The advent of digital photography had made the job of dental imaging so much simpler. The same can be said for photography in general. The pathways to creativity have never been so widely accessible, and this is due in no small part to the greatly expanded architecture of imaging devices. Along with the incredible quality of digital SLR cameras and lenses (and I'm a long-time Canon devotee) there are so many other great devices that produce amazing results while being easy to use and very affordable, such as compact point-and-shoots, digital rangefinders, and new mirrorless cameras. Oh, and smartphones. I confess to being a devoted user of my iPhone. The 5s has an incredible camera.
I recently returned from an engagement in San Diego, one of my favorite places to visit. I was able to spend a few days sightseeing and looking up old friends. I usually walked about with only my iPhone, but was able to see and capture some really beautiful images.
The really great thing about using the iPhone was that I could manipulate the photos right on the spot -- I use some terrific photography apps -- and even send them right out to my friends to see via email or messaging (you know, so I could gloat over my good fortune and lovely weather with my siblings who live in cold climates!)
The two images above -- the egret and the pink clematis -- were both made on the iPhone. I did, however, take my Canon 7D with me when I could, as I still love the incredible pixel-depth and lens selection this camera provides me. The photo on the left is of the stairway in the Cabrillo lighthouse, and was made with that camera and the 10-22mm wide-angle lens.
In the clinic, yes, the appropriate tool is the digital SLR with a macro lens and ring flash. The requirements for that kind of imaging are very precise.
But when you want to pay attention to that creative voice inside you? I can only defer to the great Steve Jobs, who, when asked what in his opinion was the best camera, answered "the one you have with you".
So here's a simple challenge for you: go somewhere, anywhere; near your home or someplace far away. Just stop, look around, and find something beautiful right there to photograph. You'd be amazed how easy that is.
Just have a camera with you.