Your Gear Does Matter

Most people agree that “skill does matter”, but how about “gear”?? Some people agree that gear does matter and others agree that gear doesn’t matter. Well, in this article I try to explain it based on my point of view. In the beginning I have noted that “it based on my point of view”, so everything in this article maybe subjective.

Story behind this article:

Honestly when people see my photos, some of them asking me about “what camera (and lens) to create this photo?” instead of “how to shoot/compose this photo?”. Seems like gear is more important than skills ~ just like if I have the same gear probably I can make that photo…. Well, I hope it’s not true ~ for me skill is more important than gear….

Main topic: Your Gear Does Matter

This topic is a bit difficult to be explained because there are some people agree with “gear does matter” and others agree with “gear doesn’t matter”. So before writing this article, I try to read related articles about this topic. It’s good if you read this article first because some of my explanation are related to this article: Your Camera Doesn’t Matter by Ken Rockwell. After you read that article then I will describe what I have studied from it….

In my opinion, the main thing that Ken Rockwell want to describe in his article is skill does matter (instead of your camera doesn’t matter) ~ but he still write “your camera doesn’t matter” as the main title. I get his points although his explanation sometimes makes me confuse…

I agree for some of statements in his article such as:

– “Compelling photographs come from inspiration, not duplication.”

– “Buying a great camera doesn’t mean you can create compelling photographs.”

– “Cameras don’t take pictures, photographers do. Cameras are just another artist’s tool.”

– “Don’t blame anything lacking in your photos on your equipment.”

– “Don’t presume the most expensive gear is the best.”

But I disagree with some of statements in his article such as:

– “Your equipment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image.”

– “Good tools just get out of the way and make it easier to get the results you want.”

– “Having too much camera equipment is the best way to get the worst photos.”

There are some explanations why I disagree some of his statement…. For some cases, equipment is really matter to produce the photo. For example you want to shoot bird fly in the sky but you only have wide lens…. of course you still can shoot it but maybe only like “small dot” in your LCD. There are some cases that you can’t do only by your skill ~ there are some cases that really “gear dependent”. And how’s possible having too much camera equipment makes me get the worst photos…….

Some people also like to use  this classic comparison such as skilled photographer (assume his name is “A”)  just using his cellphone or point & shoot camera (although he has “good” camera), but A still get good photographs. Then unskilled photographer (assume his name is “B”) using his “good” camera but his photos are crap.  Based on this example then some people conclude  “your gear doesn’t matter”.

In my opinion, comparing different people using different gear is just like comparing apple with orange. If you want to know gear does or doesn’t matter ~ the fair way is comparing (A use cellphone vs A use good camera) or (B use cellphone vs B use good camera). Then you will understand how’s your gear affect the result. I am sure A produce better photographs with his good camera, and B produce worse photographs with his cellphone (more crappy than what he can produce with “good” camera). The term “good” means suitable to get the right photographs.

So again, in my opinion gear does matter ~ just keep in mind that saying “gear does matter” doesn’t mean “skill doesn’t matter”. I need to mention it because some people think reversely…

I hope my explanation is clear, it’s okay if you are agree or not with me ~ thanks for reading this article.


11 thoughts on “Your Gear Does Matter

    • Hmm… I agree about post-processing but like what I have mentioned in my portfolio “the quality of my photographs should be determined mainly by my photography skills…..”

    • biasanya sih orang2 selalu membahas kamera mana yang lebih baik dll…. jadi pasti banyak bahasan tentang ini….

  1. Pingback: How to Choose Your Proper Gear ? « Just about Photography

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