Your camera is better than Ansel’s

What is up everybody welcome back I have a topic that I want to bring up for discussion today that Deals with a quote that I heard a few months ago And I thought it was really interesting basically the quote was this every famous photograph ever made was done with equipment That wasn’t as good as what you have right now I thought that was really interesting and obviously it’s a sweeping generalization quote, and it is dealing really with the history of photography But I think it’s really true because this is something that affects a lot of photographers. It affects us as human beings Particularly when we get to a point where maybe our work has plateaued a little bit And we’re not producing something we want to produce and then when you combine that to how we’re marketed to from the camera industry these Days in that you know hey, here’s this new camera that it will blow away everything That’s come before it because it has these five new features in it And they’re absolutely essential and they’re gonna make your life easier And you have to have the latest and greatest all the time And this is something a lot of people fall into the trap of and I think this is important to discuss One of the things that I think is really interesting about photography today, is that you are at a point I’m at a point in photography where we have access to Everything that’s come before us in the history of photography this means that if you want to work with alternative process if you want to make salt prints albumin Collodion you have that at your disposal if you want to shoot film. We still have film at our disposal. We have the wonderful Digital technology that does some amazing things that is available to you as well and literally you can pick from anything that’s come before you in the history of our medium, and you can work with that and Fulfill your vision as a photographer through that medium now I want to talk about medium a little bit too because I think this is interesting as well Is that a lot of times it’s really easy to get caught up in the equipment that we’re using whether it’s the latest and greatest digital camera whether You shoot exclusively film and that is your thing or whether you do alternative process And I don’t think that medium has anything to do with the resulting image because most people who will view that image once It’s on a wall and a gallery wherever that is unless you’re a photographer, and you’re really interested in that process People are interested in what you have to say as a photographer And I think that is the most important thing I can possibly bestow on anybody is that is what is important. It’s your experiences It’s your knowledge and understanding a visual imagery And how you do a composition and where you can take that and what you can communicate through an image To the viewer, that is what’s important in the end you know? It’s kind of the old adage that we as photographers use that you know painters don’t sit around and talk about what kind of paint Brush or pencil they’re using or what kind of canvas? They’re using because nobody really cares about that What you see in the end is the end result and that’s what matters? And I think the same holds true for photography the tools that we have are a means to get to this finished product And I will say this I have been lucky enough in the last year to work with some amazing cameras I’ve been able to work with Hasselblad and phase one and these are things that I wouldn’t be able to afford And I’ve had the opportunity to do that through this show I’ve also worked with cameras that are the cheapest cameras that anybody can buy like hulga’s or pinhole cameras and When you look at what the difference is between those two they’re tools to get a job done And I think that particularly when you think about phase one which is astronomically expensive obviously, and there are good reasons Why it the image quality that that camera produces is unbelievable the resolution that’s capable of Shoot right now at 101 megapixels and there are already rumors about 150 megapixel sensor coming out in the next year or two – This is amazing the lenses on those things are just unbelievably good with the quality control What goes into that camera, but you take all that away? you still have to understand what that camera will do and how to use it in order to fulfill your vision as a Photographer, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with Hasselblad and phase one, and I will be the first to admit I’ve taken some dinger images on both those cameras I’ve taken some horrible images because I’m still learning the equipment, or you know there’s nothing really to shoot I’m shooting because I need to talk about the camera I’ve also taken some images that I’m kind of proud of but there is a big difference between the two image quality Alone does not make a great image. That’s just how it is If you take the other extreme if you look at a holga Which is basically a plastic medium format camera it has a single element meniscus lens, that’s also made out of plastic There’s no quality control So three Hulga’s will have different looking lenses one might be soft one might be blurry and the other one might be kind of sharp You never know and then you look at the features on the camera you have exactly one shutter speed at your disposal With the early Hulga’s there was no aperture. There’s a switch, and if you hit the switch It’s like they forgot to order the aperture disk when they went into production or something cuz it didn’t do anything I think they fixed that on the newer Hulga’s so that you can get but anyway the only option that you seem to have with that is the ISO and the film that you’re using in terms of what you’re gonna do to effect the exposure and there ways that you can modify those cameras to get long exposure or bulb exposure, or have a cable release But one of the things that I absolutely love about the Holga is that you have this camera That is nothing but problem solving it reduces you down to what is your vision as a photographer What do you want to say? What kind of image? Do you want to produce and? Then how do I get this camera to work with