I am often asked when photographing at weddings or on location what camera platform is better? The conversation usually starts like this
Wedding Guest: "Hey that's a sweet camera, I bet it takes awesome pictures"
Wedding Guest: I heard Canon is the best right?
Here is a photograph taken by my wife Ilana in the year 2000 after our bus to India crashed in a Nepali river.
Your camera is a tool
My Canon Manifesto
In 1999 my Girlfriend Ilana and I decided that when I finished UCLA we set out on an adventure around the world. We purchased around the world plane tickets shortly thereafter. It was an exciting time in our lives freshly out of college with very few responsibilities or obligations other than to each other.
As a budding photographer you can imagine how excited I was to be photographing some of the most exotic parts of the world I had only seen on tv, or read about in magazines.
I stretched and saved to add gear to my camera arsenal in the months leading up to our journey. At that point in my live I had been a dedicated user of Minolta Cameras, as that was what I had originally inherited from my father when I was in Jr. High school.
The trip was unbelievable, and I was photographing everything that interested me throughout China and into Nepal. That is until our luck changed. After spending a week on Safari in the Chitwan National park in southern Nepal, Ilana and I decided to hop a local bus towards India with our goal to reach the city of Varanasi. We were told in broken English that we should expect to spend approximately 17-20 hours between 2- 3 busses to make the journey.
The Monsoon Begins In The Mountains
The first leg of our adventure proved the most difficult. An old man I met a few days before in Nepal had mentioned that the monsoon was about to begin, and people would soon end their holidays and return to work. Our bus ride out of Nepal was utterly spectacular as we wove in and out the Himalayan mountains.
The awesome stopped as our bus driver decided it would be a good idea to forge a path through a flowing river instead of waiting for a long line of trucks at a nearby bridge.
It seemed sketchy at best as our driver navigated our bus through the water. We were no more than 40 feet from making dry land when sketch turned to pure fear. Reality shifted into slow motion as our bus started to tip to one side. I'll never forget looking over my shoulder as the bus flipped and seeing the look on the other passengers faces as they slid off their seats and fell over the center aisle onto their neighboring riders.
You can easily imagine since I'm writing this Ilana and I survived, however my camera was not happy about taking a swim in a silty river. So where does this leave a budding photographer on his first trip to India?
Pawn Stars Bollywood
So when confronted with the question to make, or not make photographs while in India, I chose to find the cheapest decent camera I could afford. The pawn shop was dark and smelled of stale curry. I entered through a door made of strings of beads hanging from the ceiling. The offerings were stark in the camera department. A couple plastic up russian cameras with cyrillic writing on the knobs and dials, and a Canon Eos 50.