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Good Photography: Is It Just The Equipment?

two-studentsflip2A New Camera
Two photography students were having a discussion one day after class about cameras. "I want a ______! If I could only get my hands on one, I could really take better photos."

"It's expensive, but it will be worth it," exclaimed Sidney. Denny, who had an obsolete SLR camera with only a wide angle 35 mm lens, thought otherwise. "It's your eye that's more important. Not just the camera you use."

Several weeks later, Sidney ran through the halls of the school brandishing his new camera for all to see.

But during the semester, it was evident that his photo assignments were still average, while Denny continued to improve and turn in exemplary images with his antiquated camera.

Sidney later dropped out of photography while Denny continued to improve with his old, out-of-date equipment.

cameraIs It Just The Equipment?
There is a notion that better equipment makes for a better photographer. To a certain extent, this is true.

If you have a "good eye" and talent for taking images, better equipment helps you to expand your creativity, and concentrate on composing the image, rather than worrying about the technical details.

Better equipment can sometimes give a photographer more confidence as well.

But in the long run, the secrets of taking better pictures are to understand the basic principles of photography and to use them. And above all, nothing can be a substitute for a good eye in taking photos.

Stay Focused On Your Skills
If superior equipment were all that separated good photographers from mediocre ones, there would be a glut of talented photographers. But this is not the case. Consider the following images taken by professional photographer Chase Jarvis:

jarvis-pics

A mere cell phone camera was used to take these photos. The composition, colors, and framing of these images could rival those of a $2,000 digital SLR. However this is not to say that good equipment isn't important to good images. What is said is that a good eye is probably the most important piece of "equipment" in your camera bag.

abcDon't Forget the Basics
Along with a good eye, to capture the best images, is the ability to utilize good camera technique in your photos.

A thorough understanding of lighting, exposure, composition, shutter speed, depth of field, and other tools of the trade can help you to improve your photos.

There are ample books and instruction websites to obtain this information.

And of course, there are graphic design schools that have specific programs in photography for those who want to make photography their major or improve their skills.

Photography is a wonderful means of expression, communication, and art.

But the most important equipment for any photographer is not just the camera, it is the eye of the beholder.


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