Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Today’s picture is a fairly old one, taken in that odd time between when I used a 35mm SLR and when I got my first digital SLR. When I got my first digital pocket-sized point-and-shoot, I started off by bringing both that and my 35mm with me when I’d go hiking or whatever. The idea being, I’d use the little guy for most of my pics, like taking pictures of my buddies or whatever, but if there was a shot that I would theoretically consider blowing up someday, I’d bust out the SLR. But obviously I quickly came to the conclusion that one of the two was dramatically easier to use, and actually took some decent pictures to boot. So I found myself reaching for the 35mm less and less often.
There were actually two last straws, that both hit at right about the same time. First, I had gone on a hike near Mt. St. Helens, and on that hike I had taken 3 or 4 rolls of pictures with the SLR. It was one of those days where the conditions were absolutely perfect. It was sunny, not too hazy, and there were these little fluffy white clouds that made the skies really interesting (and I had a polarizing filter to really bring them out). I was stoked to get the pictures back, because I knew they’d be amazing. Except.. they weren’t. They all just plain sucked. Four rolls of shots, and not a single gosh dang one was worth anything. It crushed me. And no, this wasn’t the only time this had ever happened to me. But it WAS the *last* time this ever happened to me. And, as if that weren’t enough, about this same time I decided to blow up a picture of Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake. You know, that one view. I had two versions of nearly the same picture, one taken with my 35mm, and the other taken with my *2 megapixel* pocket point-and-shoot (the one I just linked to is neither of them, but it was pretty similar to both). I blew them both up to 12×18, and as it turns out, the point-and-shoot version was actually better. Even at only 2 megapixels, it looked fantastic at 12×18. Even with a crappy little plastic lens, it looked fantastic at 12×18.
After those two events, I started leaving the 35mm at home, and I never looked back. It was several years until I finally got up the courage to make the leap into an actual digital SLR, and this particular trip to Colorado landed right inside that window. So all I had with me for the whole trip was a little pocket point-and-shoot. I had upgraded to a 3.2 megapixel version by then, but still. Nowadays, I of course wonder about all the awesome shots I missed out on not having the equipment, knowledge or skills that I do now, but that’s never a worthwhile thing to worry about. I’ll just have to go back, right?
This particular picture was taken in the San Juan mountains, in the southwest corner of Colorado. There’s a little dirt mountain road that heads into the mountains from Lake City. Eventually it goes over some pass (Cinnamon Pass maybe? Not sure), but I was just driving a passenger sedan (a Subaru Legacy, AWD, but a sedan nonetheless), and the road got pretty gnarly, so I turned around before I got stuck. I did spend a night up there though, and this was snapped right before the sun went down. Ahhhh, alpenglow, my favorite.
Notes: Canon PowerShot S230 (Point and shoot). 1/500s.