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Gear Envy

June 16, 2009

What is it with gear envy? People who always lust after the newest, greatest, most expensive new thing? Or worse, gear bashing? (“That’s your camera? I feel bad for you.”) My wife has a bright orange $100 point-and-shoot pocket camera. Except for lens selection and the ability to attach an external flash, that thing does more than very high-end film SLRs of a dozen years ago. Even a basic model $500 DSLR from K-mart kicks the crap out of the $10,000 cameras the pros were using in the 1980s. Granted, the top-of-the-line models are even better yet but it’s really about style and technique. Cameras are just a tool for creating an image. Greats such as Alfred Stieglitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams all used gear that was positively primitive by today’s standards. And yet, how many of us take images with as much beauty and style as those old masters?

Better gear will not make you a better photographer. Period.

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