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Better Gear DOES NOT Make You A Better Photographer

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…never have truer words been spoken. This has been a constant debate and topic of discussion among photographers in forums and the like for years upon years. It’s a pointless argument/discussion because it’s neither the camera nor the lens that make the picture, it’s the photographer!

Over the years, I have often heard from many people: “oh I need to buy this expensive camera”, “that expensive lens” or “I can’t create the images I want to because I only have this shitty camera or this crappy lens”.  STOP with the excuses!  Nothing could be further from the truth. You absolutely DO NOT need expensive gear to create amazing images.

I wish I had the money to buy all the gear I wanted but I don’t and I don’t feel that is truly going to help me create better work. I suggest you start out with a relatively inexpensive camera and the kit lens that comes with it. Get to know the ins and outs of your camera.  Practice, practice and more practice with what you have. Master your camera.  Learn it inside out.

You can worry about better gear and spending more money later on once you have worked on and honed your craft.  Learn the basic principles of photography and master the camera you have.  So many people get caught up in spending a ton of money on gear when they are just starting out it and it really isn’t going to make you a better photographer nor is it necessary.

Only YOU have the ability to make YOU a better photographer. So get out there practice, learn and talk to other photographers who have been at this awhile. Take courses, get a mentor but MOST importantly get out there and shoot!

The Film Days - Moments Coming To Life

Never in a million years did I think this one class I was going to take would change my life.  Wait, not only my life but change the way I saw things and open my eyes up to a totally different world!

It was grade 10 photography class at Victoria Park High School and I remember it like it was yesterday.    I was bitten by the photography bug and have been addicted ever since. My uncle gave me my first film camera, a Konica Minolta and I loved that thing. Photography for me has always been such an incredibly fun, creative way to communicate MY visions.  Allowing people into my world, to view things through my lens, my eyes.

Walking into that darkroom for the first time, the darkness, the red light and of course that unforgettable smell of developer, stop bath and fixer all mixed in together. Overwhelming at first but you get used to it and learn to like the distinctive smell that fills the darkroom.  One of the toughest parts was fumbling around in the dark, no pun intended.  Then getting the film out of the camera and onto the spool and into the developing tank. Once I got the hang of that, it was smooth sailing and good times all around.

It was a bit of a steep learning curve both with the camera and in the darkroom but I enjoyed every minute of it and I think I am a better photographer for it. Having learned the craft before the digital revolution exploded on the scene has made me a better photographer.  I see things differently, I shoot differently and I actually think about the shot before I take it.

Making test strips to get the right exposure for your image, dodging and burning the real way, not in a digital computer program. Then, the piece de resistance, seeing what you shot in camera literally come to life on that piece of photography paper right before your very eyes.  That my friends is magic! The whole darkroom process is just an incredible experience from start to finish. I am so glad I was able to experience that for a few years in high school.  Sometimes I really do miss and long for those days.