More gear or less: The Photographer's Paradox

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

  1. Tim Tucker 2

    Tim Tucker 2 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I fully understand the point, and would like to offer a slightly different slant...

    The trouble with gear is that it produces a *skew* in your thinking. You get to the stage that you believe that you need *this gear* to produce *that shot*. The skew is that in linking *the gear* with *the shot* you begin to concentrate on the difference the gear makes, you begin to learn to see and judge a shot by the performance of the gear. You photography begins to represent your understanding of equipment.

    The point that the vid makes is that the public do not judge or categorise images in that way. They measure them purely against their experience and understanding of being human rather than the photographers understanding of the *correct* implementation of equipment.

    In other words all you need to do is understand that you are human and that all you need is *your imagination* to produce *that response* in your audience. See the image from their understanding of life, rather than your's of a camera.

    This is why I got so fed up with Dgearview, all they ever discuss is their understanding of gear to the point that all photographic knowledge is contained within it...

    This comes with the bias of somebody who still regularly uses a 60 year old camera with a 100+ year old lens. ;);););)


     
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  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Tim..I thought of YOU and the F,and the 105/24/35 lens set for 15+ years....and your mindset, as described in a post some months back...
     
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  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    My experience has been that carrying excessive gear leads to less freedom, and worse photos that when carrying LESS gear. Most of the time, in most "normal" situations. The video linked to in my OP talks about end-user engagement between pictures that have had the ***+ edited out of every frame, and end-user engagement with un-edited SOOC photos.
     
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  4. Soocom1

    Soocom1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When my Minolta was stolen, they took several additional lenses along with a 300 G lens, and a Heartblie 80mm Super Rotator that i used almost exclusively on architecture and building sites.

    When I got the Canon, I sought out several dedicated Canon lenses and then re-discovered the use of my Russian Kiev 88 glass.

    Now I bring this up because I would regularly carry all of this gear with me everywhere I would go. On train trips, aircraft, or driving, even on the back of the Harley, its clumsy and non-sensical.
    Unless your going to go to the field, set up a base station and go hunt for photos.

    I have a general 28-135, a 70-200 USM, 19-35 wide angle and now a 35-350 that I almost use exclusively because of the glass size and superior optics.

    Too much gear and trying to switch out during something like (as of this time the burning of Notre Dame) where switching lenses becomes difficult and sloppy.

    Carrying a singular setup low in parts and accessories is best, and moreover, unless your directly trained, like a wine snob, you will not see or even care what the photographer used when shooting. They are looking at the end result.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I never said social media wasn't important nor that it doesn't have a huge effect now. I said that you can become popular on there posting photos of your cat without any specialist gear or photographic knowledge
    Cats of Instagram (@cats_of_instagram) • Instagram photos and videos

    10 million followers suggests that - yes you can do this (and that was just the first one google threw up).

    My point was that the video is talking about knowing your subject and using less gear, but at the same time is advertising this advise by showing a platform where gear and indeed skill are not important. Emotional subject matter, unique scenes even a sports following etc... were all far more important than anything photographic. In my view yes its an important lesson and a great one if you're aiming for that market; but at the same time I wish the video maker had taken more time to move off that one example and show others. Others where photographic skill might well be more important in the process.

    The actual message overall is, as I said earlier, generally good. It's the presentation and context of the video that I took issue with (that and the shirt!! ;))
     
  6. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Problem I'm having with this is the loaded term "photographic skill." How it's defined(narrowly?) and by whom(you alone?) seem pretty fixed. No interest in the shirt.
     
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  7. Soocom1

    Soocom1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Like the diff. between porn and erotic art... I know it when I see it...




    lol...



    Seriously, it does show.
     
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  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Cats of Instagram is an aggregation site,with ONE theme, and has contributors from all over the world.The content focuses on cats (which is a video/still photo/meme topic that people like,and the site is followed by 10.2 million people world-wide. It is very popular, yes, but Ariana Grande has 151 million followers on IG.( Grande used to perform wearing cat ears--coincidence??)

    YouTube has channels with from 0 to over 80 MILLION subscribers.

    Facebook stats: 250 Amazing Facebook Statistics

    Social media is here to stay, it seems. Perhaps we can acknowledge that it has become part of commerce. Remember when Bill Gates talked about the internet as being of little commercial value. Remember when Sears and JC Penny were big stores? Now, Amazon has made them largely irrelevant.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 11:41 AM
  9. DanOstergren

    DanOstergren Move, I'm Gay. Praise Satan. Supporting Member

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    I agree with the author of the video. In my experience minimizing and working with less gear and older gear (because I'm always broke anyways), and focusing mainly on vision and technical skill instead has allowed me to progress a great deal more than when I was focused on having the best gear with the sharpest focus and widest f/stop, or over complicating things with too much equipment. Gear doesn't really matter in my opinion, it's more about having a great vision and an understanding of light and color. A skilled photographer will make something beautiful even with a toy camera.
     
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  10. Tropicalmemories

    Tropicalmemories No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think I'm a 'hybrid' gear fan - and I bet many are the same.

    I have enough gear at home so I can take just what I need for a particular trip.

    Heading out to do a pre-wedding photo session for two good friends (no fee as I'm just an amateur enthusiast) - I take all my lenses, two remote flashes plus stands, a reflector, an 'assistant' plus a light meter that I've never used 'just in case I need it'.

    Going to a night market - latest body plus wide aperture 50mm equivalent lens and an f2.8 compact zoom.

    Going away for a weekend and travelling light - an older body with integral flash and one 27mm prime lens.

    Just because we own some gear does not mean we need to use it every time we go out - hence all the discussions about "what lens should I take for my trip to xxxxxx".
     

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