In Stick's last weekly he interviewed Thailand's most adventurous photojournalist Nick Nostitz which I read with great interest.  I always find it fascinating to read how others think and feel about their work in a related field.

A few paragraphs jumped out as germane to this particular column and I thought I'd share them with the readers.

 

""As far as the photography goes, I understand you only recently moved to digital.  What prompted you to do that and how do you find it?  I  didn't really move to digital.  I use digital but I still love film.  When my Contax G2 broke in late August 2008 I had to buy a digital and for that subject matter digital is ideal.""

This answer is very well put.  I'd go so far as to say they reflect my own feelings.  Digital is ideal for a photojournalist, but if it were me I'd certainly send in my Contax G2 for a refurbishing.   Heck, I've got all my old Olympus OM gear refurbished and sitting in my "cabinet of fame" where I can touch and play with them once in a while.  Sometimes I even take pictures with them.. ;o)

 

"" Why?  It is fast.  When I shoot this sort of news on film, I have to get films developed, I have to scan the films and then I have to Photoshop each image for at least half an hour.  Digital I just put it in the computer, spend at most 10 minutes in Photoshop and save a lot of time and money.""

Very true!  Not only that, but many PJ's have rigged up devices so their images with voice comments are sent in real time as you cover an event.  Depending on what you're covering and who you work for, such requirements aren't unusual.

 

"" What sort of digital camera did you get?  I have used up two Canon EOS 450 bodies.  I bought them because they are the cheapest 12 megapixel camera available.  I cannot afford the proper professional models.  I bought a Sigma 18 - 55 lens 2.8 throughout because the quality is much better than the kit lens.  Then in the Songkran riots, early morning at Din Daeng just after the military attack, my camera broke and I was lucky that I found the only open store that day, which was only open for an hour or so and I got myself a replacement, another EOS 450, and continued straight away.  And 4 days ago that body broke as well and I bought a EOS 500D which I hope lasts a bit longer.  Unfortunately, I need the image quality of 12 or 15 megapixels but I can't afford a quality built professional camera.""

I've said over and over again in this column that a relatively inexpensive camera may be all you need and this illustrates that point very well.  The Canon EOS "Rebel" bodies are small for DSLRs, relatively fast handling, and very capable.  Their new T1i is quite the camera and even includes a excellent video mode.  I'm curious how an experienced PJ like Nick Nostitz will put that video to use?  Will he find it useful?  Will it change his style?  Will it lead to him carrying a more capable video camera as a matter of routine?  Perhaps we'll find out in his next interview.  It's also interesting how when working with an inexpensive body in a professional capacity that "rapid replacement" proves to be a real advantage.

 

" You've showed me some shots you have done over the years and they were great.  That I continue shooting in film because film has some very strong, I can blow up the prints much larger and speed is not the deciding factor which it is in covering the protests.  I also think the creative possibilities with film are better than with digital."

I suppose we could hash over both the enlargement and "creative possibilities" statements, when I first moved to digital after decades with film I felt much the same.  I'm very interested if he'll still hold the same views by the time his next interview comes about?

Great interview Stick!  A very interesting look into the working life of a successful photojournalist.  I enjoyed this very much.

 

Until next time..