I’m sure if you ask any photographer they have at some point have had to deal with comments like:
“ That camera takes such good photos “
“ You must have a REALLY good camera “
“ You can just photoshop that out right? “
And yes, we are sick of it. But if we are going to be honest here, I don’t mind as much as I used to because I do have a REALLY nice camera, and no, I will most likely not photoshop that out. But I think it poses an interesting question about gear, talent and editing.
I use a Canon 6d with a Sigma 50 mm and primarily Lightroom to edit. I do not care if I share this information because I can almost guarantee if you go out and by the exact same gear as me and we both go out and shoot (manual of course)- your photos will not look like mine. Just like my work doesn’t look like other photographers.
The reason photographers use such nice gear is 1. ( personally ) it’s fun. I LOVE looking at new lenses and cameras, new add ons and comparing models. I’m 100% a gear junkie and if I could afford to buy it all.. I would. However reason 2. We are shooting constantly, in all conditions and can’t risk gear who can’t keep up.
Could I take a cheap camera, or even my phone and produce the same type of work? yes I could. Do I want to show up at someones wedding with a camera that works slower and has a harder time in low lighting? No I do not.
And that’s what we invest in, were investing in peace of mind. Peace of mind that our gear can shoot in next to no lighting. It’s fast, quite, and overall makes our lives just a tiny bit easier. We don’t invest in gear because it will produce better photos, but because it will make our lives easier and create better quality photos for our clients.
It’s no secret professionals edit photos. Again, not because we have to, but because it adds that final touch. Or yes, sometimes we do and we can go back and fix things and bring a photo back to life. But really it’s when we can add our own style, clean it up and just really make it pop. (And of course some choose to edit more than others depending on style, ext). One thing I do know is the original photo still has to be good. We still took that shot your seeing at the end.
Because editing varies from person to person, I know personally that what you see is what you get for the most part. I like to keep my photos are real as I can, and how I saw it. I don’t go in and edit you on top of a mountain top if we were hanging out in some field. I do some color correcting, maybe a little crop and boom. Done.
Being able to edit though is crucial. Once upon a time, I would send unedited photos and not want to edit. Now that I’m older, I would probably never do that. Only because that editing time gives me a chance to just enhance what I was going for and fix anything I may not like.
I wanted to talk about editing though because we don’t mess around just taking bad photos and fix everything later on, we have to take a half decent photo first. Then tweak it. Which leads me into…
Ah yes.. talent. That thing we have that really makes us stand out. A talented photographer has ‘an eye’ which is how we compose photos, the ability to see different lighting and be able to adapt and work with it.
Along with other things, but the reason I wanted to bring these three things up is because, it’s not just because we have editing software or amazing gear.. we also have an eye for it. The way I see a photo and compose a shot can be significantly different to someone else which is why our styles vary.
But in order to be a strong photographer, it’s really important to understand, appreciate and know how to use all three. How to really use the expensive gear, how to edit a photo and be able to shoot a strong image. Because you can’t fix an incredible out of focus shot in editing or bring back light if you extremely over expose a shot. And you can only shoot and edit what you can create/see.
Most of the incredible photographers I see online have an unbelievable eye and thats where everyone should start. Finding the shot, then worry about editing and down the road as you develop investing in gear. The gear won’t make you a better photographer. It more so just enhances the one you are. So focus more on working on being creative, finding a style and learning how to edit!
Those are my thoughts on the topic! Hopefully it encourages everyone to think about the fundamentals of photography and what a ‘good photo’ is. Personally makes me want to go back and take more classes!