Last Updated on 11/20/2013 by Chris Gampat
“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”
I know you’re like, “WTF” but hear me out. As photographers we have to be flexible. There are those who say they only shoot with prime lenses. There are those who only shoot mirrorless. Hell, there are those like me who swear by full frame sensors. They stick to this. They do not change. However, it does not have to be this way. The equipment we use for photography are tools. To both succeed and get better at this craft we have to adapt and change.
Cameras are Tools
Do you just stick with one screwdriver? No, you choose the right one for the right job. Cameras can be viewed the same way. You don’t take a 10MP point and shoot camera to a photo shoot but you can take it on a family trip. While it’s okay to sell all your gear for a camera like the Olympus OM-D, don’t close your mind to all the other great technology out there. When you think about cameras you have to keep in mind what you actually need as a tool for your optimal end results. Your priority as a photographer is to present your best work with the tools available. Don’t limit yourself.
When you think about the lenses you use, you should consider a holistic approach. You have to think of everything you need to achieve when on a particular shoot. Not every lens works for every situation. It’s a simple truth. If you need to zoom with a 50mm prime and your subject is on water, you just don’t. However if you have a lens like a Sigma 50-150mm or a Tamron 70-200mm you have a better chance of getting the shot. Having a zoom paired with a prime lens can save time. Again, it’s about using the right tool for the right job. It’s not about wondering which is the better tool. When thinking of what lens you are going to use you are developing the foundation for your final image. You have to be flexible and try new things as well.
See the Light and Use It
Some photographers prefer natural light. Other like to control their situations with speed lights, strobes and modifiers. The proper use of light is the gateway to fantastic images. Photographers just can’t stick to one thing when it comes to lighting. A photographer has to always be willing to balance the situations with the available tools. A speedlight can add definition to a face on a sunny day if used correctly. Natural light can give much better skin tones than strobes. It depends on the situation.
Not All Camera Bags are Created Equal
Until I got into photography, I never understood why some women had so many pocketbooks. Now my wife laughs at me, because I have so many camera bags. The bag I use to carry a lens like the Sigma 300mm f2.8 is a Lowepro 500W. It would be overkill if I am just carrying my Olympus EP1. Somewhere out there, there is the right bag or bags for every photographer. A photographer cannot settle. There are so many possibilities out there. Bags out there like the Think Tank Urban Disguise 60, can carry a good amount of gear yet maintain a neat profile. Or a large multimedia backpack which can accommodate a large amount of gear allowing you to explore different techniques and combinations of your gear.
Master of the Obvious
This may seem like common sense but stuff like this is often overlooked. When you run across your most difficult subjects it is always easiest to look back on the rule of thirds. As a reference point it makes photography easy most times. It also keeps things simple. When your days fade to night and you don’t have a tripod, most times your environment is good enough to stabilize your camera. A reed will bend in the wind. Your photography has to do the same.
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