Taking photographs should never be about the camera.
The camera is a tool for taking photographs, it's that simple.
Here's a quote that resonates for me:
Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.
Don McCullin is a legendary photojournalist. He inspired me when I was a younger photographer. He still does today.
That idea of getting a feeling for a photograph is the big thing for the me. Not the camera.
People shouldn't be putt off from taking photos at all. Even if they don't have a fancy camera.
Many people have smartphones. And smartphones have cameras. Do they render professional quality photos?
Well, no. But then, do they need to?
I'd rather grab the photo than miss it because I didn't have the right camera with me.
I've taken many photos using my iPhone. Like this one:
And this one:
I could have used my DSLR. But I didn't have it with me at the time.
But what makes me mad is the snobbish attitude that only a real camera makes a good photograph.
For a start, a good photograph is subjective.
Yes, there are technical issues like exposure and focus. They need to be right for the given photo.
But after that, it depends.
Here's the thing: when I first started taking photographs I used whatever camera I could lay my hands on.
I used a Box Brownie. Then, a Minolta 110.
I got to use a Zenith E at School (this was the late seventies, early eighties).
After that, I moved to a Agfa 35mm compact.
But I don't ever remember thinking: Oh, if I had a better camera...
The issue that drove me to get a more expensive camera was lens quality and light handling.
It still is the primary issue. That, and budget of course.
I remember at one point, getting to borrow a Leica compact from my an uncle. That was an experience I would never forget.
But I was learning all the time about light. I could talk for hours about f-stops and shutter speeds. And I was on a constant quest to drop grain from my photos...
Until I saw photos from Don McCullin. Then, I wanted to be a photojournalist and shoot everything in black and white.
I became a fan of Ilford ISO 400 film and tried to learn how to get great contrast, texture and patterns into my photos.
I didn't say I wanted to use the same camera as Don. I said I wanted to try and get into the techniques he used.
By all means buy a great camera. But more than that, learn to develop a feeling for a photograph. That's far more important.