- Chase Jarvis
“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!”
- Ansel Adams
The following blog post is what I wish someone had said to me when I first started doing this. Hopefully someone starting out will read this or someone struggling with the gear issue or the confidence issue (they are the same thing really) or just someone that wants a shot of inspiration. I hope this will provide that.
Just Make Photos
This is not about lenses or bodies of filers or flashes. Its about images. Go shoot and then shoot some more. The only way you are going to get better is if you put in the time. There is no shortcut. Go capture emotion. Who cares what it means to anyone else. Take the gear you have right now and do it for you. Put the time in. Master the camera and lenses that you own right now. Forget what's in the display case of some shiny storefront. Its not going to make you any better. Only shooting will do that. If you only have a dslr and the kit lens. Rock that kit lens. Find out what works with it and what doesn't and go from there. If you got that 50mm 1.8, find out what you can do with that and rock that too.
Ultimately learning what you have now is what is going to make you a better photographer. I have never walked out of the post office with a new lens in my hands and became a better photographer like some mario type level up. It's shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting that will make you better. It's struggling with the limitations of what you have that is going to make you better. It's learning to see light that is going to make you better. It's learning composition and emotion and anticipation of what is going to happen next while looking through that viewfinder. It's the trial and error. It's the coming home with a memory card full of a whole lot of crap and one or two good ones, then doing it again tomorrow ( I do this everday). This is what is going to make you a good photographer. Gear will not make you a better photographer.
I can sit down to a steinway grand piano or a casiotone from the 80's and you know what you get on either, you get a shitty piano player ( I can play like 3 things). This is the analogy that I get when comparing gear. I really do wish someone would have told me this when I started, There wouldn't be a bag of wasted dust filled lenses in my studio and my bank account would be happier.
A plus side of all of this as well is that monetary aspect, I know I can make photos with less, A lot of the off camera flash stuff that I do costed less then 150 bucks, ( that includes: triggers, flash, umbrella, stand ... all that stuff). How can I do this you ask? I learned manual flash. That's the way to go. You learn how to actually do the work ( no ttl or any of that) and you save money.Win Win.
See, the bottom line of all this is: Once you learn it nothing can take that away from you. Once you shoot in a million different situations with that gear you have, you know. That is the best part. That trumps 2.8 this and 400 million mega pixels that. Go shoot, Please ust go make photos.
Here are a few examples of stuff you can do with minimal gear
Crockers Cove Winter . Gear used Canon rebel xs (10.1 mp's) and the kit lens