Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cameras Are Not Important In Photography (But Something Does Matter)

Gas Station Sunset - Ehrenburg, Arizona
Captured with a camera most would consider inferior.
I just looked at the top 10 most viewed posts on this Blog over the last 24 hours. Every last one is about equipment, and nine of the ten are about cameras specifically.

I'm not surprised. Look at the right side of this page under Popular Posts. The top 10 most viewed posts of all time on this Blog are about equipment, and nine of the ten are about cameras (at least at the time that I type this). People want new cameras.

People come to this Blog to read my opinions and observations on cameras. Yet I keep saying over and over that cameras are not important. Photography is 99% vision, and 1% equipment. So why worry about the 1% and ignore the 99%?
Adversity - Palmdale, California
Captured with a camera most would consider inferior.
A great pianist can play a masterpiece on any piano. A great painter can create a masterpiece with any ol' canvas, paint and brushes. A great photographer can capture a masterpiece with any camera.

Camera manufacturers and camera retailers (and the magazines that are paid to advertise) are really good at creating camera envy. They make you think that you need the latest and greatest equipment, and if you don't have it you are somehow inferior.
Artificial - Tehachapi, California
Captured with a camera most would consider inferior.
The fact is that any camera is a capable tool in the hands of a skilled photographer. A cell phone. A cheap, plastic Chinese camera. A home made camera. It doesn't matter. The photographer is what matters, not the equipment.
"The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." --Ansel Adams
So what matters most in photography? Vision, making art, being creative, the decisive moment, and things like that. Worry about creating the photographs that you want to create, and not about equipment. Spend your time thinking about the images that you hope to capture and not about the cameras that you hope to capture them with.

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