As part of my editorial & photography work with the Japanese Cultural Magazine Bento Box, I had the fortune of being asked to photograph the launch event for Uniqlo Canada. My experience living and working in Japan has made me a Uniqlo addict, so, of course, I was thrilled to hear the chain of clothing stores would be coming to Canada. When Bento Box said they were looking for someone for this particular event, I jumped on the opportunity, even going so far as to show up in head-to-toe Uniqlothes.
That is my answer when I'm asked the above question.
Don't buy a DSLR
Stop. Cease. Desist. Turn and run. Get an iPhone, and be happy with their slightly-better-than-smartphone-camera quality cameras.
A Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) is not the camera you're looking for. It is a large, camera-shaped hole into which you shovel money. There are never enough lenses. There is always that next body. And, when you own that next body, there is always the idea of having a second body.
I have been asked this question a lot, and since it's gotten to the point where I, mostly, send out the same form email, over and over again, I thought I should work it into a blog post.
I am most hesitant to recommend DSLRs to people who tell me that they want "a good camera that takes nice pictures."
A DSLR is not a magic bullet for taking cool photos.
I wrote the following post on Tumblr in response to a friend's experience in a photography class. I thought I should probably have posted it here as well as one further attempt to answer the question "what is bokeh?".
Friend Amy signed up for a photography course in Edmonton to keep herself from going stir crazy in what she swears is the most boring place on earth. To her credit, she signed up for the “advanced” course, which is awesome. To kick off the class, the instructor passed around a quiz listing a pile of photography terms and asked the students to pick the correct answer from among the multiple choices given.
To Amy’s surprise, one of the terms was “Bokeh.”
Apparently she wasn’t paying attention when I explained what that word was all about, but she was able to parse out the answer by process of elimination, which is great.
What wasn’t so great was when she pronounced the word as “bokeh” (rhymes with “okay”, sounds like it could almost be describing the bunch of flowers a bride throws), but her instructor tried to correct her, pronouncing the word as “boca”.
That ain’t right.
It’s pronounced like “bokay,” to rhyme with “okay.” If you want to know why, please read on.