Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Important vs. Unimportant - What You Should And Shouldn't Worry About In Photography

Pathway To The Soul - Tehachapi, California
In photography, there is a whole lot that you could worry about. There are a lot of things that can grab your time and attention. But what should you really be worrying about? Where should your time and attention be focused?

A post of mine has gained some attention, and is one of the most viewed posts on this Blog, despite being only three months old. In the post I give a very quick comparison of three nearly identical cameras, and give a recommendation about which one is better and which one is a better value. I then conclude with, "You'll be happy with whatever that choice is."
Inside The Broken - Tehachapi, California
The truth is that it makes absolutely no difference which camera brand you use. It makes no difference what model camera you buy. Any digital camera out there is capable of capturing great images if the photographer is capable. So why worry about the tiny differences between cameras?

With the three cameras compared in the post I mentioned, what do you think the most significant difference is? Answer: one has two memory card slots. Aside from price (one of the cameras is fairly cheaper), that is the most significant difference. Yet people will spend hours and much mental energy researching, trying to pick the one that's just a hair better.
My Heart or My Grave? - Tehachapi, California
Because one camera is a hair better, will that make any difference to the outcome of an image? No, absolutely not.

That is all a moot point, anyway, because cameras are devolving. No digital camera today can compete with the equipment Ansel Adams lugged around 75 years ago. People don't buy cameras today because of quality. People are much more interested in convenience than quality.
Through The Lens - Stallion Springs, California
So when someone is trying to decide between the Nikon D800 and the Canon 5D Mark III, they're really deciding between two sub-par "good enough" cameras. If those photographers were truly interested in image quality--if image quality was paramount--those two cameras would not even be considered.

But image quality isn't paramount. Have you ever heard anyone say a word about the quality of canvas, paints or brushes used to paint a masterpiece? I never have. The image on the canvas is what the viewer cares about, not the quality of materials used to create it.
Gathering Cherry Pollen #2 - Stallion Springs, California
No one cares what camera or lens or software was used to create a photograph. The viewer only cares about the image itself, specifically what it speaks to them or how it strikes them. Equipment is unimportant to the viewer, so it should also be unimportant to the creator.

And that brings me to what is important in photography: creating art. Anyone can snap pictures, but it takes an artist to create something meaningful with an exposure. In order to create art, one must have photographic vision. You have to know what you are creating in order to create it.
Country Elk - Stallion Springs, California
Great photographs are never created with great equipment. Great photographs are created by great photographers. Renown photographer Chase Jarvis proved with his Best Camera project that any camera is capable of creating great art in the hands of a skilled photographer. It is never about the camera. The mind and heart of the photographer is what matters most.

If people would spend the time and energy that they spend researching equipment and instead put that effort into figuring out what they want to create and how to create it, they'd be much better photographers. Don't waste your time and energy with the unimportant things. Focus on what is important, and you'll be amazed at what you can create.

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