****This is going to be a bit of a rant so please, grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and prepare yourself for some photo gear oriented vitriol the likes of which you have probably never seen.****
Geargasm (noun, verb)
1. What the collective internet experiences when a (presumably) Japanese camera company announces some new piece of supposedly revolutionary gear. After the announcement, hungry gear heads pour over the novella of specs and numbers ad infinitum.
Technology or gear cannot save you
Seriously people. Before I commence my rant, I’d like to say a few things.
1. I like nerding out about gear to a certain extent
2.If you are offended by any of this. you probably pre-ordered this camera.
One of the most annoying parts of being a photographer is having your cousin, the postman, cops who pulled you over (seriously, this happened) and every single one of your friends ask you for gear advice. The actual act of asking for advice is not annoying in and of itself, it is the willful ignoring of the advice that follows that is annoying. I always say the same thing to people and literally, in the last 5 years, only ONE person has actually listened to me (i’m looking at you Rosenthal). People ignore my advice because they don’t like what it implies. I always tell people to spend less money on an older camera body and put what they save into a decent prime lens and go from there. They wanted me to tell them that the new 145 Megapixel canikon d367 is going to be the best f***ing camera that has ever come out and it will make them take awesome photos and all of their photographic dreams will come true OMG OMG OMG!!!!
Bad news people. If you take boring-ass photos of flowers and dogs at 12 megapixels, you are going to take boring-ass photos of flowers and dogs at 36 megapixels. Period, end of story.
I think our collective obsession with megapixels and tech specs speaks to a larger cultural problem. For so long, technology was supposed to save us. It was going to fix all of our problems. For every problem we have, we solved it with some sort of computer or smart phone or car etc etc etc. Well, guess what? we now have millions and millions of people who can take a perfectly exposed, in focus picture but we don’t have millions of Carteir-Bressons or Dorthea Langs.
This obsession speaks to our overall laziness as a culture and society and it’s implications frighten me. I myself have fallen victim to this type of thinking all of the time. It’s something I have to constantly fight. When I first started shooting photos, I obsessed about gear and thought it would make me better. I bought it all and it didn’t. I still sucked. You know what the only thing that made me progress? Time and work. I actually went out and shot photos and pushed myself and I slowly but surely progressed over a long period of time. Hell, I still suck but I feel like I am slowly getting there. I’ve known how to properly expose a photo since my photo 1 class but my work was meaningless then.
If you want to be a good photographer, go shoot stuff. Get outside of your comfort zone, show your work to people and take criticism graciously (this is a whole other cultural issue that might be discussed at a later point).
So in closing,
A camera won’t save you. It won’t make you a better photographer. In fact, obsessing about it has probably made you a worse photographer. Save yourself some money and go shoot some photos with whatever is in your hands or on your shelf right now. You don’t need any of that bullshit gear right now, and when you do need it, you will know.
If you have ever asked me for camera advice or were thinking about it and are now offended, sorry but this is on the real yo!