Photography help: A new camera is not just for Christmas, it is for life.

So maybe you are one of the many people who got a new camera for Christmas, congratulations!

Have your pictures improved dramatically since you got the new camera? 

I am guessing probably not and here are a few reasons why. 

The new camera is new, so you dont know how to work it yet! Cameras are really complicated. It takes time to get used to how to put the battery and memory card in, where all the buttons are and what they do.

When you get a professional photographer dont be surprised if they have a camera a few years old, its normal for us to hold on to one camera or stick to one brand.  I am a "Sony Shooter" which means I like to use Sony cameras.  If you hand me one I will be able to work it very well very quickly because they all have the same kind of setup and button layout.

Hand me a Canon or Nikon and it will knock me back to being an amateur, at least until I learn how the controls work and were the battery goes! 

My point here is that getting a new camera actually sets you back on your learning, it rarely, if ever, suddenly improves your photography.   The camera might be "better" but buying it doesnt inprove your skill.

A lot of new camera owners go through a buyers remorse because they think it should have improved their pictures and they struggle building up their skills again with the new camera.

Many give up and sell the camera on second hand and forget photography as an art and skill based hobby. 

So now to the point of this post.

I am a good photographer, sometimes even brilliant, but it wasnt always that way!   

I started out as an artist, I learned to use brushes, different strokes, different paints and techniques.  I sculpted with clay, wax, wood, all sorts.  The difference in pencil types, how to hold a pencil to draw a straight line, or a curve, it was a range of skills I built up over time. 

 Some really old still life sketches from my teenage years.

Some really old still life sketches from my teenage years.

 I had a big thing for installation art...

I had a big thing for installation art...

  ...taking shiny objects and placing them in interesting places and drawing still lives of them.

 ...taking shiny objects and placing them in interesting places and drawing still lives of them.

Then an art teacher got me interested in cameras and asked me to see them as another artistic tool.

What a disaster, buttons, winders, waiting days or weeks to see the results (back in the film days)  

I hated it, at first. The camera took all my control away, I couldnt see how my work was shaping up. Then over the years they grew on me. Mainly because I has less and less time to paint, draw and sculpt.  So when Digital hit I was an early adopter and got on board with a 1.3 MP camera.

And ever since I have been improving and developing. The key thing is the time invested. I have had a few new cameras but I recognised early on they are just tools, like pencils and paper, clay or paint.

So stick with your camera, I promise you the more time you spend with it the better you will get. If you keep trying to buy a "better one" you will be dissapointed and waste your money its just a tool after all, you are the photographer.

 

 

 

 

 Under Crumlin Road Jail a nice dramatic B&W composition.

Under Crumlin Road Jail a nice dramatic B&W composition.