November 12, 2010

I’m often asked by people, “I want to photograph landscape photographs, but what camera should I buy?” or “should I buy Canon or Nikon?” Yes it can depend on what type of photography you want to do, portraits, landscape, sport etc etc, but broadly speaking I strongly believe it’s not about what camera or equipment you use. Yes equipment is important, but the best camera in the world is only as good as the person operating it. These days new versions and models of cameras, sensors and lenses are constantly being released. I think it’s easy to fall victim to marketing hype and feel unhappy with the camera you have, as something better is always being released or just around the corner. In my view, it doesn’t matter. Use what you have. Cameras record what YOU choose to put in front of them. It’s the getting out there in the first place and then the skills of YOU the photographer in choosing composition, lighting and capturing an emotion that makes a good photograph. Get those things correct and it doesn’t matter what camera you’re using.

Great photographs are often the result of choices made by the person pressing the shutter, not the camera itself. To make these choices you need a thorough technical understanding of how to exploit the full capabilities of whatever camera you have and how it will capture the scene. Combine this with great composition skills and an eye to see or imagine the scene before you and you are well on your way to taking great photographs. The key is not to focus on the camera you are shooting with, but HOW you see a scene and choose to capture it. There are plenty of photographs out there that were captured with cheap point and shoot cameras that are still great photographs simply because they make an impact, convey a strong emotion or really make you think.

So don’t be put off by the quality of your equipment or how new it is. Stress less — if you don’t have the best camera on the market don’t worry. What’s more important is the skills, talent and persistence of you as the person behind the lens that will make more impact on getting great shots. Focus on understanding your camera, whatever it is, and never stop trying to learn and develop your ability to see. You’ll then be able to capture great photos no matter what camera you have.

So get out there, take photographs with what you have, and enjoy the experience and the results. You’ll be amazed at what can be achieved — I’ve seen some simply brilliant photographs taken with nothing more than an early generation iPhone camera.

Scott.


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