Great pictures do not require great cameras

I like to take pictures, I learned to take picture few years back with a Nikon FE2 a gift from my father, it was a marvel manual (semi-automatic) camera that allowed to take pictures with some automatism in measuring light and it allowed to reduce the risk of missing the picture… I always been fascinated by the fact that light was the most important element in photography and then I decided to move on with a full manual camera, the Nikon F2, one of the most robust fully manual camera. It was a challenge as I had to manage by myself all the different element in taking the picture, overture, timing, light etc… But it was the best school the best training that still today convince most of my family to ask me to take picture at family events.

In the past years of Digital Photography I had tons of argument explaining that this new technology have democratized the way of taking picture but has made most of the photographers more ignorant in the way they were approaching photography. In reality this do not necessarily means that it is a bad thing… millions of people have started to take pictures with a lot of self confidence, the machine take care of all the parameters and so  the only focus become the subject of the photography…. the possibility of viewing immediately the result is also a major advancement, as it allows really to decide immediately if it is necessary to take another shot. In the past you needed to master most of the parameters immediately and you got to take the picture one single time… the possibility to see that picture was postponed to few days later when the photo lab was giving you back the developed photos.

So here the challenge… Most of the photographers I know want the latest technology… the latest camera, from their preferred brand (Nikon, Canon, Pentax etc..) I do continue to argue that the camera does not make the picture but the photographer does. And light it is still more important than the megapixels you have at hands… Mastering the light is far more important than the quality of the camera… I kept my position but I had difficulty in winning the argue battle…. …till yesterday, when I found in the blog a post from Lee Morris that really demonstrated my position.

Lee took the challenge upfront and did a fashion studio photo series using….

…. an iPhone 3GS. I found the idea brilliant as many of you have seen or experimented the very low quality of that smartphone camera demonstrating that setup and skill are definitely a lot more important than how expensive your camera is. Let’s be clear the only low profile thing in the photo shoot was the iPhone, he did used  studio lights, a backdrop, a professional model, and his experience as a photographer.

Have a look at the post in fstopper, there is also a video of the shooting…

… after viewing the video you may really think twice were you want to invest in the next holiday season to do great pictures 😉 may be a training and/or a photo technique book will be better than the last camera model!!!

Stefano Burbui