La Cauma, France / Olympus E-M1, f/11 @1/80 sec, ISO 400, 24mm
I’ve spent the last week literally off my feet fighting off the flu. Six days of fever and body aches left me a little sore physically, but the good news is it’s out of my system, and I’m eager to get back out again with the camera!
I wanted to share a great post by Michael Reichman from luminous-landscape.com titled “What Matters” that summarizes the current state of the camera industry from a sales perspective – in one word, lousy.
His thoughts echoed many of my own over the past few years, the idea being that the industry has plateaued and buying more gear does not equal better images. I suggest you read the entire article, but in particular here are a few key points quoted directly from the article and worth thinking about:
- Most cameras are better than most photographers.
- Most cameras frustrate their owners with too much complexity and unneeded and unused functionality.
- Most cameras are highly flawed in one way or another, but their users just don’t understand how and why.
- It doesn’t matter what camera you have if your photography has nothing worthwhile to say.
- A high quality lens will always trump the sensor when it comes to producing superior image quality.
- Sensor size and high megapixel count matters little, unless one is making very large exhibition sized prints.
All of these struck a very familiar chord with me not only because I agree, but because I see them play out with students on every workshop I teach, every lecture and talk I give. Most are overly consumed with the mechanical aspects of photography, and while there is a genuine desire to reach beyond that, it seems more elusive and harder to grasp than ever before.
I think these ideas are critically important and I’ll be discussing them at my upcoming talk at the Beahive in Beacon this Saturday. I’ll also continue to write about them and offer ways to get beyond the pixels, and find meaning in your image making.
PS – There’s a huge difference between meaning in images, and meaning in image making. While both are important and offer worthwhile rewards, I think it’s only when you find meaning in your image making that you can tap your true creative potential. Or in other words, it’s the journey, not the destination where progress is made.