Importance of gear ...

Started Mar 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
Richard Weisgrau Veteran Member • Posts: 3,530
Re: Importance of gear ...

deednets wrote:

Richard Weisgrau wrote:

My favorite photographer for th past 5 decades has beenCartier Bresson. He used Leica M3 and carried 35mm, 50mm, and 90mm lenses with the 50mm on the camera almost always. I had the privilege to meet him in the late 60s. I asked him what percentage of his photographs were made with the 50mm lens. His answer was 95%.

Gear matters, but it is far from the decisive factor in capturing the decisive moment. In the 60s when I shot editorial work I carried a Leica M2 with 35mm and 20mm lenses and 2 Nikon F bodies with 50mm, 105mm, and 200mm lenses. By the mid 70s when I was doing corporate I had 4 Nikon f bodies, 2 motor drives, and as many as ten lenses. Honestly, I did not make better photos than I did in the 60s.

Today I shoot with a Lumix G6 and four lenses with the 14-42 on the camera most of time. Gear matters but the photo matters more and having gear does not mean the photos will be better.

Interesting read, thanks for that! I agree that the photo matters more, but isn't it like saying that when a guitarist does a concert it is the melody that counts and maybe his technique and not so much his Martin guitar (or his Ovation etc).

Certainly fine equipment provides an advantage, but talent surpasses that advantage. Hoping not to offend anyone, I have seen many AWFUL images on this site taken with the best equipment on the market. Gear is a factor. It is just not the decisive factor.

One aspect as to what I meant was the interaction between the subject/model and yourself. Would you think that the chemistry is the same regardless of whether you show up with an M2 or a Lumix G6? You feel the same? The model?

I did it today. I shot a book author for the book jacket and PR with my G6. Her comment: "I never heard of Lumix. It's so small. Maybe I will get one."

So if this guitarist had a choice, what would he chose? I once watched a show on German TV where Karl Lagerfeld took a photo of a woman from the audience with her P&S and there was this WOW an original Karl Lagerfeld photo, he does photography professionally.

It is not a perfect world.

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Richard Weisgrau
Author of:
The Real Business of Photography
The Photographers Guide to Negotiating
Licensing Photography
Selling Your Photography

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