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Having A Camera Doesn’t Make You A Photographer Pt.2

DJ Foothill On The Set With Charlie Sweet and Kristiana - Pool Shoot
On The Set with DJ, Charlie Sweet, Kristiana, Octavio Flores

In part one of this article that I posted at the beginning of the week I had made a statement about when the time came for me to upgrade my photography equipment and I left you readers with a question. And that question was “Did the upgrade in photography equipment make me a better photographer?”

Well in a word the answer is “NO!”

Having the newest baddest camera on the block at the time┬ádidn’t change my style of shooting of the end result of the shots I was getting. One really had little to do with the other. It had no affect on my knowledge or skills in photography. What the upgrade perhaps did was make things a little more convenient. And it kept others from laughing a me. Oh wait actually the work I was churing out with my T-50 did that for me, so carry on.

Perhaps better in camera metering, faster focusing, higher burst rates, lower ISO’s or even HIGHER ISO capability all contributed in many ways to the final product that was delivered to the client. However the real improvement or lack there of came directly from ME!

These days there are so many variations of camera technology. Hell even the small point and shoots have at least 10 mega-pixels, and many of them shoot in the RAW format. But there is such a variety in cameras and what they can do. Some shoot high definition video, others can upload directly to the internet, and social networking sites.

Pool Lighting Set Up
Pool Lighting Set-Up

It really doesn’t matter if your camera has six mega-pixels or sixty, if you can’t properly use it then it’s useless to you. The most important piece of tech and I can’t say this enough, is the person behind the camera.┬áThink of it this way; That is your camera. There are many like it, without you your camera is useless. Without your camera you are useless. So in effect the most important tool is the photographer’s skill with the camera.

In case you still haven’t absorbed it imagine a sniper. Is a sniper going to be any less lethal with a Remington rifle than he will be with a Barret .50 caliber. Of course not. The only thing that must change is how he deploys his available options in the field. But his training and skill will allow him to accomplish his mission regardless of which rifle he uses.

Very much like that sniper we need to become adept with whatever piece(s) of equipment we have available to us. It is good to be blissfully aware that f/8 with an ISO of 100 and speed of 1/60 on a point and shoot is going to yield the same result on a $100.00 camera as it will on a $40,000 camera.

One more time to really drive home the point. I was watching the movie Superman Returns and there was a scene that stuck in my mind. Three of the main characters, Lois Lane, Perry White, and Jimmy Olson are standing around looking at numerous photos taken by professional photographer Jimmy Olson. As the were looking through the images we see that Olson’s photos just do not capture the man of steel.

Then Perry White who is the editor in chief of the Daily Planet newspaper produces a few images of Superman saving a woman and he says “These are iconic and they were taken by a twelve year old with a camera phone.”

In itself, that statement says a ton, and keeps up with what it is that I’ve been saying in this writing. Bottom line is practice practice practice. It’s even easier now since there are no film or developing costs to have to concern with so there is much more reason to shoot everything all the time and test different lighting settings and shots!

Please feel free to let me know what you think of this article.

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