knowing the limitations is the first step in making the equipment work for you.

I would like to discuss a particular photograph wherein both the equipment and the photographer (me) were severely limited. The photograph I would like to talk about is this:


A bit of background on this shot: This photo was taken about a month after I started in photography, around May of 2009. My camera back then was a “heavy” Nikon D60 with a 18-55mm kit lens. I wish I brought that camera with me when I took this photo but instead I had my “pocket” Canon G10. Now the G10 is known for very poor low light performance because some moron in Canon engineering thought they could get away with cramming 14 megapixels into such a tiny sensor. At ISO 400 the output is so noisy that you are better off not taking the shot at all. But I did. Because I didn’t know any better. I looked at the EXIF data and it said I shot in auto mode, ISO 400, f2.8 at 1/8s. I am now very familiar with the G10 and I would say that, at that time, the camera was pushing real hard to capture the image as best as it could. It’s at its widest aperture of f2.8 and just enough shutter speed (1/8s) for the real focal length of about 6mm (28mm full frame equiv). If I remember correctly, I didn’t have a tripod. If I did then there’s no reason why I would not have used ISO 100 and get away with half a second exposure. I was a n00b but not completely dumb you know :-p

I don’t remember how I processed the photograph but there must have been some, if not too much, noise reduction applied. I probably didn’t bother correcting the white balance. After all, winter in Canberra is characterized by strong magenta tint in the sky during sunset and I have always wanted to capture that.

I would like to critic my composition as well. I used a combination of strong lead-in lines, rule of thirds in the vertical while using symmetry in the horizontal to capture the reflection. I think I framed it a bit too much to the left thus making the bridge feel like it wants to leave the view. That building visible on the left is nicely framed by the bridge and the shadows on the water. A bit underexposed for my taste but just enough so as not to blow up the highlights coming from the bridge lights that emphasize the lines leading towards the parliament house (that pointed structure at the end of the bridge). I really would like to brighten up the bridge and the building by just a few notches and tone down the bluish color cast. A touch of fill light should also improve the overall exposure without destroying the mood.

After all of that, the question remains: Why discuss this particular rookie shot? Because this rookie shot sold for $852!

So again, it’s never the gear. My expensive DLSRs have not made any significant sales yet but two of my point-and-shoot cameras have already paid up for themselves. Amazing! Granting that photo sales are subject to a huge amount of luck, people or corporations are willing to pay if they think that the photograph is worth it.

They say that the best camera is the one that’s with you. I say, the best camera is the one you can never afford. So make do with what you already have and resist the temptation to buy more gear. A lot of amateurs are getting crazy over the latest and greatest equipment and spend more time in rumours than actual photography. Stop that already.

My Most Expensive Photograph: a Reflection

It is when you least expect them that surprises present themselves and that makes them more, for the lack of a better word, surprising.

Around September last year (2010), somebody actually purchased a license to use my photograph. It was not much. Just slightly lower than Gursky’s shot that sold for $4.3 million USD. Because of that photo I have managed to pay in full the house I bought in the CBD and I now have enough money in the bank to allow me to live comfortably without having to work. Surprise!!! No, I did not. Although I did sell a photo for a measly $64 AUD.

The amount it sold for is less important than the lesson I learned from that photograph and I would like to dedicate this post into reflecting upon that reflection. That statement would probably make more sense if I’ve shown you the actual photo so here it is:

Now you know why it didn’t quite reach the level of Gursky’s shot (but I bet one of my kidneys his won’t make it to Flickr Explore LOL!!!).

Anyway, let’s satisfy the measurebators first so they can skip the rest of this post. I used a Canon Powershot A590 IS in full auto mode without a tripod. Of course the flash fired and that’s evident on the lower right portion of the frame. So, nope, nothing interesting in here for you guys. You can see the rest of the EXIF info here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtmateojr/3462807514/meta/in/photostream/

Back then, I was in stage 2 in the evolutionary ladder of an amateur photographer. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, please read my older post on this very important topic of evolution (you didn’t read it?!!!). To those of you who read that post (a thank you is in order) you should have realized by now that I wasn’t kidding at all 😉

This is quite a long story so please bear with me. If I remember correctly it was my second time driving all the way from Brisbane to Sydney. That’s approximately 1000 kilometers that took me 13 hours including lunch, dinner and wee breaks and about 1.5 tanks of fuel for the rented 2.5 liter Toyota Camry. We decided to visit Luna Park in North Sydney after the rain stopped. We wanted to take the fun rides but there was an important event, which I could not remember, so it was closed for mere mortals. We decided to just roam around and enjoy the night. It was our first time to visit the location anyway. This part of North Sydney is a very good vantage point to take photos of the Harbour Bridge (this I learned much later). I saw several photographers with huge cameras and tripods with dangling “cables” (shutter release). I remember this particular bloke who was standing on the same spot for several minutes. With all that expensive-looking gear I thought he must be a pro. I didn’t know jack about photography back then so everyone with a DSLR was a pro to me. Anyway as I was strolling, the reflection on the puddle of rain caught my eyes. I immediately took my camera and aimed at it. I framed it in such a way that the face of that entrance gate would seem to be staring at me from under the concrete. I was unknowingly teaching myself how to compose a shot! I must have done something right because that bloke who was just staying on one spot with all that expensive gear started doing exactly the same thing. Well actually it kinda annoyed me because he started setting up his tripod and was blocking my view. The copycat was preventing me from taking more shots! Anyway, he was the pro so I quietly walked away. He must have been very happy that this foreigner (me) finally left. Well I hope he got a nice shot of the puddle. Not! We went back to the hotel and, if I’m not mistaken, had dinner at my favorite Thai restaurant (that restaurant closed down after about a year later).

