Video: Remember that your gear is more advanced than Ansel Adams'
"Every famous photograph was made with a camera less advanced than the one you are using now." This paraphrased quote is the inspiration behind The Art of Photography’s latest YouTube video titled "Your camera is better than Ansel’s." In the ten-minute video, Ted Forbes breaks down his thoughts on the idea that, instead of taking an introspective approach to our photography work, we tend to blame the gear and use that as an excuse to our shortcomings as artists.
How often do you hear the phrase "I don’t have the right lens to get the shallow depth of field I want" or "I don’t have this camera body that shoots 15 frames per second." These laments aren’t uncommon among photographers, but according to Forbes, they miss the point.
Sure, it’s fun to gawk over the latest and greatest gear, but it’s by no means necessary in order to create fantastic artwork—this morning's Behind the Scenes article by Michael Benanav should more than prove that point. As Forbes elaborates throughout the video, gear is little more than a tool to create the artwork we’ve envisioned in our head—a means to an end.
Forbes summarizes this concept in the video’s description:
The truth is that important work… work that matters… doesn't have anything to do with the technology we have access to. It has everything to do with what we have to say and communicate visually. Photography is an act of speaking.
It’d be an oversight to say there’s never a time when you need new gear. After all, it’s almost impossible to properly photograph a deer a few hundred yards away without a 400mm lens. But it’s something to think about when considering new equipment. Is that new camera actually necessary to produce the results you desire? Or is the gear you're lusting over little more than a crutch that will help you avoid addressing your lack of a vision or direction?
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