I don’t know if it is a positive or a negative that I’m not a ‘gear head’ when it comes to camera equipment. I suppose this blog would have a much bigger audience if I spent my time doing numerous reviews of camera bodies and lenses. No doubt these kinds of technical insights are extremely important to a large portion of the photographic community. But…that’s just not me. I think a bigger and more important question is, “Are you ‘at one’ with your camera gear?”
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
To me being ‘at one’ with a camera means that you have a special connection, a bond with it. In essence the camera has become an extension of you and your creativity. It forms a seamless bridge between you and the wonders you see in the world around you. It enables you. It is a spark that ignites your creativity.
I’ve used a number of cameras over the years and many folks would argue that I’ve used a lot ‘better’ gear in the past than I do currently. From a purely technical standpoint they would be absolutely correct!
The full frame D800 I used to own was an incredible camera. The dynamic range and colour depth were superb. I could point it at just about anything and I knew I’d get images that my clients would approve without hesitation.
My problem was that I was never able to connect with it. All my D800 ever was to me was a tool to do a job. A means to an end. At times it felt that it simply got in the way of my creative urges. It was an impediment.
If you asked me why that was the case I don’t think I could give you a logical answer. Perhaps logic doesn’t enter into this at all. At the heart of being ‘at one’ is a visceral thing. An emotion. A feeling of calmness that is created every time you hold it in your hands.
The camera transports you to another realm. Another vantage point that allows you to see and experience the world around you differently. More completely.
Like many people I used to get caught up in the technical specifications of camera gear. I chased after ‘better’ gear, erroneously thinking it would somehow make me a ‘better’ photographer because of its technical superiority.
Whether my work today is ‘better’ than it was in the past is a subjective assessment. I think the best way of knowing whether you own and use the right equipment is how you feel when you use it.
When you ask yourself if you are ‘at one’ with your camera, what answer do you get?
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