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Thread: "Is camera lust destroying your photography?"

  1. #1
    brucep is offline Contributor photozoholic
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    Default "Is camera lust destroying your photography?"

    There are gearheads and there are photographers. A lot of people are either one or the other, sadly not both. Not to say that there's anything wrong with accumulating camera gear. I have my share.

    So many amateurs I meet want to discuss camera gear instead of getting good photos of where we are. When I was photographer for the Terlato Wine Group, a stranger got through the phone switchboard to me (rare) and asked for photo op suggestions (places along the Napa Valley). He spoke of light filtering through the fall leaves, the neat rows of vines rolling over the hills. He never mentioned his camera gear, just photos he'd like to create. Not only did I give him a list of great spots, I invited him to come to my office as early as possible on his shooting day. I took him on a personal tour of the vineyards at Chimney Rock Winery and the caves at Rutherford Hill Winery. He introduced me to an SF area photo forum he's on, and I've made friends there, too. I notice he uses Nikon gear, but the topic of photo gear just never comes into our conversations. He has equipment which works for him, and I have mine. Here's his web site, by the way:

    Enough preamble. Here's an article I found interesting:
    Last edited by brucep; 04-21-2012 at 01:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Bishop is offline Dedicated Member
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    May 2006

    Charleston, South Carolina



    Wait, I thought "gear head" was a car aficionado? No? I don't talk "gear". I'm like your friend, I'd rather talk about places to shoot and how to capture the shots I want, etc.
    Lord grant me the strength and courage I need to get through this day.

  3. #3
    Cadwell is offline Moderator Mega-zoer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Wait, I thought "gear head" was a car aficionado?
    Might be over your side of the pond, over here it's "Petrol head" and I fit that mould ( I guess the US equivalent of "gas head" wouldn't work ). I'll talk cars with people all day long.

    As far as camera gear is concerned, well if someone wants to ask me specific questions about it I'll answer them but there isn't really that much to talk about. One important thing to note is that I've never yet had a customer ask me "what lens did you use for that".

    I do recognise the type that Bruce describes, though. There is a member of another photography forum who owns every Canon L series lens going and he will talk endlessly about the characteristics of each one of them. His photography plainly displays that he doesn't know the first thing about using them.
    Photos Motorsport/Canoe Polo

  4. #4
    The Barbarian is offline Enthusiast
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    The difference between painters and photographers is, painters can have long conversations with each other, without mentioning brushes.
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  5. #5
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    Birmingham, Ala



    Well, since I just purchased a second 50D (refurb), I guess I'm not into chasing the latest camera. Truth be told, for most of my shooting the 50D does just fine and I don't have to learn a new AF system or purchase new batteries. When the latest 50D arrived I put my 17-55 IS and 70-200 f/4L IS on it and set up the microfocus adjustments. The results are amazing detail and resolution.

    Interestingly I have challenged a few keyboard commandos to look at my website and tell me which images were shot with the Rebel XTi, the 40D, 50D and 5D2. No one has excepted the challenge so far. If there were 1DX images on there, it wouldn't matter for most of my work. I rarely shoot at super high ISO or use servo AF.

  6. #6
    girlwood is offline Member
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    Los Angeles, Ca



    For me, I want to sit with a photographer, Pro or Amateur, and pick their brain.
    Exposures, f-stops, what is the right glass for the right shot. Not what is the best equipment. I think best shot comes from the eye of the shooter and hope the eye of the beholder loves it!

  7. #7
    PaulOcchialini is offline Welcome Me!
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    I have moments of extreme gear lust, I'll look at the newest body and want it. In the end I reel myself in because I know that the latest and greatest doesn't mean I have better compositions. Generally I spend my energy seeking new places and timing when I can get the best shots at these places. 9 times out of 10 I go out and explore with my one and only body and a prime lens.

  8. #8
    willard3 is offline Dedicated Member
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    Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Méjico



    I consider myself a gearhead, but I track drive Porsches.

    Like Glen, I can talk cars all day.

    Camera stuff talk is boring.
    Jefe Máximo, Albany, NY
    It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees....Emiliano Zapata

  9. #9
    lostinspace is offline Welcome Me!
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    Bruce, thank you for posting this. I think there are a number of us that need to be reminded of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    The difference between painters and photographers is, painters can have long conversations with each other, without mentioning brushes.
    Very nicely said. This made me think. I'd like to bring that back to my photography.

  10. #10
    chicagojohn is offline Mega-zoer
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    Greater Chicagoland



    Great thread and story, BruceP. I'm learning a lot from reading your posts. What a wonderful story on this one.

    I had to laugh out loud when I read The Barbarian's analogy.
    "'There's more to a picture than meets the eye; hey, hey; my my." - Neil Young

  11. #11
    yellalablady is offline Moderator Moderatorphotozoholic
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    Great read, Bruce. I used to always ask what equipment people used. I've learned better. I do still ask what lens was used, if I'm impressed by a shot. But, I'm most interested in technique. I still have a lot to learn, but I have learned that the equipment alone won't make me a better photographer.
    Canon 40D l 17-40 f/4L l 70-200 f4L, 70-300 IS

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    All the angels were busy.
    So, they sent me Buddy, instead.

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