me to do that and then you can come up with some interesting results I? Know I can’t do this because the camera is only gonna be able to do This other thing and so how do I work within that and you know the whole thing is? Problem-solving and so for me the common denominator between the cheapest camera you can find and the most expensive is you it’s the photographer It’s what you’re able to do and what you have to say and it’s something that I think a lot of people lose sight of About a year and a half ago. I did a video called Why your gear doesn’t matter? And I realized that that is a popular controversial topic to discuss and that Video ended getting a lot of views and subsequently a lot of comments and the comments You know internet comments you have armchair generals that are they don’t really do anything, but they like to talk about it And they’re going to tell you how it is and you know when I do these videos where I’m just talking to you I kind of do them all in one take and sometimes, maybe it’s my fault that I don’t communicate clearly enough But there were a couple examples in there one of them Which was I made a comment that that you could and something I said in the video that a good wedding Photographer should be able to shoot on an iPhone and then people were coming in the comments and well That’s ridiculous your gear does matter Because you’d be laughed out of the room if you tried to shoot a wedding on an iPhone well Yes, that is that would be stupid to do and ridiculous And there are other factors that go into why you would choose certain equipment to are the right tools for that job But my point was is that a good photographer should be able to make a good image? No matter what they’re using that’s all I was trying to say Another point people like to make in that video or in the comments in the videos that You know your gear does matter because for instance if you’re trying to Shoot macro you’re gonna need a macro lens, or if you’re trying to shoot action or sports you’re gonna need fast shutter speeds And it’s hell phone, and yes, those are true – my point Is is yeah? You will need a tool to get that job done But do you have to have the latest and greatest and most expensive all the time or can you make something work? That you already have that’s more accessible and that’s the point that I’m trying to make on this I Obviously come from the art side of things and so what I look for and what I enjoy in my favorite photographers is What they have to say what that image does to speak to me? I
Like the sense of individuality and originality that go into certain people I tend to drift away from people who are copying or looking like Somebody else I like the fact that people understand certain photographers understand their place in the history of photography and where they fit into that lineage because all that stuff becomes Interesting and it’s beyond megapixels and shutter speeds and face detection autofocus and all these things that are wonderful tools But and I’m not saying forego those But understand the technology understand how to use it and use that to your advantage and that’s the point I’m trying to make with all this. I think that we lose sight of that really easily and like I said earlier It’s the way we’re marketed to and I think one thing too is it’s a human Thing that when we start getting frustrated with our own progress It’s easy to start blaming stuff And I think the most important thing to do is use what you’ve got Do something with it and develop that voice because you know you look at old pictures like street photography from the 1940s 50s or 60s They didn’t have autofocus. They didn’t have auto exposure they didn’t have phase detection autofocus They didn’t have even they had a manual camera And they were able to do something amazing with it and they produced more work than most people produced today And we have better technology today to get that done so What I’m saying is that you’re removed from that as a photographer, and that’s what’s important I would love to get your thoughts on this – and. I’m not trying to make this a big controversial debate. That’s open for discussion Well it is open for discussion, but I don’t want it to be necessarily controversial for the sake of being controversial I really would like to get people’s views on this because I think that it’s a really natural thing for some reason when you consider All the mediums of arts that you could possibly come up with whether that sculpture or painting or multimedia or or I? Don’t performance art or whatever photographers are locked into this thing where we get heavily invested in our equipment And I understand that and we start to live and die by it in other words We’ll blame it for the deficiencies, and we’ll also complement it when we feel good about something like oh I got a really good image. This is the camera I’m going to use well You know does a carpenter show up and use his lucky screwdriver, and you hire a carpenter to get a job done And I don’t really see how photography is much different than that because you’re hired based on your skills or people enjoy your work Based on your skills and what you can say I’ve never seen anybody in a museum gallery Sit there and look at images and go I wonder if that was an icon Or I wonder if that was a Leica I mean photographer nerds might do that but most people don’t they don’t care what it was shot on they care about the image and what that Says in the end. That’s all I got for today I would love to hear your thoughts have you enjoyed this video, please remember to like it share it with your friends subscribe Because we’re gonna get back into doing more of this kind of thing so Lots of stuff coming up the next couple of weeks. I will see you guys in the next video until then later

100 Replies to “Your camera is better than Ansel’s

  1. Equipment doesn't matter. I have a digital SLR but I much prefer to shoot film. I love my old manual cameras, shooting black and white in the street. My Zorki 4k cost £25, completely overhauled and CLA'd. It works perfectly and is an experience in itself. That's accessible to just about everyone. Use your phone if that's all you have! Just go out and shoot!

