Abstract: A few words of caution about equipment lust

Photography - Canon EOS, digital, nature

Equipment Addiction

The Editorial section of this web site deals with many equipment related aspects of photography. It's very important to realize that equipment doesn't make images, photographers do.

If you read the popular photography magazines you'll see a great deal of emphasis on equipment. The latest and greatest new items are touted as the best thing since sliced bread (which in itself wasn't all that great...). Don't get seduced by such ideas. You can make great images with the simplest of equipment. Think of the great images of the 20th Century. Many - probably most - of them were made before the days of autofocus, autoexposure cameras. Ansel Adams, Gary Winograd, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus and just about anyone else taking pictures before 1980 did quite well with equipment which would be regarded as "ancient" by 95% of current amateur photographers.

If you get too hung up on equipment you'll be starting out on an endless quest. Unless you have infinitly deep pockets there will always be something newer and "better" available. This is especially true with anything digital (cameras, printers etc.), where model life is often measured in months rather than years. If your major photographic concern is to have the "best" possible set of equipment, you'll never have time for actual photography.

Of course in order to make images you need to have SOME equipment, preferably the right equipment for the task in hand. However equipment addition, in its serious phase, can result in the creation of no images at all, while the addict attempts to satisfy his (or her) craving by aquiring as much gear as possible! Remember that even if you owned every camera and every lens ever made, you couldn't carry it all with you all the time.

So read the articles in this section of the site with this in mind. Once you have a decent camera and lens(es), concentrate on technique. Take pictures, don't drool over the latest new items of equipment. The new stuff is nice, but it's far from essential. If your images aren't good enough, the hard truth is that it's probably more your fault than that of your equipment.

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