Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Does a better camera make you a better photographer?

You’re searching for the outstanding pictures. And in order to get these (you may think) you just need that perfect camera. Is this new camera really going to change you as a photographer?  There seems to be a mentality of “If only I had that camera …then I would photograph the way I want to.”  Especially when you hear demeaning comments about your gear from some other photographers (that they can’t understand how someone can use this awful brand or your lenses aren’t sharp enough, etc.)
You can easily get trapped into thinking that your equipment (your camera, lens, tripod…) is directly linked to your photography.

It may be hard to believe, but the equipment isn’t everything.

The best camera won’t replace the time of practicing. A camera won’t give you a creative photographical vision or style. And despite what some manufacturers claim, the newest camera won’t make you a modern Ansel Adams. By the way it’s difficult to explain why after so many years of improvements of cameras and lens sharpness no one has been able to reproduce what Ansel Adams has done in the 1930s. A lot of the gear available today is better than the gear Ansel Adams used in his careers. Do you remember that he didn't even have Photoshop? (you understand it’s a joke).

How necessary is your equipment? There are many photographers that take photographs with the exact same cameras and get different results. Why? Well, it’s because the camera does not make the photography like the piano doesn’t make the musician, the pen doesn’t make the writer, the brush doesn’t make a painter…  Your camera is really just a tool that assists you in accomplishing a task. As a photographer, your task is to capture emotions or a moment. Your camera helps you but it won’t accomplish the task for you. A camera can’t take (and especially – make) photographs without a photographer.
If you want to reach a new level of photography, you may think about stopping the search of a new camera.

“It is the photographer, not the camera that makes a good photograph”. The phrase was repeated so often that has become a cliché, but it’s true.
Start watching the great photographs. Read photo books, listen podcasts with good tutorials.
However, a modern camera will make it easier to create the image you’re dreaming of because better cameras do help to produce sharper, clearer images, that is to say new cameras can produce technically better images but they won't make you a perfect photographer.
But let me remind Ansel Adams’ words:  “there’s nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” Meaning, don’t focus on equipment so much that you forget about creativity and your vision. A good camera can only enhance what is already inside of you.

Find the best camera that you can and get to work on becoming a better photographer.
And if you’ve done all of this and you aren’t still satisfied…
Then it just might be the time to start searching for that new, perfect camera that is going to solve all of your photographical problems.

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