I did not immediately look at the photo. Typical of most n00bs, it stayed in the camera for quite some time. I stored it in my hard drive but never touched it until much later when I was already playing with that thing called Photoshop that my good friend sold to me for $100 (he switched to a Mac and the software was for Windows — lucky me). I’ve always thought that photos should be kept as pristine as possible. Photoshop = evil. SOOC = good. I don’t remember exactly why I started retouching my shots. You probably noticed that I bumped the saturation a bit too much in that photo. I must have thought that the shot didn’t quite turn out the way I saw the reflection or most likely because n00bs tend to push the sliders all the way to 11. In retrospect, I’m blaming auto white balance here.

Fast forward a year later. I went back to the same spot and behold: a rain puddle of almost the same shape was there again. Whoever was assigned to fix that concrete obviously wasn’t doing his job. Lucky me 🙂 Here’s the “enlightened” shot:


A bit conservative in terms of processing. The composition is much tighter with less distraction. I used a Canon G10 here, a much improved point-and-shoot camera. ISO 400, 1/8s at f3.2. I must have zoomed in thus forcing the lens to change the aperture from f2.8 to that weird f number. Flash did not fire this time 🙂 Of course I used a (wobbly) tripod.

I would like to think that I have grown as a photographer over that period when I took the old photo and the new one. If I go back to that spot again, assuming that they still haven’t fixed that concrete, I would be very interested to know if there is anything different I would find in there. I probably won’t. Which is kinda sad knowing that I have spent so much time learning how to shoot and not just writing about photography. With the more expensive toys I have right now, I expect my photos to be so much better. On the other hand, it feels good that even as a n00b I was able to capture a photo that’s good enough to attract a buyer. It’s quite amusing that the photo is now worth more than the camera that took it (digital rot guarantees that your old digital camera is next to worthless after just a few years). That old photograph won’t win me any awards but I humbly think that even pros will have a not-so-easy time improving it considerably. I am no pro but certainly no longer a beginner. If the second shot is any indication, I doubt if I can make the first one miles better.

Just to wrap it up, I would like to point out a few very important lessons. Firstly, it’s not the camera that makes a photograph. Equipment hardly matters at all. Secondly, photography is something that you can only learn by doing. Spend less time measurebating and lurking in forums. (Promise you will go out and shoot after reading this post). Thirdly, take some time to reflect on your self. Evaluate your weaknesses and try to improve on the areas that you feel most uncomfortable with. Be honest and take praises as a challenge to do better instead of resting on your laurels.

How about my “audience”? Do you have a story to tell? I’d be interested in reading them. Please do share.

Until then, keep shooting.

Evolution of an Amateur Photographer

Stages in the Evolution of an Amateur Photographer:

1. The Point-and-Shoot stage:
Buys a point-and-shoot camera on impulse for a holiday trip so he can take snaps to post on facebook. Gets tricked by the sales guy into buying the obsolete camera sitting in the corner because it’s got lots of megapixels. Tags his officemates in every photo to show how much fun he is having while they had to cover the half-finished project he left behind.

2. The Point-and-Shoot Upgrade stage:
Decides that 10Mp is not big enough and tricks his clueless brother to buy his point-and-shoot camera so he could upgrade to a whooping 12Mp … well… point-and-shoot camera. Forced to buy a new storage card because that previous camera only accepted XD card.

3. The Megazoom stage:
Suddenly, 5x zoom is too short for anything so he goes out to buy a 24x zoom. Learns how to RTFM and thinks he got a bargain because the effing manual mentioned a 100x (digital) zoom. Of course this new camera has a lot more megapixels…14Mp this time. His girlfriend quickly learns how to inhale very deeply every time he takes a photo of her at full wide angle or else the terrible lens distortion will make her look like a rhino.

4. Rule of Thirds stage:
Learns about basics of composition. His subjects are now positioned quite nicely where those stupid lines meet. Thinks that any photograph that’s got the subject or the horizon at the center of the frame are horrible amateurish shots. Makes fun of Gursky’s photo that sold for more than $4 million USD. His camera fires the flash every time he takes a photo of that iconic bridge at night.

