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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's All About the Image... Not The Camera

Many photographers are gear heads; myself included... to an extent. Unfortunately many photographers are overly concerned about equipment. Insistent on getting the sharpest, fastest lenses available, or the latest camera with highest mega-pixel count. Some shooters have every lens imaginable. Henri Cartier-Bresson is arguably one of the best photographers in history and he used cameras equipped with just a 50mm lens or occasionally a wide-angle for landscapes.

And of course we have the endless Nikon vs Canon debate. Or some Leica users wearing the camera as a status symbol and would lose their minds if their Leica were to ever get a scratch on it. Have they seen Jim Marshall's camera?

The camera is a just a tool. Sure good tools are important but the image is everything. Stop pixel peeping, reading reviews on lenses and cameras and go out and shoot!

Here are some great quotes that may illuminate more on this topic:

"We don't take pictures with our cameras. We take them with our hearts and we take them with our minds, and the camera is nothing more than a tool." ~ Arnold Newman

"I always kept my equipment down to a minimum two cameras, each with three lenses, a flash that would clip onto the camera body, and one assistant. I did not want to spend time thinking about hardware; I wanted that time to concentrate on the girl and the world around her." ~ Helmut Newton

"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept" - Ansel Adams

"The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." ~ Ansel Adams

Jay Meisel shakes his head when the first question out of his students mouths after seeing one of his images is  "What kind of camera do you use"

"Most of the questions I am asked about my pictures is what camera I used to take that picture. It seems that we have become worshippers of the tools rather than the images, or perhaps subconsciously believe the most advanced camera will narrow the competition. It is my belief that as a photographer, one is only in competition with one's self " ~ Melvin Sokolsky

"I recently went to an opening at the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles showing Nick Brandt’s beautiful animal pictures of the endangered species in Africa called, “A Shadow Falls.” I was amused by the question that everyone asked after greeting Nick. 'What camera do you use?' " ~ Melvin Sokolsky

Walker Evans  once said "People always ask me what camera I use. It's not the camera, it's - - - " and he tapped his temple with his index finger.
"Leica, schmeica. The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE." ~ Ernst Haas
"Best wide-angle lens? 'Two steps backward' and 'look for the ah-ha'." ~ Ernst Haas

"Photographers — idiots, of which there are so many — say, “Oh, if only I had a Nikon or a Leica, I could make great photographs.” That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life. It’s nothing but a matter of seeing, thinking, and interest. That’s what makes a good photograph. And then rejecting anything that would be bad for the picture. The wrong light, the wrong background, time and so on. Just don’t do it, not matter how beautiful the subject is." ~ Andreas Feininger

Having the same paints and brushes as Piccaso doesn't make you a Picasso and  driving a Ferrari doesn't make you  Michael Schumacher  It all comes down to you not the camera

"Most people stiffen with self-consciousness when they pose for a photograph. Lighting and fine camera equipment are useless if the photographer cannot make them drop the mask, at least for a moment, so he can capture on his film their real, undistorted personality and character. " ~ Halsman

So what are you waiting for?...Go out and shoot and have fun!



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