I just got a copy of a photo book about Yellowstone. Given that in two weeks I’ll be on vacation there, I needed some reading material to get familiar with the things I need to see. One thing that was nice is that the fellow who wrote the book has the vast majority of images taken on Minolta equipment. Many photos were exposed using the venerable old 70-210 f/4 Beercan. I did feel a bit bad about hawking that lens earlier in the year to pay for the 70-400 G. On the one hand, the Tamron 70-200 seems to beat it in so many ways. But the beercan had some strange influx of color, blur, and contrast that under certain conditions produce an image of such vivid depth that it’s hard NOT to lug it around. One photo of red Indian paintbrush against a lush green background is such a trademark beercan quality image that I had to smile to myself.
I hope I can produce images of one hundredth of the quality that this guy has produced for his book. Granted, he’s been doing it a lot longer than I have, so that’s a given. In The Hot Shoe Diaries, Joe McNally talks about how a guy told him exactly how he produces a certain kind of shot, full well knowing that Joe, a wet-behind-the-ears kid at the time, wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I’m feeling a bit of the same way, and I’m looking forward to the happy accidents that will come from vacation.