A photographer was once invited for lunch with a friend on thanksgiving. When his friend introduced him to his wife, she exclaimed, “Oh yes! I’ve seen your work. Your fashion photography is truly good. You must have a good camera.”
The photographer smiled back but did not say anything.
At the dining table, the host announced that the meals was prepared by his wife, who is an excellent chef. The meals was good. The photographer spoke, very politely, “Ma’am, you cook real good food. You must have a good stove.”
There exists a general misconception that higher priced and advanced cameras take better pictures, and it holds as true as the notion that advanced guns take better shots. The gun may only be better equipped to greatly help the shooter take a better aim, cover a larger range, shoot more bullets in less time, and so on, but ultimately, it’s the person behind the barrel, who has a good or a bad shot. So is it with cameras?
With the advent of cheap and advanced point-and-shoot along with DSLR cameras, there is a whole generation of wannabe photographers sprouting, a number of them pursuing photography as a hobby and some seriously considering a lifetime career in fashion photography or wedding photography or wildlife photography. Many of them you may also hear talk professional photography jargon like ISO, shutter speed, aperture, focal length, depth of field, lens type, resolution, color correction, saturation, white balance, panorama, pixel ratio, viewfinder, wide-angle and all that mumbo-jumbo, which sometimes misleads you into believing why these guys are photography geniuses. However, when you get to see the photographs they take, you often feel disappointed either inside them or in yourself for not being able to appreciate the work of such genius property in marbella spain. On one other hand, you can find those, who capture with very basic cameras, even with phone cameras, photographs so full of life that each picture seems to inform a story. Exactly like running a sports vehicle and knowing its engine’s power, torque/rpm, ground clearance, and all that jazz don’t allow you to a formula one racer, holding an advanced feature-packed camera and knowing professional photography jargon doesn’t allow you to a photographer.
Though all this advanced technology is without a doubt a plus, photography is essentially a skill, and what’s crucial to becoming a good photographer is an imaginative vision, a keen eye, and last but not least, a feeling and understanding of light. Photography, if anything, is really a game of light. The greater you understand where and how light falls, from which angle it falls and where and how it reflects, the more effectively you will be able to fully capture it. And of course, the artistic vision that must know what to fully capture is something that could not be taught. Everything else, the technology, the equipment, the technical skills including editing are merely add-ons, that only allow you to polish and enhance your art.
So whether you understand the technicalities of professional photography or not, you can find two basic things you’ll need to the know-every guy carrying a jazzy camera is certainly not a photographer, and every good photograph might not be captured having an expensive camera.