Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Realize What Is Important In Photography

This last weekend I published two important posts on the Roesch Photography Blog. The reason that they're important couldn't be further apart.

On Saturday I published Less Is More In Photography. I explained that "more" never equates to improvement or happiness, yet "less" often does. I specifically talked about images, gear and web-surfing, and that less is indeed more when it comes to those things. It is one of the best posts published here.

On Sunday I published my review of the Nikon D3300 DSLR camera. Give it a year and it will likely be one of the top 10 most popular posts on this blog.

Turning Leaf - Stallion Springs, California
If I had my way, Less Is More would be a top-viewed post. But it never will be. It will get ignored. Not many will read it. Sure, it will get the standard "minimum" page views (based on how many regular readers I have), but it will never go beyond that. Regular readers are rewarded, while everyone else will be oblivious to the post's existence. 

Any post about equipment, on the other hand, will generate all sorts of traffic. People come to the Roesch Photography Blog (often via Google searches) to read my thoughts and opinions on cameras and lenses and other gear. A camera review post will easily get 10 times the page views as other posts, if not 20 or 30 times more page views.

All of this is to say that most people have this whole photography thing completely backwards. People will spend all sorts of time, energy and money worrying about whether or not they have the right gear, but will spend almost no time, energy and money worrying about how to do something meaningful with their gear.

Ansel Adams said, "The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." What matters in photography is what is in the photographer's mind and heart. Vision, creativity and the decisive moment matter. Cameras and lenses don't matter.

Either you can create great photographs or you cannot. If you can create great photographs, you will do so no matter the equipment that is in your hands. If you cannot create great photographs, you will not be able to do so no matter the equipment that is in your hands.

A great pianist can play a masterpiece on any piano. A great painter can create a masterpiece on any canvas. If you are truly an artist, it doesn't matter if you have cheap or high-end tools, you'll create something wonderful no matter what.

The opposite is also true. If you cannot play the piano, it doesn't matter how great the piano is, the sound isn't going to be good. If you are not a painter, it doesn't matter how great the canvas, brushes and paint are, you won't be able to create anything worth looking at. This is because those things aren't what is important. What matters is what's inside the artist, and his or her ability to put that into the art.

Worry more about what makes a great photograph great. Worry less about cameras and lenses. 

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