I want to take a little time to remind photographers and “would be” photographers about what’s most important in photography…the image. The final result of all of the work behind the camera.
Unfortunately photography is a hobby where people can get lost in the technical aspects of it and spend more time testing and critiquing their equipment than actually using it to do what it was intended for, the actual act of taking pictures. The online camera forums are filled and overflowing with “photographers” lamenting on how terrible their choice of camera was and how the camera company needs to come out with something better because what they have just can’t be used to take pictures. Now this is fine if you get paid to review cameras, otherwise…, it’s a waste of effort. Unless you really are only interested in the technical aspects of the equipment. But mostly it’s an excuse or a crutch, one that holds you back from expanding on your creativity.
Those that are lost in the specs and details of the camera, unfortunately lose out on the joy of photography and the ability to capture the world around them. To quote Chase Jarvis “the best camera is the one that you have with you” and he’s right. I’ve seen and taken some amazing pictures with my iPhone. I recently saw a gallery show where ten professional photographers shot only with the iPhone and the work was incredible. It was the style and content of the imagery that got your attention, the camera used was irrelevant (in fact, there’s no way to have known that they taken with an iPhone).
So the point is to have fun, shoot, experiment. Work on the image.
You don’t really need the latest and greatest model of camera out there to produce great pictures. If your camera does not have the ability to use a telephoto or a wide angle lens then get used to “seeing” from the point of view of the lens that is on your camera. But even then, we have a ‘built-in” zoom that we take everywhere – it’s called our feet, move around to determine the best angle of view for your subject. If you know your camera and your subject then you can get great pictures from a manual (no automation) fixed-lens film camera. Some of the world’s best photographers (Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Henri Cartier-Bresson to name a few) did just that and very few can duplicate their efforts, all because of their Creativity NOT their camera. Some of my best images were taken with a Hasselblad 500 CM, where all of the settings were manually set (including the focus, imagine that…).
Nothing that I’m saying is new or unheard of, in my opinion people just get caught up in the marketing and commercialism of photography (I’m guilty of it too, so I’m speaking from experience).
I’ve owned a lot of cameras over the years (most were used professionally) but none of them ever made me a better photographer – only I could do that.
So go and enjoy the act of seeing and creating that special image.
By the way the flower image shown above was shot with my iPhone. My profile pic on my Bio page was “shot” with my iMac (I’m holding a Nikon S2 Rangefinder).