Its not all about the gear

A few weeks ago i overheard someone at Badminton Horse trials state that my photos would be superior to his, “because he’s got a better camera” (i was carrying a Canon 1d, 70-200mm combination to his 400d and cheaper long telephoto). Only a few weeks before that i was lent a Canon 40d (which in my eyes is an awesome camera – just don’t get it wet) with the instruction of “just press the button, and be careful, it wasn’t cheap”

My first camera was a Pentax K1000 which was a brilliant camera to break into the world of film SLR cameras. I was largely self taught about the progression into digital photography so went back to basics studying everything about my new camera, which at the time was a Canon 300d.

Since Canon introduced digital slrs they have sold over 10 million worldwide. With so many people now owning them there is always going to be a belief in some peoples minds that they will make better pictures if they have more expensive equipment. When i was around 15 i blamed my downhill mountain bike race times on the fact that i didn’t have a full suspension bike. The reality was that it was completely down to my lack of skill at that level of riding, not at all to do with my bike. The same can be said about many things. I see it a lot with young snowboarders blaming their equipment for their downfalls. It all relates back to the saying, “i’ve got half as much as i want, and twice as much as i need”. People want automatic results; they buy the best, it will make the best….or so they think.

The moral of the story? Get out there and experiment. Study the theory and put it into practice. Should you be saying, “just press the button” with a very good digital camera? No way! Get it off the automatic setting and start playing around learning what each twist of the dial does. Don’t make excuses about your photography based on your gear.

This all stems from two nights ago where i was lucky enough to bump into a ticket tout and get tickets for the UEFA Cup final in Istanbul. As i was literally just wandering the streets before the game i had only brought the bare minimum gear out with me (a Canon 40d and 50mm 1.8 lens). Did i enjoy the game? Yes. Did my gear have its limitations? Yes of course it did but i was still able to use it to make images that i’m happy to look at and show to others…..surely the original aim of buying a camera?

If you really want to purchase a lens to make great images then look no further than the 50mm 1.8. Check out the reviews on Amazon here. I’m sure you can find it for around £50 and if you’re walking the streets of Istanbul, or any other city, then it looks nice and conspicuous not attracting attention.

If you fancy checking out a couple more from the evening just click on the image below. Right, off to do some real work…..more to come.

Need to hear what i’m doing the minute you read this? you can check me out on Twitter for those kind of updates

And yes, that button at the top of the page isn’t lying. I really am running the Eurasia marathon raising money for UNICEF. If you can spare any change then please consider donating.


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