I read a lovely blog post today. Brilliant content by Scott Bourne, I wish I had written it myself, although.. perhaps not yet. I’m nowhere near the end of my life (fingers crossed), I’m yet some distance away from fame and worldwide reputation and I’m still on the early years of my journey into professional photography.
However, this post has reminded me that the main goal when taking pictures is making them memorable, telling a story about some aspect of the world and the people of our time. Making them worth keeping.
This is a handy reminder, as I’ve been reading about new and better cameras lately. Some very appealing comments about a type of camera (I’ll save the technical details for now) that, apparently, has improved the photography of some proud new photographer owner, making the pictures much better and lots of other technical things.
Yet, thinking back, this discussion reminds me of a time when I was blaming my poor old zoom lens (many years ago) of not being good enough, not having enough bright-shiny-object qualities. At the time I was eager for a new lens, a prime lens (sorry, jargon again)
After some time, I bought the prime lens. And I loved it. I took very nice pictures and felt I was capable of doing many more things without being held back by my previous zoom lens limitations.
And a few years went by.
And now, looking back over some old pictures, I can’t imagine why I was so obsessed with the prime lens. Yes, it took lovely pics. However, I have lots of pictures taken before the purchase of that new lens, and they look fantastic to me nowadays: My portraits show plenty of detail, and the blurred background effect is still lovely. I didn’t really need the prime lens as badly as I thought I did.
I feel a bit silly for letting other people’s opinions (professional photography forums are the worst) make me feel uneasy about my equipment. It seems as if it was compulsory to upgrade again, and again, and again…
Taking away the joy of photography and making it a competition on who has the latest gadget.
My portraits look good enough today. I love them. They are better than they’ve ever been. Should I aspire to more equipment? Perhaps. However, this time I’ll remind myself that the point of photography is taking pictures: getting out, meeting people, using the camera: Creating worthy images that will last.
It’s best to remember that the equipment should be serving my photography, not becoming an end in itself.
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