15 month of a photo-hobbyist
Written by Dmitry Shusternyack aka "Shuster"
Translated by Igor Roshchin
Disclaimer: all coincidences are strictly coincidental. Really.
January. I took some photos of my kitty using a P&S. Horror.
I should buy an SLR. They suggested a Nikon D300.
Now, it all will start!
February. I realized that the kit lens is not good enough. No sharpness,
and the bokeh is rather awkward. I was taking photos of my kitty, the
whiskers are not sharp, and the edges are blurry.
March. I bought a Nikkor 17-55/2.8. It's sharp like a razor. I photographed
my kitty: I can see each whisker. Now, it all will start!
April. Only lame photographers use APS DSLRs. I bought a full frame body -
Nikon D700 - now, I am shooting my kitty in the dark at ISO 25600.
Canon sucks. I replaced the 17-55 with a 24-70.
May. The kit lens focal range is not sufficient for me.
I bought a 14-24/2.8 and a 70-200/2.8 VR. Now, I am snapping
kitties on the neighboring roofs.
June. I realized why real photographers use fixed lenses; bought an
85/1.4. I photographed my kitty: the whiskers are in focus, the rest is
pleasantly blurry. Now, it all will start!
July. In some forum, I read that the modern lenses lack the artsy
character. So, I bought old manual fixed lenses: 50/1.2 and 85/2.0.
I am trying to catch my kitty in focus but he gets away, what a bum!
August. They booed my kitty on Flickr: the horizon is off. I bought a
carbon-fiber Manfrotto tripod with a level. Now, it all will start!
September. No, Digital does not have the right feel... I bought a
professional Nikon F6, and now 'm enjoying the eye-pleasing film grain.
The cat's fur on the scans is very annoying.
October. The photolab ruined my film with the new photos of my kitty.
I bought an enlarger Durst and started printing myself. The kitty
mastered leaving with the red light.
November. Wisdom comes with experience. I sold all that Nikon sh*t
to some newbie, - together with the storage cabinet for optics, and got
a Leica M7. Those are the real pictures!
The only problem is that the kitty tends to be off center; I am learning
to correct for parallax.
December. I realized what a fool I was. I sold Leica, got a Hasselblad
(I was considering Bronica, but decided I'd had enough compromises).
In order to buy the digital back, I tried to sell a few photos of my
kitty, but the photo-stock company was not interested. I was forced to
sell my car. It turned out it wasn't enough for the digital back,
but now I have studio lights.
January. Hasselblad is heavy like hell, - it fell on the kitty.
On the positive side, - the kitty crawls much slower using only three
legs, - it's easier to photograph him this way.
February. Finally! Hassel is in the closet, I am photographing my kitty
with a Holga-pin-hole. I got great comments in
but for some reason everybody thinks it's my self-portrait.
March. - Hooray! ... My poor kitty. I brought home a Linhof 4x5" camera,
showed it to him, but he meowed very ruefully, limped
to the window and jumped off the 16th floor. I went down
to the street, photographed the bloody remains using a mobile phone,
uploaded it to a photo-site - it became a photo of the day.
Now, I realize that if I did that from the balcony through the tree
brunches, using a tele-lens that would've been really cool.
I should buy a DSLR again, - just in case. ... and a couple of kitties.
Everything is just starting!...
© Copyright 2009 (Original text in Russian) Dmitry
© Copyright 2010 (English translation)