Doubled Down. Do You Carry Multiple Cameras, too?

I have a habit that I have not completely decided if it is a problem… yet.

It results in lots of great photos, hours of video footage, heaps of social-media ready content, and nary a missed moment.

It also results in a sore back, full hands, and often being the guy standing back recording the action rather than fully participating.

The maybe-a-problem is that I usually carry multiple cameras on vacation.

Actually, while these days I’m often lugging a dSLR with multiple lens, an action camera (like a GoPro) with a video stabilizer, and a smartphone (for snapshots or panoramas, and because it’s a phone), I only occasionally doubt the practicality of this approach.

After all there are some pros to having more than one camera:

The Pros.

  • I usually have the “right” camera or lens for the scene.
  • I’ve taken some amazing pictures over the years and often this comes down to having appropriate equipment.
  • All the tech I’ve invested in gets a turn.

On the flip side, I have been known to just bring a single camera somewhere so I can focus (no pun intended) on a single style of picture-taking.

This makes me think of some of the cons of carrying too much equipment, such as:

The Cons.

  • I only have two hands, and spend a lot of time switching or juggling gear.
  • It’s tough to travel light when you’ve got so much technology and an extra bag for it all.
  • I’m likely a higher target for crime or theft.
  • As a photographer I’m not growing as I’m taking the easy way out of switching to the easier equipment for the scene, rather than getting better with what I have in my hand at the moment.

And to be honest, it’s probably writing down that last one that hits me the hardest, the idea that I’m becoming creatively stagnant because I’ve shifted my focus to gear over improving my technique. Learning happens, after all, because we challenge ourselves to solve a problem that we haven’t encountered before.

I don’t want to make any grand gestures or statements here claiming to forever shift to one way of doing things, but I do wonder if I’m in good company with the multi-camera approach to photography… or if I’ve instead shifted to a kind of photographic FOMO: fear of missing out on some perfect shot.

It’s something to pause and think about next time I set out on a photogenic adventure: should I take just one camera, or a whole bag worth?

Focus: Low Angle Perspectives Bring Visual Interest to Snapshots

Regular readers may have noticed that I often include my own photos with many of my daily blog posts. It’s not an accident that I often have a pretty great shot to accompany something that I’m writing about, or have actually just sat down and written about a photo that I liked.

This is because I count photography among the most consistent of my hobbies.

There are so many tips and tricks that photographer use to make their shots more visually interesting, and many of those do not require any special equipment. On this meta Monday I thought I’d dig a little deeper into that.

One example of a simple trick is just this: adjusting your perspective.

How often have you come back from vacation and sorted through the hundreds of photos you’ve taken and, while you may have many beautiful shots, you also felt a little blah about the snapshot style that you stuck with for the whole trip?

The thing about cameras is that whether you are using something with an eyepiece or a screen, we so often hold them up to our face-level to snap.

But hot tip: your face is not actually part of the photo-taking process. In fact, it may be contributing to that underwhelmed feeling that comes with mundane snapshots.

I think as humans we tend to find engaging things that seem familiar but are just a little bit askew. When you take a snapshot, the scene, angles, perspectives are all familiar, but the photo isn’t as engaging as it could be because it’s almost too normal.

When the scene seems a little bit too normal, I often find myself crouching down, setting my camera on or close to the ground, or even just holding the camera near a hip, A simple change of the angle of the photo can create a photo with an unusual line of sight into a scene that is something our eyes are used to seeing all the time.

This off-kilter perspective can make visual interest and that can often lead you to a great photograph.