Nikon D40

I had a retail impulse and went for the Nikon D40. A strange choice, as this camera was not in any of the shortlists, but, in hindsight, it makes sense. I do not want whatever piece of kit I buy for my photography work to end up like my video camera, having not seen the day of light for about 3 years now. And when I bought it, I went as top of the range I could. What for? So, with the D40, I bought time to test my commitment to digital photography. It is the right machine for that, lightweight and entry level, so I have no excuses to take it out everywhere.

The pixel ration is not great, but I want to see how the enlargements work. After all, the most successful images in my last show were the small framed ones… My PhD submission will be an A4 book of images (with a twist, of course) so 6.1 is OK for the time being, saving me thus far about £300 which will get put into my next camera fund.

I have had it two days and have taken a fair amount of images with it already, most of which are far better than those obtained with my point-and-shoot. This is really a camera for dummies, so all I have to do is think about the picture. It is a real pleasure. And a light one, assuaging my biggest fear. What a delight not to have live view, either. Looking through a view finder changes your relationship to the image, as Serge Tisseron pointed out. It helps to conceptualise the world and understand it, rather than just represent it. Almost a mystical experience, one I knew about from using the blind Mamiya.

Here’s my first self-portrait, à la Friedlander. Bonus point to anyone who can guess what the background is.