Since our “big camera” broke last week I’ve had to re-think my financial and personal priorities a bit and I’ve given some serious thought to how photography fits into my long-range plans. My husband is amused because he originally bought the camera and I said it was “too complicated for me to use”. He likes to tell people that once I figured out the basics of it he couldn’t get me to give it back to him. But the truth is that my interest in photography just happened to grow as his own was waning. He’s always been more interested in being knowledgeable about the lens than being behind it. So things worked out well for both of us.
Over the past few years people have often commented that I must “have a good camera” because my photos are so good. I appreciate the oddly phrased compliment because I do understand the role that equipment plays in photography. However, the assumption that photography is mostly about the camera is false. And I think my new dependence on a very basic camera proves that. I can still take some enjoyable photos because I have vision, patience, and opportunity. And I took a few photos in 1990 that are still worth viewing, even though they were taken with a camera that is now considered obsolete.
Gary and I were talking last night about the demise of big photography studios now that so many people have part-time photography businesses at home. Wedding photography has probably suffered the most because of the great quality of photos taken by amateurs. Senior portraits, engagement photos, and baby pictures can now be taken by someone you know instead of someone you find in the phone book. Some of that shift in the industry IS because of the availability of quality cameras at affordable prices. And digital makes photography easier in many ways. However…
Thanks to FB I have the opportunity to enjoy photos taken by a variety of amateur and professional photographers. Each has a different vision and it’s quite obvious that some are far superior to others. And yes, I can also tell, sometimes, that a person has a big fancy camera or a professional lens or whatever. But does that really matter? Not to me. I’m too busy looking at the image to care much about how it was produced. It’s still the vision of the photographer that interests me.
Yes, there will be a better camera in my future. But I’m not anxious to make a purchase tomorrow. I’m not unhappy because of my current limitations. I’m still eager to go outside and see what opportunities are there for me. I still trust that my personal vision will shine through any lens.