Since writing What if Flickr fails? six months ago, my photography has dropped way off. I still shoot, but not as much. And I don’t upload as much to Flickr as I used to.
It’s not one thing, but in a way it comes down to that.
First, I’ve been writing a book, which I’ve never done before, and which takes a lot of time. When I have a choice of what to do, the book comes ahead of anything that’s not also top priority. Sorting, improving and uploading photos was never top priority, but it used to be closer than it is now.
Second, my old camera, a Canon 30D, has been upstaged by my new camera, a well-used and equally old Canon 5D. The 5D is a much better camera. The look, feel and UI are nearly identical. Alas, both are crapping out. The 30D was pretty much worn out anyway, and no longer reads light properly. Now the 5D has begun to fail in shutter (Tv) or aperature (Av) priority (or, in Canon parlance, value) modes. It still works in other modes, but shooting is trickier. In any case, I’m due for a new camera. Or, more likely, a new old one, such as another used 5D.
Third, all my old lenses for the 30D suck on the 5D, because they aren’t designed for full-frame sensors. They vignette on the edges, even at narrow aperatures. For many shots this doesn’t matter (or adds an interesting effect); but lack of lenses also discourages shooting.
Fourth, all my wish list lenses…
… are north of $1k apiece. For now that’s an indulgence. So, I’m coping on my current trip (in Italy) with the 5D and compensating for the failings of both the camera and the lenses.
If I’d had more time before this trip I would have rented a lens or two. (Here’s LensRentals.com’s price list for the first of the lenses listed above. A lot cheaper than a new lens. Right now I’m really regretting not doing that.)
But what it comes down to is what I want to do with the results. While I like Flickr as a place to post large numbers of shots that I’d like to see in the public domain (CC licensed for the most permissive use, which is why there are now 231 of them on Wikimedia Commons), I’d rather post the shots I care most about on my own server, in my own ways. For example, I’d love to do photo esssays like the ones Tony Pierce used to do, but without the heavy html work. (And if there’s an easy way, tell me.)
So, what I’m dealing with is a lack of tools. Which is cool. Shooting pictures is just one thing I do. Other things matter more. Especially, right now, that book.