Why What Works (Luminous Landscape), a comment

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
amalric
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Re: Why What Works (Luminous Landscape), a comment
In reply to dgnelson, Jan 28, 2013

dgnelson wrote:

amalric wrote:

Heady questions aren't they? But these are the ones that must be asked by any photographer who wants to grow an understanding of their art and craft, and even of themselves. These are the questions that students and workshop attendees ask the most often, once they get beyond a fixation with the latest gear."

Interesting read, thanks for those links.

I'm still at the stage where I'd like to say that I've even made one brilliant image, or even a very good one.

I will say something about gear though. I enjoy looking at the mobile phone and apps groups on flickr. There's a lot of creativity there, it's like no one has told them the rules and you get some interesting images as a result. A lot of photos you see elsewhere are just a variation on what someone else has already done. Well, it is a bit difficult to come up with something original when every man and his dog has a camera.

But in defence of the gear heads, gear is important. Sure, a good photographer can photograph a wedding with his iPhone, it's been done. But in the end, gear shouldn't get in your way, it shouldn't be a hindrance to your art. I attended a guitar class some years ago, the instructor brought to our attention the need to have a good instrument, it makes it easier to make music, you don't have to fight the guitar. It's a similar story with photography. You need good gear. And besides, it gives us average photographers a way to look good.

Dan

Mine is not a case for originality, but for craftmanship, as Reichmann mentions too.

Gear fetishism is almost always a substitute for learning a skill. IMHO nothing is better than spending a year taking pictures every day.

*Then* the camera will become transparent, one will have the promptest reactions, and as a result one will start to *see* opportunities, where there was nothing before, but just dull ordinary life.

Any camera will do then, even the simplest one. Leica is a very simple affair if you think, compared to those Towers of Babel that are modern dSLR.

If you think the case is not very different for a pen and a pencil: everybody uses them but very few can write prose or draw. Not that it is needed, but if it happens, it can be a significant gift to others.

Finally when I hear people happily discussing thousands worth of equipment with nothing else to show than test shots, then I think that investing a few hundreds in a course, would do them much better than any new camera.

Discussing what can be taught, organising principles, in such a fleeting art or craft, is not useless I find, and can even be v. refreshing. I always remind fondly HCB describing is hunting techniques. It can be great fun.

m4/3 is where it is at, because it is the 'always with you camera', a great help to hone one's skills.

Am.

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