The Glamour of Capturing the Moment
By Sandy Choi
Being a policeman for two years, Lei started saving. But no matter how much he saves, he tries to spare a part of it for his own special fund, with which he uses to buy accessories like lenses and flashlights for his camera. Lei owns a Canon EOS 400D which costs him about $5,600 half a year ago for the kit set. “It costs about $4,000 to $10,000 for an extra lens for the camera,” Lei added.
But no matter how much the lenses cost, it does not deter Lei and his friends from buying them. Lei just started learning photography a year ago; he feels that the quality of a DSLR camera is much better than normal digital cameras which could help in capturing special moments, as DSLR cameras allow the setting of values for aperture ring, shutter, ISO etc. Lei has already spent about $20,000 on his camera and also its accessories. He has bought himself 3 lenses, 2 tripods, 1 moisture-proof box, 1 flashlight, the camera kit set and many other miscellaneous items. However what actually makes him so eager to become an amateur photographer? Lei said, “It is the satisfaction that the photos bring you…I never thought I could capture the flashy moment.”
Lei explains that he enjoys the process of preparing the equipments, arriving ahead oftime, finding a suitable location, setting the camera, waiting for the scene to happen and capturing the image as the “whole process of excitement”, he recalled his fireworks shooting last November. Lei said that he never thought he would devote himself into equipment purchases after his first kit set. He added, “I just meant to have a try on it…but I am just addicted to it now.”
Lei is now seriously considering photography as his amateur career. He thinks that he has to learn more on the techniques, history and theory of camera in order to proceed on his career as an amateur photographer. He is now planning to join a photography course with his friends so as to learn and give feedbacks to one another on their photos. Lei is only self-taught by reading photogra-phy books and magazines. Yet he thinks that he needs more inspiration to take good photos and has to know more about aperture ring, shutter, shadow, flash etc.
However Lei also thinks that the most important thing in photography is to have a heart in it. “For those who love photography, if you got the heart in photography yet without good cameras, you can still get better photos than those who got good cameras yet without the heart (in photography),” he said, concluding that it will be perfect if one has both strong passion and good equipment.
According to observation, more and more young people started to use DSLR cameras in these recent years. This may be due to the growth of Macau’s economy which has increased the locals’ disposable income. Moreover, the development of DSLR cameras has become more mature and it has substituted the use of traditional SLR cameras, and it has actually lowered the cost of photography as photos taken now are saved in memory cards instead of tradition film rolls. It has also cut back the cost of photography as we do not need to pay for film processing now, as we can finish the process of choosing photos, editing and printing with our own computers and printers at home.
Lei thinks that as the development of Macau happens so rapidly and instantaneously, it is significant for every Macau citizen to trace down the moment of Macau. “Photos help retaining people’s memories,” Lei added.