  2. Could not agree with you more. It is the photographer not the camera.
    There's a saying that goes something like, "The most important part of the camera is 6" behind the lens."

  3. Using "painters don't care about paint brushes" as an argument is illogical. The part that the tools play in the final creation is massively different that aren't really comparable.

  4. Really good to keep being reminded that the camera is supposed to be a tool to serve my vision instead of dictating it.

  5. I wonder, something happened recently, in the last few years, everyone has a camera right in their pocket and potentially right in their hand as people stare at their phones a lot, and even on the budget end of the range it's often not an entirely terrible one, it can produce a legible representation of what a person can see in a very wide variety of conditions. How does this affect the world and photography as a profession? Does the phone as people's appendage prevent seeing the beauty and the unusual right in front of them when it could instead capture it? Does gear snobbery ("it's not even a real camera") contribute to interesting images being dismissed because they're peppered with blue sensor noise, oversharpening halo, aggressive median and other usual phone artefacts, which are perceived as less genuine and devaluing compared to artefacts coming from ancient grainy film, blurry lenses, and improper manual exposure and focus operation?

    Do we box in ourselves too much? First the Walkman, now your phone with Spotify. The car, a metal shell with ever decreasing amount of glass and ever expanding metal pillars… even the tiny rear view mirror mostly just shows your own metal shell nowadays.

  6. Agree. It´s the story of the photo that matters. Honestly, when I see today people with expensive gear and then I look at the results how, bad their photos are, it just frustrates me and even more when they say "this camera shoots by it self". Yeah right…

  7. Yes! This is what makes your channel what it is! Stay on message Ted. It's a great message and you're a great messenger.

  8. I love your viewpoint. I HATE when people say "if you don't have the best gear you are not a professional." Photography is ALL about the art as you stated. I look at the end product of the image. Personally for me I don't care what gear someone shot with, I care about what the image is and what it speaks to me with. I loved that you talked about this. We all get too wrapped up into the latest and greatest and forget that true art comes from within the artist!

  9. For easy pictures your equipment does not matter too much. You can take a "good picture" with anything. But I don`t think any photographer is looking for taking just a "good picture". You want the perfect picture and of course you are not going to take that with your phone.

  10. This is such a lie and so miss leading. The silver gelatin contact prints that Ansel was printing on trumps any digital camera now under £1500. Really disappointing and you should know better with your influence.

  11. Right as rain. Tools an artist do not make. I find myself falling into this trap now and then. Especially on digital bodies. Just bought an F5 and a TON of different film. Negative, slide and B&W. What a concept – change the film type not the camera body, but I really want a new D850. ;-). Don't need it though.

    Cheers – enjoy your thoughts.


  12. Uh, I don't know, but I would tend to think an 8×10 film camera would have better resolution than even most midrange digital cameras. In the end, the most important camera is the one in the eye…..

  13. Actually, he had very good lenses, and the "resolution" of digital film can be outstanding, especially when someone knows how to process it (like he did). Plus that the large and medium format he preffered gathers way more than the common full-frame/35mm . I get your point, but whatever. An experienced photographer knows this already, an inexperienced one couldn't take a photo regardless.

  14. My single favourite photographer ever, Miroslav Tichy, shot on a camera made from toilet paper tubes and plexiglas polished with toothpaste and cigarette ash, and printed using an enlarger he found in a dump. Gear only matters inasmuch as it can achieve a desired effect.

  15. But what do an image says? This I can't understand. The same goes for literature. Some bookmoths usually read too much into old poems, but they are probably far off by a lightyear…

  16. when you stated the people that are wedding photographers should know how to shoot on an iphone made perfect sense. people lack common sense or become self conscious because they actually suck at it. keep the way you talk, not everyone is going to understand what you say but thats because its not for them.

