Sometimes I don't feel like lugging my heavy DSLR around. Fortunately, it's just as easy to do Point and Shoot HDR.
Have you ever looked at a photographer's Gear Page and thought it would take forever and a fortune to buy all of that stuff? I don't have everything listed on my page (must be time for some updates), but it still takes a solid chunk of money to afford all of that gear. Do you need to have that much stuff to shoot a decent photo?
This came to mind while watching a recent episode of The Grid discussing some really cool gear. Toward the end, the conversation shifted to creativity and its purpose in creating interesting photos. The gear is just a tool, but it doesn't guarantee anyone will care about your photos. What matters is how it makes the viewer feel.
One of the examples they gave was a photo that Joe McNally took of his shoes – while standing on the top of Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world. It's his most viewed photo and he shot it with his iPhone. Not only is this a pretty common piece of photographic gear, but they weren't even particularly remarkable shoes. He just put them in a remarkable place.
Now I ask you, is that photo decent?
Point and Shoot HDR
I have a number of photos from Walt Disney World taken with my DSLR, but sometimes I just don't want to lug that beast out there. That's why I also have a little point and shoot camera – a Nikon P7000. It's a model that's been revised a few times by now, but it still works for me. Small, light and it captures RAW files.
Now I'll be the first to tell you it isn't a spectacular camera. The lens isn't that sharp, it has plenty of distortion and it's horrible in low light. However, it's a camera I can have with me in case I see something when I really wasn't planning on a photography trip. The truth is that you never know be guaranteed of a nice photo when you venture outside. The weather changes, other people are around – plenty of variables. Just because I head off to a place with my DSLR doesn't mean that those variables are going to cooperate with me.
On the other hand, sometimes it just sucks to miss out on a pleasant photo because you weren't prepared with all of your best gear. That's why I gladly accept some compromises by taking a small camera with me. Something is better than nothing. With point and shoot HDR, you can make that something just a bit better with a trip through Photomatix, Aperture, Lightroom or Photoshop.
I knew this building was at Epcot and I've shot it many times before, but have never truly been happy with the results. Why? Boring skies. Naturally, I found some interesting clouds and sky when I wasn't there with my DSLR. No worries, a little point and shoot HDR with the P7000 got the shot. I know a few Epcot fans who won't care what camera I used. They'll just like the scene – even without my shoes in it.