So what’s the tip for you to become a successful….
Wildlife photographer ?
ANS: Head out with a Canon 1Ds Mark IV + 600 F4 L IS or a Nikon D3s + 600 F4 VR to the pristine forests across the globe!
Portrait photographer ?
ANS: Pick up the fastest and the most expensive lens like Canon 85 F1.2 or Canon/Nikon 24-70 F2.8 or the Best of the class lighting equipment!
Landscape photographer ?
ANS: You must have a Canon 5D Mark II Coupled with a Nikon 14-24mm lens or a Canon 16-35 F2.8 and throw in some Singhray/Lee/B&W Filters!
Is that really the case? Will you be able to become the best and make best images if you have one or all of the above equipment? Every alternate day photographers get bombarded with questions from budding and amateur photog aspirants on what’s the best equipment that they should next purchase or what’s the equipment that they should pick up to get photos like pro. A list of must have equipments from the Pro’s and couple of “high money no output workshops” and few weeks down the line its back to square one – “My photos are not as good as the one you took or My camera is not able to take good photos I think I need to upgrade my camera/lens or I think I need to upgrade to Photoshop CS5 from Photoshop CS4 as the content-aware-fill will help me remove the clutter in the photo and make it better”.
But why all these confusions and why all these dejections? Is camera the end of your learning to take good photographs? Is it the camera that makes the image or the person who is behind the viewfinder? Each passing day Camera companies come up with new technologies and better image making equipment which makes the purchases done on the previous day look stale. But does that really mean me catching up with technology and making sure I have all the equipment which is best and latest in class will ALWAYS yield me BEST results? As a Professional photographer there is always a commitment towards client to give what could potentially be termed as your best when it comes to assignment oriented shots and that does definitely require the top of the notch equipment. But as a beginner or novice or amateur why can’t people understand they need to enjoy the craft of making images and enjoy seeing and learning through the viewfinder instead of running behind megapixel race.
Each and every one of us who takes up this hobby seriously goes through a cycle of starting off low and hitting high when it comes to equipment purchase and later at the end of the day realizing that it’s their lower brand equipment which took better images.
Photography just like Philately or Coin collection is a hobby which includes inclusion of newer and newer things each and every day into the kitty but unlike the other two it won’t give u enough satisfaction until and unless you go out and start making meaningful Images.
Today morning one of my friends in a social networking site shared this link and I find that each and every one of us photographers gets assaulted with such questions on techniques and cameras and accessories than not worrying about the actual image.
If it was as simple as imitating the settings what Steve McCurry to take Afghan Gal portrait or me buying all the equipment that Steve Winter used to shoot the magical Snow leopard images – would I be able to match or come anywhere close to what they got?
Gear is definitely good thing to have but it shouldn’t stop you from expressing your vision. A small point and shoot camera lying in your drawer can make some nice images, your day2day using mobile phone with a basic 3.2MP camera can take some lovely images, a cheap (cost wise) 50mm F1.8 lens from Canon or Nikon can get you images which you can’t dream of in the expensive glasses. Go out there into the field and shoot with what you have in your kitty and try to build the vision than to make the wallet size shrink but later crib that you are still not getting a good image. As Chase Javris puts “Best cam is the one with you” and to put it back in David Duchemins words “Gear is good but Vision is better”.
If you can’t express your vision and if you can’t express your identity and signature using what you have even the best of the glass can’t get you enough smiles! Photography is an art and what you need to do is go out and shoot and make some memorable images and create some history as each shutter that you trip is a part of the past.
Be INSPIRED but not INFLUENCED!