My photo was picked for Group 1 of the Landscape assignment over at PioneerWoman! As usual, she’s put together a wonderful selection, the best out of thousands of beautiful submissions. I’m thrilled to somehow be in there amongst them. Go and take a look at the gorgeous landscape photos there! Group 2 is now up as well.
“The single most important component
of a camera is the twelve inches behind it”
While scrolling through the comments on the Group 1 post, and one or two of the discussion threads in the Flickr group, I found several comments saying that only professionals with professional equipment stand a chance of winning (despite the fact that the last competition was won by a stunning photo taken with a point & shoot camera), therefore there’s no point even trying.
I’m saddened that fellow photographers can be disheartened by seeing all this incredible work being recognised and celebrated. Surely seeing what’s possible simply gives us even more to aspire to! Good photos are not created merely by using an expensive camera; a truly great photo has that something about it… a little touch of soul.
Photography is about the images you capture, the moments you freeze forever, the memories you treasure. It’s about vision and imagination, about seeing the world in your own unique way, and sharing this view with others. It’s not about spending thousands of pounds on equipment.
I’m not a professional photographer. I would love to be, and plan to be, but I’m not yet. Now I have a dSLR (a Canon 450D), but for 5 of my 6 years taking digital photos, I worked only with point & shoot cameras (first a 5mp Olympus c-5000, then my lovely 7mp Casio z750).
Of course I longed for an SLR, but I was determined not to let my lack of pro equipment affect the quality of my photos. I constantly searched for the most inspiring photos out there, and then tried to work out how to make my photos as good as those. I had to work for every photo, and I was proud of my work when it paid off. I successfully submitted one of my early Olympus photos to be published in a photography magazine just to prove to myself that I could:
I took thousands of photos, always with the aim to create images that didn’t look like snapshots. This meant learning to look at things with the eye of a photographer, finding viewpoints that others might not, making the most of composition, learning simple little tricks in Photoshop (or any editing software I could get my hands on) to take my colours and contrast from drab to vibrant.
I believe that starting my photography life in this way has made me a better photographer. It meant that I avoided the rut of taking my equipment for granted, and relying only a good camera to get me a good shot. And now that I do have a dSLR, I’ve found that the techniques I learned to take my photos from average to good before, now are capable of taking good to even better.
And the reaching towards greater heights never ends. Collections of images, like the ones at ThePioneerWoman, are sources of inspiration for me, giving me that push to never say, “Okay, that’ll do… I’m good enough,” but keep studying, practicing, learning.
Do you agree? Disagree? Do you think equipment is all-important?