Stabilised lenses (VR in the case of the Nikon system that I use) are a fantastic innovation that has allowed me to take photos in circumstances that would be impossible with a normal lenses. However, I learnt an important (but cringingly obvious) lesson the other night – by and large, they work best when the stabilisation is switched ‘on’.
I’d switched the stabilisation off as I was using the lens on a tripod (necessary as any vibrations transmitted through the tripod can confuse the system), and then swapped lenses. I then swapped back, forgot the stabilisation was off and began snapping away. D’oh! And then I got home and wondered why some of the shots were blurred……….
This got me thinking. With the rate of innovation we are seeing in cameras now, are we beginning to use technology as a crutch? OK, so I simply forgot that I’d switched the stabilisation off, but as I normally have it on at all times, I’ve got so used to be able to do previously impossible things that I take it for granted that things will work without me thinking about it. This is a godsend in some respects, as I can concentrate on what is important to me (composition, catching the moment, etc). I don’t strive for technical perfection, I delegate much of that to the camera, I strive to make an interesting image.
The only usable one of the sequence of shots that I took, and it’s probably the worst. It is reasonably sharp, but sharpness does not make an image!