Today, my friends, I return to a topic very close to my heart: photography. Photography that we love, that we enjoy and that makes us happy.
I’m making my way back to the thorny topic of equipment and its association with producing a great image.
Now, before we get too deeply in let me say one thing: if you’re a professional photographer whose shots will go to print then I fully accept that clarity, focus and lighting all need to be spot on. But does anyone and everyone who has a penchant to snap away need to invest thousands in the latest state-of-the art camera?
And more to the point, will it make that him or her a better photographer? You can bet your bo-diddly that it won’t make any difference whatsoever. Well, it will possibly cause a few frustrated moments as they get to grips with their new almost certainly ‘over-spec’d-for-what-they-need’ device.
For me photography is and always will be an art. If you have a larger digital (or not) single lens reflex camera then you’ll need to understand a few basics, but after that? Let your imagine and creativity run wild! Because that’s what will make all the difference.
If I had a pound for every time I’d been asked on Twitter what type of camera I use … Well, I’d have enough to splurge in an over-the-top upgrade, most probably!
So, for the record, these are the cameras I use:
A secondhand Olympus E3 (favourite lenses are my 50mm and 14-54mm)
A newer Canon 550D
A Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 – a nice little point-and-shoot that I regret to say I use less and less these days in favour of …
My iPhone – without a doubt the one I use most, because? I’ve always got it with me.
This, for example, is one of my favourite photos of my boy Ben, taken around four years ago with said Lumix; I was lying on the floor as he was giggling away at a cartoon on TV (I liked it so much I had it put onto canvas and it now hangs over the fireplace in our bedroom)
Now I suppose if I had £20k lying around I might be tempted to go and upgrade, but I know deep down it will barely make a difference because it’s all about the capture.
That ‘je ne sais quoi’ that you can’t define technically.
The other day Ben grabbed an old Sony Cybershot that I’d passed on to him some time ago, and as I watched him taking snaps of everything and anything around the house I realised that the one gift he still has that most of us lose is this: he has no preconceptions or hesitations about ‘the right way’ to take a photograph.
- He lay on the floor with the camera taking shots at ground level.
- He swung the camera through the air as he pressed the shutter.
- He snapped abstracts without even thinking.
In short, he saw the camera as something to have a bit of fun with. He wasn’t worried that someone with a bigger, better and more expensive piece of kit was going to look down their nose at what he’d taken.
So, in short …. what am I saying exactly today?
Don’t get hoodwinked.
The only thing you need to remember when it comes to your photography is to keep your eyes open. Experiment! And if you need ideas, take a look at this piece on experimenting with white balance to give you a flavour of what’s possible with limited means.
There is a photo opportunity everywhere and anywhere, I promise you that.
And don’t ever become bogged down in technique. Untether your beliefs about what makes a great photo, because the truth is this:
It’s you that will make your photos great.