When I first started taking pictures, I was obsessed with the equipment.
I read every test I could find in magazines or on the internet. I was aware of the latest news from every manufacturer.
And I was even following specialized sites to find out what the manufacturers were going to offer in the following months.
I don’t know if it’s the case for all photographers who are just starting out… But I still have the impression that it’s quite common.
At the same time, it can be explained.
When you’re going to invest in a box or a lens that costs several hundred euros, you’re rather cautious.
That’s normal, it’s a big investment for most of us. And we don’t want to make a bad choice.
And then there’s also everything that our entourage sends back to us.
You know, when someone close to you who knows nothing about photography tells you that your photos are excellent. But then again, that’s normal, because you have a great camera…
In fact, you often hear in the mouths of some people: “I’m looking for a camera that takes beautiful pictures.
So, subconsciously, these little phrases make their way… And we come to believe that the material is the determining factor in the success of one’s photos.
Let’s put things back…
Yes, some cameras make better pictures than others. That’s an undeniable fact.
A high-end DSLR or hybrid camera offers better image quality and far greater possibilities than a basic compact camera.
But it would be really reductive to think that it’s only the device that does all the work…
Let us take an example.
I don’t know if it’s been done before, I’d be curious to know by the way…
Let’s imagine that an experienced photographer and a novice photographer are brought together and asked to photograph the same subject.
We give the beginner a top-of-the-line case.
To make things even more challenging, we give the experienced photographer a basic compact.
Who do you think’s going to be better off?
Well, the result will be irrevocable.
The experienced photographer will find an original angle and make a composition that immediately catches the eye.
He will have a perfect command of light and will know how to use it to enhance his subject.
He will use the settings to take exactly the pictures he has in mind.
In the end, the experienced photographer will take much better pictures than the beginner, even if he has a much more limited camera.
This story is fictional, of course, but I think you see where I’m going with this.
All this to say that one should not systematically put all one’s energy and attention into the material.
Yes, it’s important. But don’t obsess about it, and don’t think that good equipment magically makes it possible to take good pictures.
Because there are also many other essential things such as the photographer’s eye, his knowledge of light, his perfect mastery of settings, etc..
Once you understand that, you feel better, and you can move on to what really matters.