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© Brad Mangas

I spend many hours looking at photography. I spend many hours reading about photography and photographers. There are many people out there that have some very nice equipment. When I say “nice” for the most part I meen they are using slr’s and primarily dslr’s. Without getting all technical about cameras it is my believe most if not all  dslr’s that has been purchased in the last 3-5 years can produce excellent photographs. Lenses, yes they play a major role in the quality of the image as well,  I believe more so than the camera. That said, there are lots of ho-hum photographs being produced by this equipment. Am I an expert, of course not. This is an observation based on my opinion.

For example, I do know of 2 people using the exact same camera and lens. I get a chance to see their work on a somewhat regular basis, much of it very similar subjects. If I didn’t know they were using the same equipment I would swear one is using a much “better” camera and or lens. But that is not the case. The difference is substantial. Photographer A’s pictures seem sharp and vibrant with dof used to enhance subjects or to minimize non subject items in the image which ever the case may be. Photographer B’s pictures, to put it mildly just look flat and dull. And this can be of very similar subjects.

Now like I have said I spend a lot of time looking at and reading about photography and photographers. Visiting their respected websites following online forums and blogs. So I am only stating my opinion on what I have gathered from time spent in this way. Would it surprise you that on more than one occasion photographer B has said they sure would like to upgrade their equipment. More resolution and many more bells and whistles, and maybe even a new lens. Hey sounds good to me, who doesn’t want new stuff! Like better camera equals better photos, right?

So the question is, are you as good as your equipment? There may not be a definite answer to that question for the fact that you will never know. What you do know is you want to take better pictures hence the yearning for better equipment.

If there is anything you want to improve in your photography in my experience equipment is not the answer. And maybe just maybe, better equipment may make your photography worse. How you ask? Simple, complacency. Thinking that if you just had what they “pros” use you could take picture just like that. As silly as that sounds I know there are people who think that way.

Question yourself, and be honest. Do you want to be a better photographer, or do you want to use new equipment? Do you have the “I want to learn and grow attitude” or the “bigger is better’ attitude. Bigger is better seems much faster and easier for sure. Learning and growing does not come easy. As it shouldn’t.