a friend asked me to take photos of her wedding. she had hired a real photographer to take outdoor and studio pictures, but wanted some taken during the service as well. it was a casual job, nothing fancy. in fact, she offered me a loan of her ps digital camera for the job. i told her i'd use both her digital and my canon slr, because i want to try a hand at wedding photography.
no matter how casual the assignment is, i can't help feeling nervous. the wedding will be in november but i've started browsing for tips and techniques, and started an ever-lengthening list of equipment to buy. a decent flash, check. a longer zoom lens, check. a shutter release remote control, check. a foldable reflector, check. a soft-focus filter, check. an ND graduated filter... the list just kept growing.
well, it'll nice to get everything, but i'm going to get back to her for more information about the time and venue so i can be more selective in getting additional equipment. nevertheless, the zoom lens, a sigma 28-300 mm, and the flash, a 420EX, are indisposable. they'll cost 900 sg dollars though, and an extra 350 if i want the more powerful 550EX.
the thing about photography is, money matters. it's not like being, say, a watercolor painter, where skills matter a lot more than materials. not that i'm saying photography does not require skills; quite the opposite. though with the advent of affordable digital SLRs one observes a boom of newbie photographers who get plenty of decent pictures via trial and error rather than technical skills. one can compare the difference between learning the violin versus the harmonica as an analogy. to play the violin some basic training is needed before one can pick out a tune. the harmonica, on the other hand, allows anyone with minimal knowledge of music to start playing almost instantly. both are equally hard to play well, though.
i use a film camera. before i start shooting i've done my homework with the basics of lighting, exposure and composition. but still i need dozens, if not hundreds, of them in order to develop the necessary skills, as what every photographer worth his salt would suggest. and since i join online forums, it irks me when people pick on dust specks and other artefacts even after i've explained that i use negative film and scan the print at home. they just don't understand the inefficiency of the process since they can shoot hundreds of film, select the ones they like, delete the rest, and post the best ones on the forum.