Tuesday, January 6, 2009

About the myth: great camera = great pictures

I feel modern photography is much more about knowing the nuances and fundamentals of digital photographic techniques - including photo editing techniques - than having a top of the range
The reason I say is this; whenever I show my photographs to people, the first reaction or question, invariably, that I get is - Which camera do you own?
So I answer, matter-of-factly – Olympus Evolt-330 Digital SLR camera (which is hardly even midrange DSLR!).
And the response I get to this is, again invariably – Oh! Cool! No wonder your pictures are good/great/beautiful etc, because you own a great camera!
While I don’t have anything against people forming an opinion based on inaccurate (if not totally unrelated) inference, but one thing that bugs me is this, most people think great camera = great photographs.
I can safely say, from my own experience and experiments (and none too flattering either!), camera and lens (Although, no doubt very significant in overall scheme of things) play a very little role in taking good pictures.
Some of my latest pictures are all taken from Kodak V610 basic POINT-AND-SHOOT camera (Picture#1 above) It has just 6.1MP resolution and is about 2 years old as of today (Jan-2009).If you compare these with the ones I have taken from DSLR (Picture#2 above), you will find very little difference in the quality of pictures. Except for few things like low light performance, white balance and resolution, you will hardly notice any difference. In fact, for an untrained eye, there will be NO difference.
So my point is this – incorrect knowledge about modern photography and application = bad photographs AND NOT great camera = great photographs. Even if you own the most expensive top-of-the-range digital SLR, you can still screw up a would-be picture perfect if you do not understand the some important points about modern digital photography.
The reason why I said “incorrect knowledge” and not something like “incomplete knowledge” or “inadequate training” etc is because I believe strongly that whatever knowledge you have as a photographer, if you own the correct knowledge and apply that knowledge correctly, your photographs WILL be good.
You don’t have be a professional to do a great job. You don’t need to own all the latest equipments with all the bells and whistles. Just right application of right knowledge should do the trick.
So my advice to people interested in photography is this - Get a decent camera, get a decent photo editor (there are many great free ones) , get the fundamentals right and GO for it!