  17. This is well and good in theory, but in actual practice, i have to convince people to hire me instead of some of the other photographers in town. I can do wonderful work at outdoor night receptions with a pair of off camera flashes and my two assistants toting them around with home made reflectors. I would look amature as hell, but it would be workable. Instead I have a pair of profoto flashes with actual soft boxes. I could just shoot in the dark with natural light but the pictures would look like they hired uncle Louie and his fancy $400 small frame DSLR took them. Or, I could pull out all stops and create pictures that they could only get from me and my gear. That way they will know why a wedding costs a minimum of $5000 for me to shoot it. I could also wear gym shorts to take wedding pictures. I choose to wear a suit so that they know they hired a professional photographer.

  18. i agree with you i used to only shoot with my phone for street photography and sure the image is sharper now that i use an actual camera but my style and the feel of the photos i take are still the same its you taking the photograph not the camera

  19. I currently use the Nikon D5500 which is a great little camera. I am intending to purchase the Nikon D750 and that's like four years old.

  20. I think a lot of people get into photography because they like the toys. I'm probably guilty of this myself. I guess we'll never know why Ansel Adams really got into photography beyond what he has said about it publicly.

  21. Very interesting, the picture I have sold most of is an old lady walking in the rain at night with her brolly up, it’s taken from behind her and she is just a black silhouette, it was probably taken in the late 1950’s, my early days and I guess the camera was a Zorki 4 with a 50mm Jupiter, the scanned negative is in terrible condition and the prints have loads of marks on them despite lots of work in Photoshop but people still like it, I sold one to an American guy who loved it, he had taught photography at university level, I apologised to him about the state of the print, his reply surprised me, he said that he liked the marks they made the image more interesting, when he first saw it he said I want that on my wall.

  22. Of course, we can go on and on about this topic. I am with Ted here, and to put it simply: there is this confusion between photographers and artsits, jugglers and magicians, construction workers and architectes, etc. Folks in the prior categories focus mainly on the technical skills that can be developed over time through practice. In contrast, people in the latter groups are much more conceptual: for contemprary artists like myself, I use videos and photos as mediums to express my thoughts, and my camera is merely a handy tool I use. It is extremely problematic that nowadays we lump everybody who uses a camera into one category of "photographers." I use my camera 24/7, but I am an artist not a photographer–as I consider photographers people who are mainly concerned with cameras and the quality of images rather than concepts–and of course there's nothing wrong with that.

  23. Interesting, I come for a industrial/scientific photographic background, after retirement ( for the 3rd time) my efforts are now pointed at editorial and fine art. the only thing I am in photographic want of is space. This brought to mind an assignment that was given to my masters class at Brooks regarding an art concept. After stating the assignment the prof pulled a couple of shopping bags and handed out pre loaded plastic cameras and sent us on our way, there was some outstanding work come back. Use what you got to get what you want.

  24. I couldn't agree more. If you have the best gear in the world but don't know how to select a compelling subject, how to properly frame it, or how light and color work, you'll get a very high-resolution meh image. The art of photography is too often overlooked compared to the science.

  25. ''Your camera is better than Ansel's '' is an ''Ad hominem'' argument. Your camera is a crap compared to big format view camera, but for you EVEN this crap camera is more than enough.

  26. I tend to fall to that "shoots exclusively film" category, but I don't do it because I think film photography is somewhat superior to digital or other processes. I actually don't use film for only its photographic merits, I use it because I like what it does to me personally. It slows me waaay down and makes me think more when taking the single photograph, not when scrolling through the 1600 shots of a single event on Lightroom. And on top of that, developing film/prints makes me always feel like a magician!

  27. Wow. Soooo well said. I have loved photography since I received my first 'camera'….uh….a Polaroid at the age of 12. I have had everything from a point and shot…to my first Canon AE1….to my present day Nikons…and you know what photo of mine was stolen? Yeah, a point in shoot photo! I thank you, because I have also bought into the idea, that I need a better camera…on lens (well maybe)….or tripod…
    It's what you say, and convey with your images. I love to capture and show off God's amazing handiwork…He is my favorite Artist!

