Musings on Photography


Posted in equipment by Paul Butzi on May 30, 2009


I just recently bought an EOS 5d mk II. Concise camera review: I like it. I like it a lot.

So I’ve been thinking some, recently, about that peculiar synergy between the photographer and a camera – the special mojo that makes a particular camera perfect for one photographer and an evil instrument of Satan for another.

Every once in a while, I read something that catches my attention because it sums up a meaningful insight very concisely. Usually when I read these, I think “Oh, that’s obvious. Duh.” And then I realize that it’s that sort of insight which is obvious once it’s been pointed out to you, but not before.

This morning I was reading Mike Johnston’s TOP, and read just such an insight. Mike wrote:

Cameras don’t take pictures, true; but then, people don’t take pictures either. People with cameras take pictures.

6 Responses

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  1. Bob said, on May 30, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Isn’t that oh so obvious, too?

  2. Paul Butzi said, on May 30, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Isn’t that oh so obvious, too?

    I’m a little unclear on what you’re getting at.

    Are you suggesting that Mike’s statement is “oh so obvious?”

    Are you suggesting that my observation that some things are obvious but only in retrospect is “oh so obvious”

    I’m afraid I need you to make your comment “oh so obvious” for me.

  3. Amy Sakurai said, on May 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Good artists get the best out of their tools. When given better tools, they produce even better work.

    I’ve heard a lot of pundits say It’s the photographer, not the camera, but I know that’s just baloney. I know that when I’m working with defective or limited tools, I can’t produce my best. Maybe that’s why I’m so fussy about my gear (photography, computer, illustration, et al).

  4. Gordon McGregor said, on June 1, 2009 at 6:17 am

    The whole ‘you wouldn’t compliment a chef on his pots/ pans for a good meal’ thing annoys me too. Chefs obsess over gear in the same way that many photographers do. Painters obsess over paintbrushes.

    Photographers seem to have a bigger chip on their shoulder about this than most though. I assume from some sort of inadequacy, worrying that really their camera is doing a lot of the heavy lifting, in many cases.

  5. Martin Doonan said, on June 1, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Photographers barely get going on gear compared to mountain bikers and for the latter, the engine is far more important.

  6. Brian Windrim said, on June 2, 2009 at 3:28 am

    If a mountain bike fails when you’re pushing it hard it tends to hurt, less so with cameras.

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