I used to own Canon cameras. Loved them. Every button was where it should be. I learned the ins and out. I installed Magic Lantern (firmware that installs features that the cameras don’t have natively) and became proficient at that. I even threw some YouTube videos up about it. But I felt limited. So, what did I do? I went out and bought what I thought was the perfect camera.
The Sony A6000 came out and, in many ways, for me, it was perfect. I could take my old SLR glass and mount it, and breathe new life into those old film camera lenses. It was muchsmaller than my old Canon. Plus, the video codec was better. I was in love. I am done buying cameras, I thought. This is the one, I confessed.
Surprisingly, it was after acquiring this “perfect” camera that my creative focus and experimentation began to wane. I allowed my focus on impressive specs take precedence over the enjoyment of how the camera felt in my hand. I was proud of myself for knowing what made a great camera, as far as I was concerned. I didn’t realize at the time that I wasn’t shooting photos as often as when I had my Canon. Sure, the Sony had more focus points and better video features, but what good does this do me when I leave the camera at home?
My new camera was much smaller than my old camera, so I should have been carrying it by my side as I do my cell phone. But in reality, I wasn’t. All the fancy video features and massive amounts of focus points couldn’t make up for the reasons I left it home. The ergonomics (including dial placement), the non-stabilized old lenses, and the fact that I am left-eye dominant on a camera with a viewfinder on the left side (picture a nose pushed up against the LCD screen) essentially caused me to stop taking photos.
So what did I do? Sold my Sony, and bought an Olympus. The new Olympus OMD EM-1 Mark 2? Nope. The EM-10 Mark 2. But….why? No 4k video. No flat picture profile. Not even a million focus points. But a stabilized sensor for those old lenses and those top dials. Those lovely dials I was missing from my Sony. It made me realize that I could not pretend to call myself a photographer if I wasn’t actually using my camera. As feature-packed as the Sony was, it wasn’t making me passionate about photography, or even giving me business, and that’s because I chose the wrong camera, for me.
Never, ever let gear be the cause of your passion disappearing. Your creativity is always with you. Take walks. Watch people. Buy a camera that you want to grab. Don’t let the absence of gear in your bag limit you from trying new things or experimenting with what you have. Enjoyment feeds creativity. Enjoyment feeds experimentation. Experimentation feeds proficiency with that camera. And that means more focus on your subjects when shooting, getting better results, and in the end…falling back in love with photography.
David Andrade is a Rhode Island-based portrait photographer, wedding videographer, and budget filmmaker. His passion is in post production – such as color grading in Davinci Resolve and compositing in Photoshop. Dave also has a passion for music as a long time guitarist, and an avid fan of blues music.
Leland Foster has a knack for capturing dark scenes that evoke a feeling of uneasiness and exclusion. He tells us how he shot a nostalgic series of images one night in Phoenix, including one particularly dramatic scene of a local diner.
Continuing with our digital marketing for photographers series, we talk about two things that you need for a successful digital marketing strategy and how they can help you build trust with your customers: link building and content creation.
Having grown up in the south of France, with a sailor father and surfer brothers, Ben Thouard learned about the water early on. Now, he photographs pro surfers from France to Tahiti and is a master of the underwater shot. Here’s what’s in his camera kit.
New York City street photographer Manuel Pena always has his camera on hand – even on his daily commute, which is why he was able to capture this intriguing shot of everyday life. Manuel explains how he took the shot and his editing process to draw out the beauty in the everyday.
Surreal self-portrait artist Natalia Seth has become quite the Instagram sensation, working with the likes of Adobe and Club Med – and she’s only 18! In our interview, Natalia talks about her new book, her Instagram success and her new PHLEARN tutorial.
Concluding our series on the exposure triangle, we discuss ISO, which plays its own specific role in exposure and light. This guide explains what ISO is, how it affects your images, the pros and cons of using ISO, and how it interacts with shutter speed and aperture.
Part 3 of 3 Camera Reviews: Concluding his series, professional lifestyle photographer Josh S. Rose reviews the cameras he works with for professional and personal shoots. Here, Josh talks about the Leica M-P, with a full year of photoshoot examples showing us when it performed at its best.
Erik Johansson is a Swedish photographer and image creator currently based in Prague, Czech Republic, specializing in surrealism, photo manipulation, and montages that will really make you question reality. Let’s have a look at what’s in his camera bag.