I used to love photography.
I shot way too many frames, made just as many mistakes and I couldn’t care what anybody thoughts of my images. I thought they were fantastic and I was loving the experience of being out in the field with my camera.
An image from many years ago with my Nikon D50. I loved it!
The more I shot the more I learned. The more I learned the more I shot and the cycle continued. I was loving it!
During this time I never, not once, worried about what camera I was using. I didn’t worry about what brand of camera I had in my hand or that there were better models out there.
Then I started reading online forums and review sites and this all changed.
Suddenly my camera wasn’t good enough anymore.
Suddenly, based on what all these online ‘experts’ were saying, other people’s images were better than mine because they had better cameras.
Suddenly I was thinking that I would enjoy photography so much and create much better images if I could only get one of… the new cameras.
Now let me tell you from experience – it does not work like that.
A new camera does not mean better images or more photographic enjoyment.
It does however start you down a dangerous road of gear whoring and a never ending need to always have the best equipment. Not to create better image, but to have the best equipment.
I’ve seen it again and again.
A photographer gets really into their photography and starts growing as an artist. Produces great images. They then get caught up in the whirlpool of online forums and upgrade their camera. Then a little while later they upgrade again. And possibly again. The problem however is that when you look back at their work, both from a technical and artistic point of view, you can almost not see a difference regardless of what camera they were using but hey… they have the best gear on the market!
Believe me it’s a slippery slope and one that tempts every single photographer out there.
So many of the Canon fanboys and Nikon groupies focus so much on the camera they have, or want to have, in their hands that they forget to focus on the basics of what makes photography fun. And let’s be honest, the continuous brand banter gets seriously annoying, boring and pointless after a while.
I am in the lucky position to have access to some amazing photographic equipment from various brands.
Yeah for sure but recently I found myself being, let’s call it, disappointed that I could not take a high end, pro camera with me on a trip.
Because damnit I have to have that particular camera in order to produce great image.
It does – not – work – like – that.
Trying to keep up with the marketing companies, online forums and brand ‘ambassadors’ is a bad idea. It’s going to keep your focus on specs rather than composition. On gear rather than the craft. If you think that your images are better because of your new camera – you’re wrong.
With so many people sharing images online why should we worry about what camera we are using?
The best thing you can do for your own photography is this…
Be happy with the equipment you have, focus on the basics of photography and get back to enjoying the reason you picked up a camera in the first place. It wasn’t about the camera but about the need to create something, to capture a moment!
I’m looking forward to getting back out in the field for some personal photography time.
Regardless of what camera I have with me because… I still love photography!
Until next time.
Gerry van der Walt
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