Recently, I shared a viewpoint suggesting that the state of the photography industry has been declining, with the decreasing cost of entry, suggesting that there has also been a devaluation in the art itself since everyone has cameras these days and thinks they can do it. In essence, that there is no real money to be made in photography anymore. Today, I'd like to share the counterpoint to that argument: Photography is not about money! Here's what it's really about:
The First Deal with Cameras
Cameras are not a means to an end. True photographers are not after glory, profits, or fame. True photographers are after the photograph! It's the beauty in an image, and shared lovingly with the world that the photographer is after. Whether it's the laughter of a girl, the stunning sunrise of a sun across a beach, or whatever other theme inspires them - this is what motivates the true photographer!
So, that's the "deal" with photography and cameras, Part 1...
The Second Deal with Cameras
I don't care who you are, but if you take an amateur and someone that's been shooting for a while and give them an identical camera, the one with more experience will produce better photos. Heck, there's even been anecdotes where some have gone to shoot an entire event with a P&S and given a relative rookie one of the best SLR cameras on the market...and we know who produced better photos. So, the second "deal" with the camera is that it's not really the camera at all - it's the vision of the person behind it! Some notables you should be aware of, where I doubt many could even hold their lights, let alone fill their shoes:
- Ansel Adams
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
- Robert Capa
- Alfred Eisenstadt
So, that's the "deal" with cameras, Part Deux!
The Third Deal with Cameras
So, you've heard about the art of it, and the vision of the shooter, but let's talk about the gear too. Is the camera really where it's at? You ask any serious shooter, and they will likely answer you with a myriad of things that make them better, but one that always rises to the top is the glass! It's not really the camera, it's the lens. Lenses are what give you that super sharp focus on a subjects eye, the soft bokeh that blurs a background beautifully, and the wide angles needed to capture panoramas. Even beyond the gear, let's look at post production too. Before there was Lightroom, before Photoshop, and before Corel, there was something called the "darkroom". We now call it a "digital dark room" but post production plays a huge role in making photographs the final images you see people publishing on websites.
Point and shoots? Built in post production? Psaw! None of that really can do a true work of art justice. Give me a computer and I'll produce a better image than anything native to a camera any day of the week! (And my skills are even a little rusty in that vein right now!) I would venture to guess that most photographers would agree here too.
That's my "deal" with the camera - photography is not about the money!
What about you? Do cameras matter?