It’s not about the tools

I like taking pictures. But just like everyone is a f*cking comedian when you don’t need it so, it seems, everyone is a professional photographer-wannabe these days. With quality digital cameras having come within the price range of normal people now, more and more go out and buy decent equipment. Good for them.

What annoys me, however, is the prevailing notion that the more expensive equipment you have, the better photographer you are. Good equipment gives the photographer more options and usually the chance of taking a decent shot in poor lighting conditions where cheap equipment would give up. What makes a good photograph depends, however, not on the number of extra features switched to ON but rather the sensibility, vision, technique of the photographer and of course to chance. Don’t underestimate chance and don’t rely on your equipment to produce art.

Of course it bothers me that photos I took with my old 2 mega pixel FujiFilm camera are too shitty to blow up on a wall. Better and more expensive equipment would have made a definitive difference there but I dare say that better equipment alone would not have produced those photos. Machinery needs someone to operate it and those photos are a product of me – not FujiFilm Corp..

I couldn’t be bothered registering to leave a comment but I quite agree with this blog post .

Obviously he is trying to come to grips with his gadget craving withdrawal symptoms but he is on to the right thing:

I am not going to pretend that having good equipment doesn’t matter in photography, much as I often wish otherwise; to compete commercially at the very top ranks of game one will need to be able to stand up to the best in every technical aspect, and that means spending eye-watering sums of money. Having said that much, however, the top photographers did not get to where they are by spending small fortunes at the beginning of their careers, but by working their way up the food chain, and the most important ingredient in doing this is to have a clear, unique aesthetic vision of what one wishes to accomplish: with this in place, even a tiny, highly-compressed image can grasp a viewer’s attention

A second point I want to make about photography is the Japanese obsession with taking pictures of sakura flowers. I just don’t think it is healthy or normal for a guy to spend that much money, time and effort on taking pictures of small pink flowers. It’s not like it’s a novel subject either. Every year sites like Flickr is flooded with pictures of the damned things.

When I constantly have to listen to speeches of how weak, childish or feminine I am for eating the occasional Danish pastry I just can’t help but finding it ironic and ridiculous the amount of energy being put into immortalizing the same pink flowers by Japanese men year after year. With all that equipment you would think that people would come up with other subjects to focus on as well. But the sakura season is the only time a year I see Japanese come out in full force like this: