You need to know which gear is needed not which is pleasing to the eye
It was a sunny afternoon and I had been sipping some sweating green bottle when I saw a friend walking afar. I remembered John had told me he needed a camera soon, and he was going into photography full time. I couldn’t recommend what to buy because he had no idea of which area of photography he was going. He had bought a Canon 60D and an 18-300 zoom lens. Nice right? He even had a battery grip.
Then he popped up the question,
How do I go into street photography as a hobby too?
This was the biggest mistake John had made, he had a love for street photography but never consulted me fully before buying the camera
Many young photographers might fall prey too that’s why I’ve got this to write on. Here are the real reason for gears, specifications etc.
Street photography needs fast shutter speeds, you can’t spend too long talking shots, not even in Nigeria where everyone is on the move! It also requires being quite stealth in your environment and by that I don’t mean being creepy!
A camera with a small body, high ISO, average megapixels (10-20) and a fixed 35mm or 50mm lens Is all you need
The longer the lens, the probability of being noticed easily which can make you uncomfortable.
Fashion, portrait and commercial photographers go for bigger megapixels because the pictures are going on big billboards, ours end up on frames for exhibitions (we even love grains in street photography)
And event photography is the ideal person for a 18-300mm lens, it gives you the ability to shoot groups at wider angles and zoom in for comfortable (but you lose aperture openings by this)
What is the moral
Photography is about what you need, no what can make you feel big! I’ve seen many photographers feel big because they are handling ‘big’ cameras but friends, what’s the essence of having a big camera and shooting a lot of errors?
Learn the physics of photography first, not the aesthetics of cameras
I wish young photographers who are aiming at buying a new camera should spend more time thinking of what they would be doing mostly with the camera and not about the specs! As Eric Kim said, More Megapixels, More Problems!
The Nigerian Photography industry has been ridden with the belief that bigger cameras produce better images! Dear Friends, NO! Let me just give you the equation. What’s a Big camera? To me, cameras with specifications which are not needed by you and hereby making it expensive is what I call a big camera. For Example, ISO 25,000 and 50mps are not needed by a street photographer so for a street photographer that’s a Big camera (a commercial photographer will value it though because it means his prints will not lose resolution easily)
Bigger cameras + bad photographer = bag images
Smaller cameras + good photographer = better images
Smaller cameras + bad photographer = mediocre images
Bigger cameras + good photographer = great images
It’s a simple thing every young photographer should understand. Even if a camera has all the features you want (even Wi-Fi) it does not have auto composition, and what makes a great image? Composition Techniques
How To Love Your Current Gear
I’ve been a victim of this for once, I currently own a Sony a200 (although I’ll change it before the year end since its 2 years old with me) and at a point in time in our early days, I felt like just throwing the camera into the deep blue see. I couldn’t see what I loved from it, then Eric Kim said, “35mm or 50mm lens are the best for street photographers” I bought one and ever since, I’ve never hated the camera! For me the solution was just a change of lenses and I saw drastic improvement in my shots, I became overwhelmed and we fell in love again (I’m currently not giving out the boy even when I buy the Sony a58).
For others the solution lies in your learning how to compose better, if I may ask, which three composition techniques have your tried to discovered all by yourself? If your answer is none, then you haven’t gotten an eye for beauty. Soon I’ll be teaching a few composition techniques I discovered while shooting. Learn to leave the rule of thirds and jump into diagonals, curves, triangles, and my own minimalism! For quite a few, the problem lies on in camera settings, why shoot fine when there is raw? Someone said “raw makes my work hard” then don’t blame the camera! For others, its lightroom incompetency that makes there images bad and thy think it’s a bad camera, boy o boy!
In the last words
More megapixels, More Problems
– Eric Kim
You can read about Eric’s megapixels post by clicking here
Remember, everything on this blog is open source