Monday, February 18, 2013

People Want New Cameras

The vast majority of people who visit this Blog do so looking for information about cameras and equipment. People want new cameras. People are shopping (even if just "window shopping"), and they want opinions.

Most who come to this Blog are not interested in becoming better photographers. Most do not want to know what it takes to craft great images. Most don't want to hear that equipment doesn't matter.
Backyard Feed - Palo Verde, Arizona
Captured using an old Canon T70 SLR that was a free gift from someone who didn't want it anymore. The film was Ilford Delta 400 that I found on sale for $2. Equipment isn't important.
I think that many people want to capture "good enough" photographs. I think that many want to impress their mom and maybe their friends, but don't want to (or don't know how to) take the next step to impress a critic. They will never push their own skill or creativity far enough to "wow" anyone, but they will have images that are good enough to fool the pedestrian viewer into believing that they have some talent.

These people believe that having the latest Nikon or Canon (or whatever) will improve their images.   You see, it is not the photographer creating the images, but the camera. And the more expensive the camera, the better. It's not about understanding what a great image is. It's about having the best auto-focus, or high-ISO noise control, or most megapixels, or sharpest lens.
Adversity - Palmdale, California
This image was created using a free cell phone!
Cameras and lenses are tools. A great tool can help the artist achieve their vision more easily. But the artist with vision can create their masterpiece no matter the tools in hand--they'll find a way to do so. Put a great set of tools in the hand of an amateur, and they'll craft nothing of significance, because it was never about the tools.

In other words, if you cannot create a great image now, you will not be able to do so no matter what camera you buy. You must learn first how to be an artist.
Three Agave - Goodyear, Arizona
Captured using a $20 Holga 120N.
These are words I wish someone had spoken to me many years ago. I wasted many years worrying about equipment and I spent very little time figuring out how to create great photographs. I'd be a much better photographer now if someone had said these words to me a decade or more ago.

Do not worry about what cameras or lenses you have or don't have. Use whatever it is that you do have. Push yourself to be more creative. Push your own unique voice into your images. Be an artist.

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