Thursday, June 11, 2009

Really Nice People

I once responded to a comment in a BYU facebook group on racisim while doing research for a Multi-Cultural Education Class back in 2006 and got a very troll-ish reply. The question was, "Do you think that racism exists on BYU's campus?" and I responded with a couple personal examples of how I thought it did. I was then told by a male student that I needed to get the @$#% back to California with a lot of other unkind words. After becoming very upset, I kind of mentally vowed to never involve myself in any online conversations with strangers. It was stupid, I may have set myself up for it, but it was my first real encounter with internet trolls and I think I was left a little scarred.

Since the introduction of blogging, I've started warming myself up again to online communications with unknown persons. It's mostly been limited to women who write about fashion, art, or home decor, all very safe avenues for expression. Before I registered for my photography class, I had a lot of questions, with no one to really ask for help. So, with a little confidence gained, I turned to the blogging world. Reluctantly, I emailed both Leo Patrone and Jonathan Canlas, both amazing photographers that I follow online, for some suggestions. I was honestly really scared because of that one facebook incident and was kind of expecting a "what the #$%! are you asking me about this for? This isn't free advice!" I was pleasantly proved wrong. I want to share their really nice responses with you below.

This from Jonathan:
"Hey! Thanks for the email and kind words. As far as DSLR's, I can't help you in that area AT ALL. I don't own a digital camera or any sort besides the camera on my phone :). However, if you are in the market for a starter film camera, there are a couple cameras that are absolutely amazing and insanely cheap. Canon AE-1 Nikon F100 Pentax KX I buy 99% of my gear from a place online called And I usually buy everything in Bargain condition. The over rate their gear and it always arrives in better condition than they say it is. Basically mint in my opinion. All of these cameras should be $200 or less. Basically, you need a camera that will let you shoot in manual mode and you want lenses that are at least 2.8 or faster (f/2 or even f/1.4). I am going to be announcing pretty soon here my next workshop which will be in UT. It is going to be Oct 5-7 out in Heber/Park City area at a private residence. I'll be making the official announcement soon after I get some revamping of the website etc done. Don't know if this helps but... Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!"

And this from Leo:

"Hi Melinda,

If you want to get into photography I would recommend learning the basics with a film camera. There are lots great used film cameras out there. I would recommend getting a Nikon F100, a Canon AE1 Program or any camera of that kind. I don't know of any classes you could take, but I know Jonathan will be teaching a workshop here in Utah in October if you are interested in learning the basics and beyond.
I hope this was helpful, good luck finding the right camera and medium for you! :)"

Super nice! And I think that it's really unselfish of them to willing share so much info. I guess I always viewed the art world as being an elitist, cut-throat competitive place where no one shared their secrets or let anyone in, but these men kindly redefined that for me. I am really grateful for nice people.


holtkamp said...

BYU is so wierd. i'm glad i don't go there anymore (that doesn't count the MTC though)

ellen said...

Those two are amazing photographers (I love their blogs). How nice of them to respond to your questions. :)