The camera is just a tool

“Oh you must have a really good camera”!  These words are often heard by myself and other photographers.  They are said with sincere praise and appreciation for my work and for that I am grateful.

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taken with a Canon 5D Mark II

My reply is yes, I do have a great camera!  Actually I have many great cameras that I shoot professionally with. They include my cell phone,  a box camera from the 1950’s, a toy camera with all of its wonderful light leaks and I am in the process of making a camera out of cardboard!  Many would say these are not great cameras, and though they may not have cost a lot they are not only great cameras but great tools to accomplish what I’m trying to achieve.  That is exactly what a camera is, a tool, and every one of them helps me in a different way.  My task is to know each of my unique tools well and exactly what it is they can accomplish.

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taken with I Phone 6

Some advice I have held on to in my photography tells me the best camera to use is the one you have with you. That is always my cell phone!  In fact that is the biggest reason I own one, the convenience of having a small camera with me always. The advancements in these little guys are extraordinary and some things they can accomplish my biggest camera just can’t do!  There are photos that my cell phone will not be able to capture so out comes my Canon.  When I go on a planned shoot or a road trip I first do my homework, becoming familiar with the landscape that will be around me.  This helps to choose the camera that will do the best creative job for the area.  Yes there are times I wish I had brought another camera or another lens.  That is when I go to “the best camera” and start working with the one in my hands.

“Ansel Adams is well known for his quote “The most important part of the camera is the 12 inches behind it”.  He also said “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

A hammer does not build a beautiful well designed house, a pot does not cook a wonderful dinner.  They assist the builder and the cook to make what they want to make.  The camera, no matter what camera it is, assists me to make what I want to make, a great photograph!

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