Photography has Nothing to Do With Cameras

The first and foremost thing to know about being a photographer is as follows: Photography is all about the eye. Many people make the mistake of thinking that if only they had a fancy camera, then they would be a better photographer. Or they’ll think that if only they could take a trip to a more beautiful area, then they could take better pictures. I’m here to tell you that those sentiments are simply not true.

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The simple fact is that it doesn’t matter how nice your camera is or how exotic the location, the major determination of the quality of the picture comes from the object that is behind the camera - not in front of it. The camera may be the limiting factor in certain situations, making it so your can’t get as clear of a photograph as you’d like, or the shutter speed might not be as fast as you’d like, but enhancing those features can only remove the limitations. It can’t make you take better pictures.

Cameras can only capture a scene or an object on film (or on a disk), but the thing that truely matters is the photographer. You have to see the photographs in your head before your camera can put them on film. Look for photographs everywhere. They are there, you just have to find them.

Look around as you go through the world. Look up especially. Nobody else looks up — they look down, they look forward. They get caught up in their busy lives, and don’t take the time to see the beauty that is all around them. That’s where you come in. You have the special position, as a photographer, to be the person who ensnares the beauty of the world around you and presents it to those less fortunate — the ones who haven’t discovered the awe which can be found in all creation.

You might be reading this and think to yourself, “Man, this guy is half-baked. He seems to think that the whole world is a painting, and that all you have to do is show it to people and you’ll be great.” Well, I can’t argue with you there. But I also would say that it is because I have this attitude, I can find great photographs in the mundane situations of life. It is because of this attitude that I can walk out my front door in regular-town, USA and be blown away by the beauty of the nature and the sky around me. It is because of this reason that I am a good photographer.

Let yourself be in awe of the world around you. Get blown away by the beauty in normal life. And that, my friend, will be the reason that your pictures will become priceless. Because you’ll be the one to bring the awe to someone else.