5. The DSLR (aka fourth upgrade) stage:
Gets amazed at how some photos seem to have their subjects pop-out of the frame. Learns from his friend that he needs a DSLR for that. Tricks his clueless brother for the second time in buying his P&S camera so he can buy a DSLR. Learns the meaning of P&S and DSLR and completely ignores the compact interchangable lens cameras because they are not DSLRs. Lurks in photography forums and asks for advise which one is THE BEST DSLR. Gets a dozen different answers so he decides to head for the shop anyway and gets tricked by the same sales guy into buying the obsolete model sitting on the corner. Goes home smiling ear-to-ear with a twin lens kit.

6. DSLR Frustration stage:
The mode dial is still set to the green square like the day it was bought. Shoots his DSLR with outstretched arms looking at the 3″ LCD screen as if he is holding a baby’s soiled diaper. Wonders why he’s not getting those photos that pop out of the frame. Occassionally gets his subjects to pop out when the camera struggles to shoot and opens up the aperture in low light conditions but the photos are blurry. That darn flash still pops up every time he takes a photo of that iconic bridge at night.

7. Bokeh Honeymoon stage:
Finally managed to Google about aperture and shallow depth of field. All his shots now have that 3D effect. Photos of his girlfriend now have only her nose in focus but he doesn’t care. Shallow DoF FTW!!! Sorry, I meant Bokeh FTW!!!

8. Fast Lens Envy stage:
His twin lens kit that goes from f4-5.6 are no longer enough. Anything less than the holy trinity isn’t good enough. If only he has those lenses then his photos would be a hundred times better. Experiences frequent wet dreams of his dream lenses.

9. The 50mm stage:
Getting the holy trinity is out of his league but he quickly finds out that the nifty-fifty is the cheapest way to get more bokeh. Every photographer has to have THE standard lens so he buys one … after spending countless hours in forums arguing whether he should get the 1.8 or 1.4. Ends up getting the 1.4 because it is way faster. Shoots wide open at f1.4 all the time and wonders why he could not get anything in focus. Not so frequent wet dreams of the 50/1.2.

10. HDR stage:
Almost crapped in his pants when he saw Trey’s HDR photos. This is the next evolution in photography!!! Downloads a pirated copy of Photomatix. Pushes all the sliders to 11. Halos and bleeding bluish shadows abound. Perfect!!! Posts his “photos” in every group in Flickr. His Flickr photostream is full of blinking comments and invites from other HDR fanatics.

11. Flickr Explore stage:
Discovers this magic thingy called Flickr Explore. Dedicates all his time into getting at least one of his photos into the top 500. Comments and likes every photo he sees. Uses Flickr Scout to keep track of his images in case they make it. Almost fell on the floor when the Scout showed all of his photos are in Explore and posts his excitement in the forums only to find out that everyone in that forum have all their photos in Explore because it is April 1st.

12. Full Frame stage:
High ISO, noise free, more shallow DoF…full frame is the most obvious next step into becoming a pro. Buys a full frame camera on impulse and wonders why all his shots have a weird black ring. Dumps all his crop sensor lenses except the nifty-fifty which happens to be his only usable lens. Evangelizes about the 50mm being THE best lens ever and opens his own group in Flickr dedicated to 50mm shots.

13. Full Manual Macho stage:
Real photographers shoot in full manual mode ONLY. Mode dial is now glued on M mode. Struggles at first in lining up the exposure slider. All his photos on Flickr are now proudly described and tagged with “exposure: manual”. Creates a new thread in forums asking everyone which mode they shoot in. Grows a hatred of anything by Ken Rockwell.

14. Sunny 16 stage:
Learns about correct exposure and sunny 16 rule. Still lines up the sliders in M mode but a lot quicker now. That thumb dial is almost worn out. Makes fun of others who shoot in full auto mode. Keeper shots have improved. Grows a hatred of anything unrealistic like those horrible HDRs.

15. Strobist stage:
Learns about this blog called strobist and buys several flashes and brollies and light stands. Does not have a clue about his flash’es GN and thus the complete reliance on TTL. Does some portraiture here and there and sometimes gets lucky enough to be hired as a backup wedding photographer…for free.

16. Holy Trinity stage:
By now he’s saved some money to acquire the ultimate photographer’s arsenal: the Holy Trinity of lenses. Lots of sleepless nights shooting test charts. Sharpness is everything. Advises the n00bs to buy the best lenses or else. Very adept at interpreting MTF charts. Posts comparison test images in forums. Keeper shots have improved in ratio because total shots have dropped considerably.

17. Leica Lust stage:
He is willing to sell his kidneys for an M9. Buys a Fuji instead to satisfy his lust for a rangefinder. Defends his Fuji from all the forum bashers. Sells his Fuji after discovering that his cellphone is so much quicker at taking photos. Lusts for the Fuji successor.

18. The Realization stage:
Very quick to judge others in forums with the immortal words: “It’s the photographer, not the camera”. Starts to hate his heavy equipment and decides to invest in compact interchangable lens cameras. Does a lot of Googling about the advantages of MILCs to justify his new purchase. More time spent in forums than actual shooting. Gets involved in conspiracy theories such as why only Canon shooters ever win in contests sponsored by Canon.

19. Boredom stage:
Gets bored and creates his own photography blog.