More gear or less: The Photographer's Paradox

Discussion in 'Articles of Interest' started by Derrel, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    an article from Shutterbug magazine:

    Why Using Less Photo Gear Is Often Better Than Using More

    by Dan Havlik



    Perfectionism is one of the most costly traits if it isn't strictly necessary,” DeArco says. “Often times we get caught up hyperfocusing on the wrong things – making us unproductive as photographers and creatives.”

    Or, in other words, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, as the old expression goes. And don’t get bogged down with worrying about how much gear you think you need to use. Just keep it simple, stupid, as another famous principle of life goes.

    Since the video is a little bit difficult to explain, just give it a watch and tell us what you think in the comments. We hope you find it as enlightening as we did.

    You can watch more of DeArco's ideas and musings on his YouTube page.




    Read more at Why Using Less Photo Gear Is Often Better Than Using More: The Photographer’s Paradox, the now online-only magazine, from 2018.


     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  2. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Fine, in theory....
    But I think for the majority of photographers (myself included) acquiring gear is more about "want" and less about "need".
    For the average photographer, its probably a lot of "ooooooh, that looks cool...i want to buy that"
    Or simply wanting to have a newer, more sophisticated piece of equipment.
    Lets face it, those extra 15 autofocus points COULD make or break someones career! Or someone might miss that winning shot because they didn't upgrade to a camera that could shoot ISO 128,000....
    But I kinda doubt it.

    Shooting with less is fine and all, but its all the gearheads with GAS that are really driving the market and its push for improvements.
     
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  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I thought the takeaway was not so much about GEAR as it was about getting something DONE, and not obsessing over minute 'flaws' in the images...about focusing on what the "client" values, as opposed to what other photographers might say is lacking or sub-par in specific cases.
     
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  4. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Could be, could be.

    Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Agreed, however, GAS does drive the gear market, and I have had a case or two of GAS over the years. A couple years ago, I sold off a lot of excessive gear, and now am down to apprx. 30-40 lenses and one d-slr that I use for 'serious work ' (D800) plus the D610 as my "lo-rez" camera or for snaps when I am not super-serious about things. I also use the iPhone SE as my snapshot camera now, and have quit using my Canon G-series, Nikon CoolPix, and Panasonic P&S 4-12 MP models.

    I liked his video.
     
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  6. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have bouts of GAS...just picked up a used fuji x-t100 on eBay, which will make 4 fujis now...havent picked up any new lenses in a while.

    I MAY consider getting rid of the x-a1 and maybe the 15-45 ois pz kit lens that is coming with the x-t100....although, i heard the kit pz lens is actually pretty decent

    Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
     
  7. LRLala

    LRLala No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for attaching that video, Derrel. Thought provoking. Spend more time taking pictures than setting up lots of gear.
     
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  8. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    "People actually seemed to like it." No kidding, they seem to like anything and everything that crosses their path on social media! lol

    At least he got some good advice from a more experienced photographer when she asked him 'What are you doing??' I feel like asking that a lot... But the posting & sharing etc. is nothing new to try to promote oneself, and life handing you an opportunity that develops into something is nothing new either; I've done the same thing, it's a matter of going for it when getting the opportunity.

    I don't think it's what he thinks it is; peer judgement - maybe, but for me, who cares?? I appreciate feedback from someone whose opinion I value, otherwise, who cares??! lol Perfectionism - that has nothing to do with gear to me, that's me driving myself nuts nitpicking thru my own work, and wanting my work to be good and to keep getting better. Industry standards - again to me that has nothing to do with equipment; in sports they don't care how you get the pictures or what beat up camera you're dragging around, they want what they need and in a timely manner.

    I don't see a need for even a back up camera much less all that other stuff since this is every week (unless there's something specific that day) and the person with the camera equipment isn't a working pro.

    Hmm, The Photographer's Paradox isn't a click-baity title?? lol does he think that's any less so than the example he gives? Maybe it's better than some but he seems to be doing the same thing he criticizes, I think videos like this are to get followers and a cut of the money from ads that accompany the videos. Then to top it off, to get on Patreon and get followers to give money there too... I have yet to understand why people would give money when you aren't buying a product, you're not receiving a service, this isn't a charity... I can't see paying someone for their 'musings'.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    https://ignitevisibility.com/social-media-statistics/

    The video guy built up from 0 followers on Instagram to 4,000 followers in a _very_ short time frame (seven weeks). If it is true that 81% of Americans have at least ONE social media account, and that 41 % of Americans have _interacted_ with a business thruough social media, we might look at social media a bit differently in the next and upcoming decades. I remember well the days before almost 93-97% of the world's population had a mobile phone, and when land lines,telephone directories, printed newspapers, and paper classified ads looked as if their place in industrial/modern life would be permanent.


    IT is fashionable here on TPF to dismiss social media in much the same way as our great-grandparents dismissed "those darn horseless carriages", or the way our parents/grandparents dismissed, "that awful rock n' roll music" (1950's)or that, "long-haired, hippie music"(1960s-1970s)..turns out they failed to realize they were in the midst of revolutions...

    Social media is the new "television" of the 20-teens..it is also the new "newspaper." The newest media is..social media...
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    At one time, not too long ago, KODAK was one of the biggest brands in the world. They thought for 15 critical years, that people wanted PRINTED photos. They failed to see the changes that were hitting them in the face,and today, they are a shell of their former greatness. This video is is a lesson in re-evaluating one's strategies in business.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Honestly I think the message at the end is good, but its getting sort of lost a little because of two things
    1) Who the heck wears a shirt like that whilst recording with a digital camera?!
    2) It kind of gets distracted for a bit too long into Instagram and social media.

    This latter point is a "bit" of an issue because you can become a big name on Instagram simply by putting pictures of your cat on there. It's sort of an extreme situation where your photography skills really don't matter one bit and, to me, it kind of just takes it a little to extreme and loses the overall importance of the message. It might have been better if he'd used the Instragram as just one example, but also then balanced it out showing a situation where you do need more gear.


    In the end the video is basically saying "understand your market and what it needs, then select the right gear that will produce a result to satisfy that need with the least amount of investment (in time and money)." That's a good lesson, its a sensible lesson; but I think it would have come across better if he'd given a more broad display. The video gives the subtle hint that going minimalist is best and doesn't show an example where there is gain when using more gear. That's a failing in the way the message is played across I think.




    Personally I've found that the gear I have grew in size as I tried new things, experimented and had money to invest into it. New ideas or new approaches prompted investment into better gear; specific challenges required solutions and gear was one (of several each time) solutions toward those issues that presented themselves. I think that when one focuses on a niche its very easy to get more and more gear to overcome more situations and that gear can become the crutch solution. Until such time as it can overwhelm the photographer. I know I've had times when I took all my gear with me on a shoot. Yet I found I wasn't using even half of it - sure I could see potential for it all; but the real world taught me that "no no you're not going to swap lenses endlessly all day". So I adapt and take less.
    Yet sometimes the opposite happens too; you take less and find you need more to get the result you want (or if you're a pro the result you and your client wants).

    In the end its a balancing act.
     
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  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I do not agree with either of the above points..Perhaps they were intended to be hyperbole?

    Social media...as dumb and useless as "the internet" appeared in 1999?
     

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