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Seeing the photograph with a new camera

I recently upgraded my camera to a full frame sensor, so began an unexpected, exiting and scary journey. I need to learn how to see the photograph again.

In 2004, I began my digital photography journey with an HP Point and shoot, before that I was on film. However, my photography journey began when I was given a Minolta Pocket Autopak 450E Rangefinder for my 12th birthday and I began to snap away. Many years later I loaned my mother’s Nikkormat FTN SLR and finally bought my own Minolta Dynax 500si. The latter has auto-focus, TTL, automatic programmes  and a popup flash like modern DSLRs. You may ask what this has to do with “seeing the photograph”, my first DSLR was a Canon EOS 300D and mostly because I came from a digital point an shoot I did not notice the differences caused by the 1.6 crop sensor but I understood the camera’s technical aspect because I had an SLR cameras before. The switch to a crop sensor was seamless, besides at the time like many I shot mostly in automatic or program mode. It was 2004 and I shoot mostly wildlife. 

Fast forward to 2012, after a long line of 1.6 cropped sensor cameras I now have a full sensor camera and my photographic life has just got a little more interesting. I have difficulty seeing the photograph, the framing has changed dramatically. Over the past 8 years I have learned, to the point of becoming second nature, to frame with a cropped sensor. I knew that at 16mm, without looking through the viewfinder I would have a defined result. Sure over the past 8 years the technology helped me to get better photographs through better sensors, auto-focus, … But I had a constant the “frame” was the same. This has changed! And so I embark on a new photography journey where the unexpected is not my new standard, where I need to learn how to see the photograph trough the viewfinder again.

1.6 Crop vs. full sensors
1.6 Cropped sensor
Full frame sensor
Click on image to enlarge.
Camera: CANON EOS 7D
Focal length: 24 mm
Focal length: 24 mm

There are other noticeable differences, I originally thought these where limited to the Canon 5D MkIII and that I was fantasizing or dreaming but having used a MkII for a week this was dispelled. There is something else, colour rendition and depth of field feel different too. The whole photographic experience has changed, but I will address the technical aspect with examples in another post.

A stormy evening in Kimberley

There are very few things that leave me in wander, African sunsets are one of these rare occasions where I often forget to pickup my camera and just enjoy the moment. There is something dramatic about African sunsets before or after a storm I cannot explain, it just is what it is.

This photo was shot in the Kimberley in 2007.

A stormy evening in Kimberley by Pascal Parent (PascalParent) on

A stormy evening in Kimberley by Pascal Parent

Camera: CANON EOS 300D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm
2 photo panoramic

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Into the forest

Traveling South Africa is an adventure all of it’s own, our landscape are varied from the flats of the Cape to the mountains of the Drakensburg. But there seemingly is one constant, you are in Southern Africa, call it a dryness in the land. One thing that I never associated with South Africa was a lush canopy forest and yet Serenity forest is exactly that. A cool canopy forest where sunlight is rare and the air is filled with the forest smell. I was there for a short night and will return one day to have a walk in forest.

This photo was shot in the Serenity Forest Eco Reserve in 1995.

Into the forest by Pascal Parent on

Into the forest by Pascal Parent

Camera: CANON EOS 300D
Lens: Sigma 170-500 F5-6.3 APO DG

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