Photography Friday: What Camera to Buy

Whenever people find out that you’re a photographer, the first question they’ll probably ask you is going to be something along the lines of, “What camera do you use?” If it’s your first time being asked this question, you’ll probably tell them the actual name and model of your camera, and the majority will pretend to know what you’re talking about. You get asked enough times and you’ll realize it’s not worth answering or it’s more fun to tell them something like the Nikon Di1D0 and watch them nod their heads and tell you it’s an amazing machine (shout out to Lance). Inevitably, the conversation will lead to, “What camera should I buy?” or “What’s the best camera out there?” So I, being ever enthusiastic and eager to help lazy people, have decided to answer this question for anyone who wants to get into photography.

I have developed a complex, two-pronged answer to your enquiry and the first prong is to go fuck yourself, possibly with said prong. Yes. GO. FUCK. YOUR. SELF. Look in your kitchen to see if you have two bananas. If you do, great; you can skip this next step. If you don’t, go to the grocery store and don’t come back until you have two bananas. While you’re there, you might also want to pick up a stick of butter. Now that you have the two bananas and optional stick of butter, you’re going to want to eat both of the bananas because they are an excellent source of fiber and potassium. You can save the butter for later use. Then go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself if you think my camera somehow just turns itself on, thinks about how it wants to compose a photo, points itself at the subject, and presses its own buttons. Go fuck yourself if you have the notion that whatever expensive camera you buy is going to help you take better pictures, because it isn’t. Just like buying the best paintbrushes won’t magically make you a better painter, or buying the best shoes won’t make you run any faster. A camera is merely a tool and it is much more important to learn how to use one with time and practice than it is to have the best tool. I’ve seen people who have taken incredible photographs on their iPhone cameras (much thanks to Kevin, whose photo I used below) and I’ve seen people with above $1,000 cameras who still haven’t figured out shutter speed and every photograph they’ve ever taken is out of focus (looking at you, thing-under-mouth-tografy).IMG_0692

With all of that being said, if you’re not a tool whose only intention is to try to impress people with your camera, then I may have actual advice to you on the matter. Your gear does not matter, but I would still much rather have a Ferrari than a Ford Fusion, so fuck a beginner camera. It’s pointless and a waste of money and if I have any regrets, it’s buying a dumb fucking beginner camera because there is literally no difference in learning with a beginner camera and an “intermediate-pro”-level camera and you’ll soon realize that it won’t serve you for very long due to its limited capabilities. So first, figure out what type of content you want to create with your camera and do your research. What works for one person might not work for the next. Do you need a full frame with high ISO capabilities and fast autofocus for weddings? Do you need 4k recording capabilities? What is your budget? Then go buy your camera and learn how to fucking use it. Oh, and save some money for good lenses, because having a great camera with shitty lenses is like having a big penis and no hands. #badanalogy


A New Beginning

*Blows away figurative dust.* It’s been a while since I’ve written and I apologize to anyone who eagerly waits for each installment of ASS. I told myself I wouldn’t let this thing die, and, yet, here it is, on its last legs, gasping for air as it draws its final breaths. I’ve had this website for a little over a year and I realized I was well short of a year’s worth of posts. But I’m here now. I’m here to resuscitate my brainchild and hopefully make it even better than it was before. You see, I had a whole theme with my posts before and I think I was getting a little too cute with what I was doing, instead of focusing on pushing meaningful content. I became discouraged. Discouraged because I got caught up in the number of clicks and likes I would get per post. I started to post things that I thought would satisfy my need for instant gratification and ended up not being satisfied with any of my work. Then I became lazy. Lazy, because…well, lazy because that’s who I am inherently, as a person. I don’t  know how it happened, but I started believing that my lethargy was a good thing and became a massive underachiever who tried to get away with putting in as minimal work as possible, and it had worked thus far because I had enough talent to just float by. It’s like in Friday Night Lights where the white dude tells Boobie Miles he didn’t lift and Boobie responds with, “C’mon man, this is God given. Only thing I gotta do is show up.” That was me for the longest time, except unlike him, I wasn’t the star player and never even wanted to be. I just showed up to show up. But aside from puberty, I’ve experienced more growth in these past few months than I have in about 20 years. I think I’ve finally learned that hard work can be more gratifying than those few extra hours of sleep. So from now on, you can expect a post from me almost daily, whether it be photographs or some insight from my day.

Written 2/7/17


Picture Unrelated #7: Public Service Announcement

I never thought I’d have to, but I think it’s important that I preface this next post with the disclaimer that I am not a communist. Capitalism, good (thumbs up); Stalin, bad (grunt, frowny face). But with the November election coming up, I’d like to talk about a few, very inherent, but underlying problems with the way democracy works.

First off, there are no merits or qualifications required to vote, besides that of being 18 years old and a citizen of the United States. This means that your below-average Joe has the right to vote, granted he registers in time and is willing to go to the polls. Not that big of a deal right? Everyone should have a right to vote for who governs them, no matter how uneducated or ill-informed they may be.

The real issue comes from the idea of democracy itself. Basically, you take a vote and whichever side has more votes gets their way. Sounds fair right? Well, yes, in a utilitarian sense, because since more people are satisfied, it must be right. Right? But what if you had a situation where you asked 10 people to vote on something? Let’s say cake or ice cream. I mean there is no wrong answer here because both are delicious. But anyway, 6 people vote for cake and 4 vote for ice cream. That’s (whips out calculator, calculates) 40% of people who are unhappy with the outcome and have to live with whatever decision the other people made, which is almost (counts on fingers) half of the population! Do you see the problem with that? The minority, here, is not so minor and unfortunately, the election for president of the United States isn’t as inconsequential or as tasty as a vote for what to eat for dessert. As divided as this country has been over the two candidates, there will certainly be a very large percentage of citizens who will be part of the losing minority.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers,” this is exactly what it’s warning us about. Just because more people agree on something, doesn’t make it the right answer. What if we added eating poo to the options of desserts, and what if, for some reason, 9 to 1 people voted for eating poo for dessert? I don’t know if I have to spell it out for you, but eating poo here is analogous with having Donald Trump as president. I’m still in utter dismay that walking, orange-skinned, human sewage is one of the final two candidates for president, and yet, here we are. It’s like living in an episode of the Twilight Zone. I mean the other candidate isn’t great either, but this is one of those lesser-of-two-evils type situations. So as flawed as democracy is, it is still better to have the choice to vote for your leader than to not have it. So I urge you to go to the polls on November 8th, so that you don’t have to eat poo and, more importantly, I don’t have to eat poo, because I’ll be damned if I have to eat poo on account of someone else’s stupidity.

This week, I’m just doing a photo dump. If you follow my Instagram, (nhatflix) you’ve probably already seen these, but if you don’t, here they are in their high-res glory. As always, thanks for reading.