  28. Great video and dealing with a topic that I whole heartedly agree with your view on. I always avoid speaking about my gear to individuals who show interest in my work for the very reason that that is secondary to the artist. A true artist will create thought provoking work in spite of the gear and not because of it. You correctly pointed out that the gear nerds who are caught up with equipment are prone to ask but the average art lover appreciates the work and it's ability to communicate a concept. I actually even apply that rationale in regards to people that always want to know if I went to school for photography upon them being impressed with what they see. I always express that while a school can teach you the general mechanics of proper exposure and certain technical skills for lighting etc they cannot teach you how to be creative. The ability to communicate concepts effectively which evokes emotion within the viewer is a talent that cannot be taught. Spending time to learn about the individual and what influences their thought processes is far more interesting.

  29. Yep- If you have ever read the details on his technique you will find that his equipment created so much flare that he had to modify his exposures to compensate for it. I am very grateful to have studied his techniques, taught his methods and meet him in person.
    Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.

  30. I've known carpenters and painters who get just just as anal about their saws, chisels, brushes, paints, paper, etc. as photographers do about gear. This isn't an isolated problem for photographers… :p

  31. Not to be subject, people evolved in this community give me faith in humanity. So good to hear about things that matter.

  32. I agree with you absolutely. I do Landscape Photography ( and what you're really saying is that you as a photographer after a certain stage/point become the Camera.
    your mind's deep layer becomes the film and your eyes become the lens and when you have that and can compose your shot…… then the actual camera that you're using become secondary.

  33. I think the only thing that matters is to simply “do good work” and to keep trying to get better and always have the goal in mind to outdo yourself.

  34. You right. Objects were made to be used, people were made to be loved, the world goes wrong because they use people and love objects.

  35. Good useful information as a reminder, that a person that has learned the basic guidelines, can with their knowledge, take great photos with a broad spectrum of cameras. They apply what they have learned to what they are using, whether low or high cost cameras. It is so easy to fall into the thinking of, I have to have the latest camera or a different brand, that advertises better. It is what is between our ears, that makes the difference.

  36. If you’re shooting digital, your sensor is nowhere near as high of a quality as a 8×10 negative from a field camera. Nothing even comes close.

  37. Very thoughtful, as usual.

    Call me, "old-school" or whatever. I'm not into HDR photography, psychedelic, super saturated images that look more like graphic design than photography (to my eyes), or unrealistically 'clean' night images. I'm a HUGE fan of those old Nat Geo images from the 1970's, 80's, and 90's. I shoot digitally, but I LOVE that old, film look, imperfections, limitations, and all.

  38. Yes. This also applies in music. I've often noted how the latest equipment and instruments are marketed to musicians. There is an idea that better equipment will make one a better musician, photographer or whatever it is that a human being does. Like you said, the equipment is a tool to assist or enable the human being to realize their vision or express themselves. If the necessary elements don't exist or aren't nurtured in the person (desire, patience, imagination, creativity, persistence, etc.) better equipment won't put them there. Sometimes, the more challenging the properties of the equipment, the more enriching the experience of the artist, leading to a more satisfying and beneficial product. This is the paradox of human existence. We have the ability to choose, overcome and benefit from things that would logically serve to impede us. That being said, I just bought a Sony a7rIII and am not planning to buy a 4X5 view camera any time soon.

  39. I think about this kind of thing when I hear people talking about sports photography where they put down cameras that are wonderful in every other respect but "only" shoot 8 to 10 frames per second. I wonder how sports were photographed when the Speedgraphic was the working photographer's main tool.

  40. The thing I wonder about is whether it is true that today we don't produce as much great work as in the past. Probably the volume of work is so immense it is kind of very difficult to filter out all the noise.

    So what are the contemporary photographers you admire and study — the ones you would consider on the same level with the great old masters?

  41. I have just come back into SLR photography having been or compacts and Bridge cameras getting shots of the family and my fish. My new Canon DSLR is a great bit of kit and far beyond my old Zennith EM and even the flash guns are Sci fi compared to my last one so I have done what you say not to do and got engrossed in the technical side and not the artistic side'
    My friend passed this to me and I am grateful to you both. Now to look at what I want to say and not so much how to do it better and better technically.

