The Camera Matters.

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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Re: It's about process and learning
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 11 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

The main rationale for the oversimplification is that it's usually more effective for the photographer to upgrade themselves than to upgrade the gear. All cameras will have limits - part of the process of mastering the craft is to explore those limits and then learn how to work around them. It can be cheaper in the long run, because when you do upgrade, you know exactly why - as opposed to just spending money and hoping the problem will go away. You also have the framework for finding and dealing with the new limits.

The statement is not only untrue but destructive. Some people may offer advice on a camera that fits someone's needs and then recommend methods for working on one's skills, but to just say that any old camera will do could lead to someone simply owning a digital camera they will never use.

My discussion was not about better gear or worse gear, it was about the right gear, and in that sense I don't think there is much room for disagreement.  There are reasons people choose the gear they choose.  If it makes you feel warm and cozy, imagine only those people who have great talent and the fact that they are very deliberate in their choice of equipment.  Having the right gear in no way detracts from their skill, in fact it compliments it and allows them to fully realize it.  So now instead of "the camera doesn't matter" perhaps it would be more accurate to say "the right camera is the only one that matters."

To digress a bit why are you a photographer in the first place? A few are actual pros but many amateurs emulate the professional ethos of "have to get the shot." What is "the shot" and why do you have to get it?

The same reason you climb the mountain: because it's there. Because that is what I want to do. It is both the beginning and the end, the need and the want, inspiration and creation.

This is why many (even pros in their off-time) have embraced cell phone photography or even lomography. Precisely because the gear is limited and you will never get "the shot", the pressure is off and the photographer feels free to explore, to experiment, or even to play. You find there are often other shots. Of course, you can experiment/play even with the fanciest gear - you just have to fight the feeling that if nothing comes out that the effort (and money spent on the gear) was wasted when you know there are "the shots" out there you could have been getting instead.

Anyway, just an alternate POV on the issue.

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Erik

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