Tales from the Shoot – May the Force be with you

No shoots to speak of this week, still in planning mode for our camping trip next weekend. However I thought I would share a realization, an epiphany of sorts.

Originally I wanted a good DSLR so I could take amazing photos, and quite frankly my first DSLR took some great photos, compared to my older digital camera and even my smart phone. But they weren’t brilliant, not how I saw them in my mind. I thought perhaps I needed a better camera? I got a better camera and funnily it has less features than my original, but it had definite specs that I thought I required. Still the pics were good……….not quite as great as I thought.

So I spent some time learning a few fundamentals, then a few different techniques, then a few different styles. Then I spent some time just playing. Then I enrolled in a course, then another, then another and so on.

I still have the same two cameras, but my images are so much better now, than 12 months ago, even 6 months ago. So I guess it’s not the camera at all it is ME! All me.

I know, I know it’s obvious, and you hear lots of people saying it’s not the gear, it’s the photographer………sure that’s easy to say when you have the latest and greatest gear around. I mean if you have a really good oven, I guess that means you are a great chef? But when you have what you have………..you learn to use it, I mean really learn to use it and be the best photographer you can be. It is kind of liberating. I no longer focus on my gear (sure I pick the right lens for the right job……but if I don’t have the right lens for the job, I know I can improvise and still get an excellent image), I can focus more on WHAT the photo is, what is IT’S purpose. I know longer snap off 1000’s of photos, sometimes it is only a few.

I don’t even Chimp any more (well rarely)….what’s Chimping? Take a photo and then review it in LiveMode; check the histogram, check the settings, check it’s in focus etc, etc, etc. I might double check the first shot, but not after that. I trust myself. If the gear fails, it fails and checking won’t help that. I shoot in RAW so if it’s not perfect exposure, if it’s a little off I can fix in Lightroom or Photoshop.

It’s funny, now that I know it’s me……….I don’t even feel the need for a new camera, or lens, of filter, or gadget. I have what I need; a good camera, a few core good lenses, a few core good filters and my skill. I know IF I really concentrate and work on an image and not just be slack……..I can make magic happen. I don’t wish to sound conceited here either. This is my passion, an obsession, a life force in itself and when I let the force happen, I feel in the zone, it’s almost a form of meditation and I can see the image form in my mind, exactly as it does on the camera. So at the risk of sounding very, very corny……….

May the FORCE be with you.

So if you are new to photography (Or other art form) give yourself time to be really bad, before you can get really good.I know that from here it can only get better and I am already loving where I am at. I feel no need to stress, especially if it is my own projects that I am working on. Oh and Remember……..not EVERY SINGLE photo will be a world class piece of art.

-Julz