Photographer Spotlight: Andrew Kuo, Day 2

As mentioned earlier, this week I will be going through some of my past archives and posting some of my ancient work – to try to show what one can do with different sorts of cameras. Nowadays, everyone is running around with a DSLR, but do they really need all those features and megapixels? You have photography buffs splitting hairs about what a picture looks like at the pixel level (myself admittedly) and people complaining about how they can’t get good shoots at ISO 3200… I think sometimes we should really appreciate how much technology has advanced in the past decade.

Granted there are definitely a lot of advantages to using a DSLR – such as speed in taking pictures of moving subjects, most people don’t really need much more than a good ‘ol point and shoot.

The following images were shot with a Canon PowerShot S410. This bad boy packed a whopping 4 megapixels back in the day, and usable ISO before anything got too grainy was around 100-200. By ISO 400, noise was already very apparent. Nonetheless, when I take a look at some of the images taken by this camera, they seem a lot better than the 10/12 megapixel cameras that are mass produced nowadays for compact digital cameras.

Andrew Kuo/Staff

Grand Teton National Park, 2007.  f/7.1, ISO 50, 1/400 sec

This was taken aboard a ferry going from one part of the lake to another on one of my family’s epic long road trip vacations. To be honest, its so long ago, I can hardly remember where I was going and or even for what purpose, but when I look back at this photograph I’m just stunned at the grandeur that lay before me – this world is crazy beautiful – it’s hard to imagine that it could have been an accident.

Andrew Kuo/Staff

Yellowstone National Park, 2007. f/7.1, ISO 50, 1/800 sec

This one is also taken on the same road trip, and I’m especially proud of this photograph. A technique I really love using with point and shoots is to hold them very close relative to the ground to get a really low perspective of the world. This is something you can’t really do easily with a DSLR, nor would you often want to risk it either. In this case, I was dangling my point and shoot camera just under the railing and inches above the hot geyser to take this picture. Incidentally, the light reflected off the surface to give the algae bloom a great orange-yellowish color that wouldn’t have been noticeable if you looked at the geyser from above.

Andrew Kuo/Staff

Banff National Park, Glacier, 2007. f/7.1, ISO 50, 1/800 sec

This one’s another from the same trip, but now we’re in Canada. After a relatively short two hour hike, my father, brother, and I arrived at the very base of this glacier. If global warming has accelerated since then, this glacier is probably a lot smaller or maybe even nonexistent nowadays. Just thinking back to this hike, the glacier is huge. It’s intensely awe inspiring and humbling at the same time… Anyways nowadays, I always carry a DSLR with me on my hikes, but having a point and shoot back then was truly a blessing – and the pictures come out great just as well!

Andrew Kuo/Staff

San Francisco, 2007.  f/4.9, ISO 50, 15 sec

This last image is a bit of a freak accident, and I don’t even really remember the circumstances in how I took this. If I remember correctly, it was on the other side of the bridge in the parking lot facing the Golden Gate and The City. I must have placed my PowerShot on the railing and let it auto-expose, possibly accidentally shifting the camera halfway in between the exposure. Whatever happened, this is one of my favorite images of The City that I have taken in my years as a photographer.

Hopefully by now, you’ve seen what a little point and shoot can do – and if you are an aspiring photographer, don’t be let down by your equipment. The most important thing, is to simply go out there and shoot – experiment – fail – try again – and sometimes end up with a keeper that you didn’t even expect ~


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