I am constantly asked what camera I have and then the next line ‘It must be a really good one to produce what you do’… So, I’ll let you into a secret… it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it.
I can guarantee you that there are not many people out there who know their camera inside and out to the point where they outgrow what their camera can do.
For example, I know of people (pro photographers) who always shoot in RAW so the shots can be ‘fixed’ in Photoshop afterwards if the shots are over or under exposed. Wouldn’t it be better, you’d think, to learn how to use the camera properly so that doesn’t happen?
I know of other people who are taking photographs for a living who don’t really truly know what their camera can do and the camera rarely comes off ‘Auto’ mode.
I’m kidding, right?
So I’m gonna say this once and once only. You can have a pin-hole camera or you can have an all singing, all dancing top of the range camera… but if you don’t have a clue how it works, then you are limited by your own lack of knowledge.
Putting your camera on ‘Auto’ and hoping that will work will only take you so far. You have to have a good ‘eye’ if you’re going to be a photographer, not just good equipment and you HAVE to know what that equipment can do for you.
Whilst I may shoot with a D700, one of my all time favourite cameras is still my first D80. True it’s limited, but I know that camera so well, I can make it shoot anything I want. Not only is it smaller and lighter than most other cameras (meaning I can shoot for hours and still not get tired – very important when you’re on your feet all day) but because I know what it can do for me, we work great together. Some of my most bought and viewed work has been come from that camera.
Team that with a few excellent Nikor lenses and we have lift-off.
Here’s a slightly unnerving thing… Many people don’t know what the ‘White balance’ thingamabob is in their menu on their camera. Tick the same box for ISO. Got any idea what that is and how it can work for you?
Most people don’t even read the manual that comes with their camera. They ‘work it out’ as they go along.
There’s nothing wrong with working it out as you go along… for sure I did that in the early days… but really really get to know your camera and what it can do for you before you spend mega bucks on something that you can’t operate, simply because you feel you ‘should upgrade’. You can take great photographs with a basic camera and you can take rubbish shots with a mega expensive top of the range camera. Save some cash and get to know your camera.
It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it.