Something a Little Different for This Page
(copied from ACPC)
Secondary to the honor of acting as a judge for the AOL Community Photo Challenge, I also serve as the President of my local photographic society: www.clevelandphoto.org As such, I encounter photographers of all shapes and sizes - some skilled and professional, others still tentatively exploring the mysteries and mastery of capturing light in a box.
Many of them have fallen prey to the siren song of the manufacturers and absolutely must possess the latest, greatest, newest, highest megapixel camera, the longest lens, the most powerful flash and a tripod built to withstand a nuclear blast – without first giving thought to the type of photographer they wish to be. And even I will admit that its tempting to upgrade when LCD screens begin to approximate widescreen TVs and you’re still trying to discern sharpness on the equivalent of a postage stamp.
But before you plunk down an amount equivalent to the gross national product of a third world country or - more important - when you can’t afford that and begin to believe that you cannot possibly be a good photographer without doing so, and begin to give up on a hobby you’ve begun to love, consider this story first:
A photographer is invited to a dinner party and brings along some examples of her work. The host views the stunning images she presents and marvels “These are wonderful photos – you must have a great camera!”. The photographer smiles and the evening progresses. After a sumptuous meal, the photographer returns to the host and exclaims “That was a marvelous dinner – you must have some great pots and pans!”
The moral of the story, of course, is that – just as the quality of a meal is reliant primarily on the skill of the cook, the quality of a photograph is primarily due to the skill of the photographer. We hold regular competitions within our club – and some of the most impactful images I have seen have been taken with point and shoot cameras.
So if you’re new to this magical hobby or have limited funds – and even if you don’t – I encourage you to take stock of yourself and what you like to shoot. Hone your skills with the equipment that you have – and upgrade only when you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and unflinchingly tell yourself that its your camera that’s keeping you from being a better photographer. Until that day, take the time to explore and enjoy – and take a backseat to no one. Happy shooting!