It’s been about 3 years now since that infamous article I wrote, confessions of an ex-gear addict. It is by far the most popular article I ever wrote, it’s the one I hope to overdo someday and the one that birthed a bunch of me-too articles. It’s been a while now and I’ve been a good boy when it comes to cameras, but here are a collection of ideas that came during that time about camera buying and more.
Great light is what creates great images
What makes a photograph is not the camera sensor, or the autofocus system, or the depth of field. Photographs are made with light.
I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to pixel peeping. I’ve gone through my share of acute episodes of G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), but the specific gear you’re using is so much less important than whether you’re using good light.
There always are, and will be, new articles outlining new camera tech with better attributes. They compare the iPhone 7’s camera to a pro DSLR, and in-so-doing, pose the question of if the professional photographer is a dying breed. With high quality image capture devices steadily becoming more affordable and accessible, who needs a “real” photographer anymore? Because isn’t the high quality, expensive gear the defining factor between a pro and an amateur? And is that gap narrowing with the advent of better, cheaper, cameras?
What’s in my bag? I don’t have a bag. Well, I do have, but it is the size of my laptop. I see this question in 95% of interviews with street/urban photographers. Usually all of ‘ordinary’ photographers out there hope to read that famous street photographer X or Y uses cheap camera that you can buy for no more than 100 bucks on Amazon. The reality however is harsh. Yes, he has this camera in his bag but it is his third substitute player (using football language), and photographer X is a coach, this camera is a player that he had to take for the match in case all of his best players would forget how to play football. And that of course never happens so this little poor guy spends all the time sitting on a bench. So what happens when Photographer X crashes his two top Leica’s into pieces? Nothing, because it also never happens.
So there he is, the famous photographer and his gear, there you have it. He uses camera Z with lenses X and Y and tadaam – you are just a small step from taking all kinds of superb shots that famous photographer did. If it just was as simple as that, right? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Leica or other great and expensive gear. I guess my hands would be shaking if I was to put my clumsy hands on 1 million dollar Leica. I would be so nervous and scared that I brake it, that I would forget how to take photos. I think taking selfie would be enough for me. I can hear you saying “but man, you have Fuji X100t that costs more than 1200 dollars so what do you know?” . You may have a point here, but let me just tell you what was my gear history.
We all have problems in life. Some of us are overweight, depressed, or tired all the time. Some of us lack creative inspiration, skills, or outlets for our work. Some of us lack motivation, willpower, and strength to take action in our lives.
Many of us feel that technology is the savior. If we only had that one kitchen appliance, we can finally become a great cook. If we only had that one camera, we could fully realize our potential in photography. If we only had that one lens, we would be more creative with our photography. If we only had that one GoreTex jacket, we could be a more adventurous backpacker. If we only had that one smartphone, laptop, or tool— we could be more productive, happy, and optimized.
I’m totally guilty of this myself. I always blame my tools and technology – never myself.
The pace of technology can be frustrating as new photography gear is quickly outdated – but you can also use this to your advantage as there are some amazing deals on photography gear available.
Here are five examples of great options for used camera equipment available online…
Recently there has been a spate of very sad, and ultimately defeatist articles decrying the “death of photography”. We have no shortage of examples. Seriously.
In all their pain and detailed examples of how the art and business of photography have been “ruined” (their words), I can find little to no examples of the basic, most important reason that photographers are falling behind.
And that is;
Photographers are wildly devotedly, happily, and ecstatically in LOVE with the processes of photography. Like any devoted partner, they see the relationship as sacrosanct, and the most important in their lives.
And they are totally, 100% wrong to be so.
Do you have an insatiable lust for the latest and greatest gear? If so, you probably have Gear Acquisition Syndrome, a made-up cheekily known as G.A.S. throughout the web.
While it’s fun to play and experiment with the newest gear that gets released month after month, the reality is it’s not the gear that will make you a better photography. It’s practice and knowledge, two things you can gain with even the cheapest of camera equipment.
If you’ve been bitten by the G.A.S. bug already though, don’t worry. Miguel Quiles and Jeff Rojas, known on YouTube as ‘These Guys’ have come together to share three tips to help cure G.A.S. [Read more…]
2015 was definitely a year of video for everyone, especially with Sony and Canon releasing the A7RII and 5D SR which made (semi)pro video available at a pretty low price point (assuming you consider 3K low).
If you think that 3k is too high, here is some perspective for you. The other side of the production continuum has cameras where 2-3 thousand dollars can be their daily rent fee. Of course there is a reason for that, and those cameras provide superior image quality (usually at low light), dynamic range and bit depth, as well as other non-quality related features.
To get your GAS going cinematographers Tom Fletcher and Gary Adcock compiled a list of all available production cameras for 2015. Starting with the Alexa 65 which shot parts of The Revenant through the Sony F65 (shot Tomorrowland) and Red Epic Dragon (The Martian) all the way to the affordable Canon C300.
I stated pretty innocently with my first camera, and then slowly but surely I became a camera and lens addict, throwing money out of the window. The result after all of these years is wasted money and all the stuff I got never made me happier besides the initial high. When others make mistakes one can either learn from them, or….not. Here’s my story, I’m not too proud of it but I am sure this will serve as a lesson for countless others. Here are my confessions of an ex-gear addict.
The most popular (and worn out) “advice” given to aspiring photographers is probably “It doesn’t matter which camera you use”. But is that really true?
A while back photigy.com ran a little experiment, which involved the comparison of two images: one was shot with an iPhone, one with a Hasselblad. The results did in fact support the claim that gear doesn’t matter.
So we went ahead and created our own “on a budget” challenge, where we tried to realize a rather complex shoot just with a couple of Yongnuo flashes and an entry level DSLR with kit lens. Of course, it worked out pretty well and the final image is still one of our favorites.