DSLR in the City: My Experience

Previously, there was a blog published about shooting on 35mm in New York City. But, I also took my DSLR and my 50mm lens to shoot on, as well. As luck would have it, after my second day in New York, my battery died in my Canon A-1… Leaving me with no film camera until I could find a camera store that sold the battery I needed (helpful hint, don’t rely on finding a camera store wherever you go; take an extra battery, even for your film camera!). That being said, I had the chance to use my DSLR for a few hours until I took care of my other camera.

Unlike shooting on film, you can, almost, mindlessly shoot with a DSLR. Meaning, you have a lot of options when it comes to photos, exposure, ISO, aperture, EVERYTHING! This is nice, but also it can be a bit distracting. One interesting thing that I did notice while shooting with my 50mm, is that a LOT of the buildings are so large, that trying to take a photo of the entire thing, even from hundreds of yards back, is really difficult. Once you get too far away, the photo becomes too busy with pedestrians on the ground in front of it or by the other buildings surrounding it. Then again, once you get too close, you lose either the top of said building or the bottom. So, helpful hint #2, 50mm  lenses are good to take because of the lightweight aspect, but know that you will have to give and take with your photos. Here is an example of the Empire State Building, where I could only get the top or the bottom photographed:

Also, one thing to consider if you are trying to decide between taking film or a DSLR to a city or on vacation in general, if it is a fast paced city, like New York, know that stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, say in Times Square (guilty!) to adjust your f stop, read your light meter, find the focus point, and then fire off a shot, can take a bit of time. While for a digital camera, once you set your ISO and put your lens in automatic focus, the only thing that you really have to do is occasionally adjust your shutter speed, which takes a lot less time than film, and you can usually take shots while walking.

Either way, you will still be able to capture the moments that you loved the most on your trip. For me, that was the most important thing. Whether you are trying to decide between 35mm, or a digital camera, just be sure to take something to take photos on (hint #3 that is NOT just your phone!). After your fabulous vacation, wherever that may be, make sure to send in your photos to Spartan Photo Center to get printed! Photos are worthless if they’re stuck on an SD card! Happy shooting.

Here are some of my favorite digital photos from my trip!