Great photography is not about gear, or is it?

February 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment
Nikon D750 1/125 @ f/4 ISO 800 70-200mm f/2.8


Great photography is not about gear, or is it?

Many photographers will say it is about the gear.  Better gear will get you a better photograph. Others say it not about gear, it's all about the photographer.  I'm in the middle, not because I can't make a decision, it is quite the opposite.  Sometimes it is about the gear other times it isn't, and at still other times it is a combination of gear and photographer.

Take the below photo as an example.

​This photograph was taken with a Nikon D50 with the 18-55mm kit lens in available light, no flash, strobes, or reflectors.  This is an uncropped with minimal processing. 

From this photo, you could say it's not about the gear.  I used an entry level camera (6.1 megapixels) with an entry level consumer lens.  This photo was definitely not about the gear. 

​The photo above, of the dog, was shot with a Nikon D750 at ISO 100 with a 24-70 at 1/100 f/4.5 at 70mm.  No flash, just natural available light.  It could have been shot with most any dSLR, so it isn't necessarily about the gear here either.  It is about knowing how to use your gear, how to see the light.  This, as is the first image, is uncropped with minimal processing.


​This was taken with a Nikon D750 at ISO 800 with a 70-200mm f/2.8.  It was shot at 1/125 at f/4 at 200mm.  Using my Nikon 70-300 f/4-5.6 I would be at f/4.8 at 200mm, which would only change the image very little. 

This next photo would have been very difficult without the proper gear part of which is a fast lens.

​This was the first dance of a couple at their wedding reception.  There was low light, fill flash (bounced) was added but I still had to shoot it at 1/250 at f/2.8 at ISO 200. 

The next would have been nearly impossible.

​This was shot in a very dimly lit hospital room shortly after my grandson was born.  This was shot at ISO 3200 with a 24-70 f/2.8 at 70mm at f/2.8.  Since he was newly born he was very sensitive to bright light so flash was not used. 

As you can see many times it isn't about gear, but sometimes you have to have the gear.  It all depends on what you want to shoot.  Low light will often require better gear.  Shooting in harsh climates under all weather conditions, may require better gear.

The point of all this, talk is despite what you have in gear you must learn to use your equipment.  Learn exposure, composition, focus, including manual focus.  Because even the best gear will not insure you the results you wish without the knowledge to use it.



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