  42. The gears matters…and matters a lot. Not in the way you guys think… The big matter around your gear is the same for photographers,electricians,programmers and other professionals, as much more work does your tools, that much less is worth your work.
    Just to clarify, easier is your job, more automation you have, the perception of value of your work is less.
    Happens hour by hour for software engineers,HTML coders,Flash designers,texture artists… gonne in 10 years.
    Photography will end up as painting,sculpture,etching,…as marginal artistic discipline, because of the idea that all is good, all can be done, you can shoot with anything…
    Just count how much photo studios closed in the last 15 years, how much professional photographers are around(guys that actually lives from photos they made…not side jobs,part time stuff)

  43. Thank you for this video. I knew Ansel Adams, we talked on the phone several times,since i lived in Miami Fl. And he was in Calif. i also shot a lot of Travel and Landscape photography, When i first setup my darkroom,while in college,Ansel sent me one of his old soft lights for my enlarger,and we discussed making prints,his way. You brought back some very fond memories, thanks. I even have a post card he sent me, Moon rise over Hernandez. Ansel was a very generous person,especially with young photographers.

  44. Your sentiments in this video are exactly why I buy the top of the range camera gear from 4-5 years ago instead of purchasing it when it's released.

    That fancy EOS R or Z7 you fancy, don't buy it now, wait a couple of years and it'll be 2/3 if not 1/2 the price.

    I do the same with cars too, saves me thousands!

  45. I think some things are lost when trying to prove a point. Gear matters. Period. But it doesn't matter as much as people make it out to be, especially in this modern age of affordable camera equipment. You can get a used low-end DSLR kit with a medium zoom and a prime for under 300USD and it will produce phenomenal images with practice and an understanding of the camera. iPhones cost up to a thousand these days and they produce nice images too (but image quality is dog shit, that's non-debatable with such a small sensor).

    I think the phrasing shouldn't be "gear doesn't matter". Instead it should be "gear doesn't make a photographer better than he/she currently is". There are things you simply cannot do without certain equipment, but just being able to produce a certain effect or type of shot doesn't mean you're good at those shots. Gear expands possibilities, but doesn't expand skills or talent.

  46. Spot on! Couldn’t agree more. Older cameras require more thought and process to use. Mamiya 67, Hasselblad or a 5×4. My first camera a Pentax ME super. Manual tactile cameras to use. The only thing modern cameras have over old is speed. Speed to ‘wind to next frame’ speed to focus, speed to work out exposure etc. What makes the image is the photographer vision. We get lost in tech way to easily. My folks are artists. Some brushes cost them over £100 but it’s for the quality of the brush not because it paints a better painting. They do that with their skill. For me it’s more important that I have a camera I find friendly to hold and is a bond. To that I’ve not long bought a FujibX-Pro1. 6 yrs old and it’s clunky compared to my Nikon but I love it. It’s bought back the joy of taking a picture. In a similar way that my old Mamyia 67 or 330f did. It’s a friend, a pet in s way.

  47. Even if you are still using film, when you scan it you can process it to a degree that it can be pushed far beyond what the greats could. As an example, good ASA 100 35mm can be processed to the point where you can print it to 20×30 if you use sharp lenses at f8.

  48. I found out the hard way over the last 18 years that LENSES matter more than camera bodies, sensors, or film. This can be demonstrated most easily on old Four Thirds dslrs and Minolta 35mm film bodies.

  49. Lenses are probably the only gear that does matter. A good lens makes life much easier. I found this out the hard way on 35mm and original Four Thirds, both of which require serious skill to make them competitive with full frame or 120. A really good lens is predictable and can allow you to just use "f8 and be there." …or in the case of FT, f5.6 and be there… (diffraction)

  50. I absolutely agree! I have been taking photos on my Instagram for the past few months. I have no training other than YouTube, and more interestingly, I started with an $80.00 BLU Studio C3 Super Camera (possibly named ironically?) that was a few years old, then because it stopped holding charge, I went to the new $350.00 BLU vivo IX+. Still nowhere near a new iPhone, or Galaxy, and certainly not a regular camera. But guess what? I think my photos are pretty damn good. And this is totally not trying to hijack or spam, but I'd LOVE some feedback from the "real" photographers on here. My Instagram is @40rtyPluss

    But I am convinced that having my simple equipment has made me better, and once I do get a better camera, I'll be ready to use it. For now, me, my cheap tripod that falls over when there's a gust of wind, and the remote do the trick along with my cheap camera! 🙂

