This post should be about “getting the shot” however, I felt there should be a bit more clarification about the role of camera equipment before we move on.
In the previous post, assessing your camera needs, we took a look at some of the issues of camera selection. Although this subject has been and is covered on a regular basis in the trade magazines and online our approach was to look more at the results than at all the knobs and buttons. In this installment we look at camera results as a way of thinking about the whole photographic process.
Each tool in the photographers bag whether it be lens, camera body, or light meter is only a tool. Knowing how to use that tool is at least twice as valuable as the tool itself. All of these tools are designed with one thing in mind; that being the ability to control the outcome of your image. Whether viewed on screen or in print the real point of all the equipment is to produce the image you want everyone to see.
For example, is the white balance adjustment in your camera sufficient and are you able to switch to the correct one on the fly as the situation arises. The value of the tool is in controlling the outcome. Does the lens let enough light in, is the strobe adjustable so that you can bounce the light rather than wash out your subject? These are the questions you must answer, then you can evaluate specs of this or that model. The goal is photography not gear worship. Photography is the goal, creating images that will move the viewer. The latest gadget spin, is a trap we all fall into but it may not allow us to make better photographs.
If you hand someone a photo it is unlikely that they can tell you what kind of camera, lens etc. was used to produce the image. The reality is that with the right settings on “your equipment” the photo will be in focus, properly color balanced and at the right exposure. If you’re goal is to shoot images where you drop out the background with depth of field then you need a camera that will do that. It’s pretty simple when you look at what kind of image you want to create.
Having said all that; you can make a good image that moves the viewer with a very modest setup. How to do it will be covered in the next post called “getting the shot”. Till then.
Image courtesy of Mark Wheeler CC Some Rights Reserved.