It's who takes the picture that's important
OCCASIONALLY I get very jealous of all the new camera technology that is available – beautifully crafted machinery and glass that I can only dream of being able to afford.
I would love a top of the range Nikon D3 but the D700 at half the price will suffice. My lenses are not the most expensive but are the best I can afford, and totally adequate for my needs.
For – now open your ears everyone – good photographs are taken because of who operates the camera not because of what state of the art gadgets there are in their camera bag.
My photography is about seeing the picture in the first place, not what I take it with.
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Of course there are the pictures that fortuitously happen in front of you and these you have no real control over. Accidents, fires, crashes are all things that anyone with an iPhone, iPad or smart phone can click a button to produce useable images.
My enjoyment comes from walking into a room and making spot decisions about elements that will make my photograph tell the story yet appear aesthetically pleasing. I know it sounds a bit precious when I may only be illustrating a cheque presentation or photographing a man looking at a hole in the road. But I put as much into these pictures as were I in the presence of the Queen.
The first thing I work out is the light. Is there any lovely window light or do I have to use my flash guns? Can I bounce the light off the ceiling or maybe a wall or a shiny surface such as a mirror? I am always looking to include colour and shape in my pictures.
I had some real problems the other day when all the walls in the nursery I was shooting in were painted yellow. Whatever I attempted failed and everyone appeared jaundiced. In the end I set my camera to raw, not JPEG, and shot the rest of the assignment using the available light. A little tweak in Photoshop did the rest.
So make things easier on yourself and have a little think before shooting and remember lighting is key. Never blame your equipment. It is we the photographers that make the mistakes, never the camera.
Except the time when my flashcard corrupted and I lost all the pictures from that day's shoot or so I thought. But that's for another day.