  51. on the other side, in the days of these famous photographers more people knew much more about the basics and the spirit of photography than today, and in many cases they took themself all the time they needed to take those pictures they want to take – nowadays there are more tutorials about post processing (mostly how to save a boring picture instead to delete it or simply change it to b&w to be an artist suddenly) than about what to do or to think about before pressing the shutter
    (hope I`ve got it all right because English isn`t my first language, if not feel free to correct, I`ll never stop learning)

  52. I use a 12 year old camera and vintage glass all digital but still get great results in practicing and learning for ten years

  53. Thank you for this video, it is really uplifting. Use what you got, we all forget this, that is just about you as a photographer.

  54. Great video. I agree with the premise. I will say that I have noticed a difference when changing from a "bridge camera" to a crop sensor DSLR, which I use now. It is an older model (T3i) and I think I am hitting a wall with the ISO performance and the max aperture of my budget zoom lenses. But to stay true to the concepts talked about in this video, much of the issues I have with getting enough light on the sensor at long focal lengths and appropriate shutter speeds could be solved with a $100 tripod instead of a $6000 lens/body combination. 😉

  55. Thanks Ted. I totally agree 100%. The equipment is only a means to an end. That end is our expression through the gift of photography. Sometimes an expensive camera and equipment is involved but at other times it is an inexpensive camera, like a Holga or Camera phone. The main ingredient should be the image maker. It starts out with the Artist, their gear and then it goes to post processing, be it Photoshop, Lightroom, software of choice or the dark room. Great video.

  56. I am not good in english, but certainly can follow your intuitive thoughts. On the context of this video, how do you think about the over manipulation, over post, adding stuffs that doesn't belong in the first place. Is it photography or graphics. If you explain…

  57. The modern "weekend" photographer could not roll off 5 important photographers that made photography the true art-form it has become. Creativity and an eye for the unique gives you a good image capture regardless of medium. Plus it's all cyclical, analog is coming back – for the true photographer that is, not for the weekend FB/IG hack that posts the same recycled crap images from locations every dork visits!

  58. Well, you have me tossing in MY two cents.

    Unlike, say, painting or composing music, the technology of photography keep advancing/changing. A painter can't buy brushes that work faster than Rembrandt's; buying the latest digital keyboard won't help you compose "better" works than Bach. The basic processes of and tools for painting and sculpting haven't changed dramatically in tens of thousands of years. Photography and filmmaking have been around for less than 200 years.

    That said, you can use the same technology Adams and Kubrick used and you'll never be as good as them. You can take every course on whatever medium you work in and it won't make you good at it – only technically proficient. There's nothing wrong with that – or being able to afford to buy the latest 'whatever."

    The thing is: you are good at what you do either because you're naturally gifted at it, because you keep working at it, or because you have a passion or a devotion to it. If you keep working at something, you can get better at it, but worrying about becoming GREAT at it is a dead end. You do a thing because it gives you pleasure or is a challenge, is something you can keep exploring and enjoying year after year – and because you can't imagine yourself NOT doing it.

    A person who interviewed the kind of people most of us would agree were geniuses said they had one thing in common. Forget about training, skill, temperament, intelligence, upbringing, life experiences, or personality. What all these "geniuses" had in common was the ability to keep working on a single thing long past the point most people would give up in boredom. That was it.

    That made sense to me. You think of a chef who keeps saying there's something missing from a soup most of us would say is fine as it is; a musician who keep working on getting two measures to a point that satisfies them; a film director or conductor who asks to go through it "just one more time" while his company thinks he's being an impossible perfectionist; a photographer or writer who spends hour after hour trying to get one thing "just right". People like that either know exactly what they're after – or they don't, but are willing to keep working at it until they have something they're willing to call "finished" and walk away from.

    Thus endeth the sermon. 🙂

  59. Best thing you can do right now is acquire old cameras and shot on those. Especially old digital cameras, where the things you can do with and the amount of photos you can take is limited. Not to mention the speed, really makes you think hard before you press the shutter.

    Some of my best shots were done with those. And since I convert everything in B&W, quality of the file is rarely important.

