“Your Camera Takes Good Pictures”…Yeah, It Was The Camera?

modeling for photographerThe next time a friend of mine tells me “your camera takes good pictures”, I’m going to pop him over the head with my “good” camera. Or better yet, I’ll tell them to read this book and ask them to re-create the photo my “good” camera took!

I know this happens to everyone. But it always seems to follow this exact same sequence.

  1. A non-photographer friend looks at a picture I took and asks what type of camera did you use? They ask the type because to them there are only two, compact and DSLR.
  2. I tell them which camera I used.
  3. They say “that camera takes good pictures”!
  4. I roll my eyes as if it were only that easy.

Taking “good” pictures has less to do with the camera and more to do with the user. I’d say a good photo is made up of 25% photo equipment and 75% user knowledge, skill and experience. Heck, I’d go as far as 85% on the user side.

When you look at some of the images captured with an iPhone, the good ones are mostly taken by knowledgeable photographers. The average non photo person will take the same snapshots on an iPhone as on a $5000 DSLR.

What I’m saying is that to the general public, the art of creating beautiful pictures is thought to come from the quality of the camera not the user. I for one am tired of it. So I’m going to do something about it.

From now on I’m going to use the following statements, when appropriate of course, to make my point!

  • “This pie tastes great, you must have a good oven!”
  • “Your students did well on the test, they must have great text books!”
  • “You look so fit, you must have a good weight set.”
  • “That custom cabinet you built is beautiful, you must have a good hammer.”

Well, you get the picture. A camera, lens or flash is only a tool. It takes years of practice and dedication to be able create “good” images. One must understand lighting, exposure, distance, composition and much more.

Plus, many photographers go further and learn to edit the images, such as my previous Photoshop airbrush step by step video tutorial. Taking good pictures is a learned skill, not something a camera takes.

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