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February 2, 2012

Is technology better than technique?

"Having a camera makes you no more a photographer than having a hammer and some nails makes you a carpenter" - this quote from Claude Adams, who is except some other things a freelancer, journalist and documentary film maker, so he apparently knows what he is talking about, could change your approach to the photography. Let's be honest here, photography is quite expensive hobby to have and probably nobody except your wife would believe you that buying an already quite expensive DSLR body, let's not mention the lens, will be your final photography related expense. Of course not, and for those of you who still believe it will, I have to tell you something. No, it won't... But if you gonna spend your hard earn cash, you had better think twice where you gonna spend it. What will make you a better photographer? Or shall we say for the start, what will make you a photographer?

You can choose from two ways to start "improving" your skills. Firstly, you can blame everything on "it's only an entry level camera", or "my lens is way to crappy for that", but "if I'd have a proper gear" your pictures would be hanged in Tate Modern at least. OK, so if you'd spend another £3.000 for pro body and some decent glass your pictures will improve rapidly. Yes they will and no they won't. Or secondly, you can blame the poor quality of your pictures on that piece between the viewfinder and the ground. Yes, you can invest into something more worthy and you don't even need to worry about depreciation. You can invest it into yourself by taking the course where someone more experienced will explain you that "entry level" can do pretty amazing things.

It'll be probably cheaper than upgrade and if you take a photography only as a hobby, you'll appreciate that and enjoy it even more. And if you'd like to turn pro, thanks to this your photography will make you the money required for an upgrade. I'll take myself as an example. I had an entry level camera with set lens and my pictures were crap. Yes, I blamed the camera first. But than I realised it might not be the issue. I took a course and surprise surprise, my pictures started to be better. Definitely not good, but I could see the improvement myself even though I am quite critical to my work.

It had cost me quite close the budget above, but I wouldn't be as far as I'm now, even if I would spend it on the best ever camera. It didn't show me what to do, but it showed me what can be done and that made me think. And it made me work. The enthusiasm of the classmates pushed me even further. So my "only entry level" camera won me a landscape competition in UK and got me into the gallery. I didn't think that is possible before, definitely not without pro gear. Shooting pictures for the magazine with entry level? Why not! Everything is possible. Let's not forget the evolution of the digital cameras. Only 10 years old pro camera Nikon D2X has 12.1 MP cropped sensor, what is not even in entry level field nowdays. So pretty much everybody has got the tool which pros had sometime ago. So next time if you'll think about spending money to make your photography better, mark the workshop at the top of your list.

Posted by pkuzmin at February 2, 2012 7:45 PM