  60. Why use gear that takes you longer to do the job. Why would you not get a camera that let's you get your results faster, takes you less time to edit, and overall makes doing your job more enjoyable. You are more productive and happy. Only reason is money. Look how much automotive techs send on tools. Only reason you would want a tool that takes you longer to get the end result is because the end result is amazingly better. On anther video you pointed how much more productive you can be on a Sony mirrorless system. If it's your job to cut down tree you don't want an axe you want a chainsaw. They both cut the tree down. The more images you take the faster you learn and gain experience.

  61. Not only were those famous photos done with "lesser" cameras, but with toxic chemicals that can eat your skin and turn your lungs black.

  62. Your title is misleading and wrong. Ansel Adams used an 8X10 large format view camera. Even a brand new Fuji GFX 50S does not compare. Have you ever seen an 8X10 Kodachrome 64 slide? Nothing digital can compare.

  63. "Use what you've got, do something with it, and develop that voice." My sentiments exactly. I have seen people with thousands of dollars of photography equipment consistently make boring images they could have made with a point-and-shoot. I have also seen people with a point-and-shoot make engaging images that made me want to see more of their work. Know the limitations of whatever gear you are using and learn to use that gear to express your artistic vision.

  64. Hi nice video…have you ever used the phantom seris of slow motion camera's…? I dont know much about them but I love slow motion…you see things that nobody can say they can see..does that make since???

  65. This is so true. I know a lot of people wishing that they had the latest and greatest camera to take a great photo. I always show them old black and white photos of Ansel and ask "Is this a good image?".

    After they say yes I tell them that it was shot in film, almost a hundred years ago.

    Cameras are tools that we use to tell stories. Capturing that story or moment takes more importance than having 5 more megapixels or having the latest AF system.

  66. I'm not an experienced photographer but I am an experienced human and practicality and logic. I love hearing people reiterate things that I've already figure it out just in the short while that I've been taking photos. You can give $2,000 American Fender strat 2 a beginner and they can't do squat with it and you can give a $200 Squier strat 2 John frusciante and he will tear it the f**** and make it sound good not just technically but actually get some killer tones out of it. Anyways I guess that's my analogy. Guitar player makes guitar sound good no matter what it is to a degree, even an extreme degree I would say

  67. Why many people have the idea that a good photograph is based on Equipment and lens quality. When is not true. The camera is only a tool. The Photographer is like an architect. The photographer is who designs, invent an idea, the final product; a great photograph.

  68. I would like to mention another point. It is about a word that I constantly hear and I'm sick of it.
    "I'm a professional photographer." Is like saying I have a master degree. so what? You go to school to learn and is also a tool; however how you do your work, how you create things and how you express yourself is not something that is taught. It is simply within yourself and it is not transferable.

  69. I'm going to provide an analogy to clarify a camera as a tool vs. a good photographer based on creativity and skills. I grew up playing soccer and constantly used to hear this saying " The shoes do not make a good player" applies the same way in photography. You camera might be the latest tool or your lenses high end quality glass but boring or identical to others, but not different or exceptional.

  70. To Tell you the truth the most famous and powerful photos ever taken were from photographers that didn't have all the bells and whistles that our cameras have today. i don' t believe photographers 60 to 100 years ago had their intentions based on if gear mattered. its what they had. and it obviously worked out for them.
    and yet those 60 year old photos taken then have much of an impact on us today.. and almost a hundred years later, people don't have the understanding of what it represented. it had meaning , its how you and i can look at a picture and feel the meaning behind it, And Not for what kind of camera or lens it was taken with!!!!!
    technology today is great, BUT…… it has taken us from the natural sense of how we Perceive a photo. if you feel it take it. its that moment that captures how and what you feel.
    whether its with your $600 .00 or $ 3000.00 camera. it doesn't make a difference….. people take pictures not cameras..

  71. Well it's obvious that the vision of what you want to achieve is what matters most. The gear is just a tool but sometimes gear matters for example an electronic level in the view finder can become invaluable when doing hand held landscape shots. If you're out in the rain a weather sealed system is a good thing and helps preserve your art. Perhaps the answer is to make the most out of what you have available to you today rather than pining for yet more bells and whistles tomorrow. We also need to remember that photographers used to use light room techniques to achieve the perfect print. I used to develop my own films and prints back in the day and remember masking off certain areas during exposing photographic paper etc.

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