We live in a world where visual imagery is all around us constantly bombarding us with information, demanding our attention, moving us, entertaining us, often trying to influence our thinking and recording our every waking moment. Technology makes it, in theory at least, ever easier to become proficient at photography. The old barriers of technical knowledge have, to a certain degree at least, been broken down by the advent of the digital camera and now everybody has become a photographer. We carry cameras with us all the time on our phones and we record our day to day living like never before and also at the other end of the scale the professional photography industry is absolutely heaving with photographers who have embraced the new technology. A simple google search for something like wedding photographer London will bring up a huge amount of results and the wedding photography sector in particularly is saturated with photographers. But does the latest technology really mean we are all capable of working to professional standards and have the standards of photography risen or fallen over the last few years of the so called “digital revolution“?
In the pursuit of photographic excellence many photographers, at least many male photographers (!) suffer very badly from what has commonly become known as GAS. GAS stands for “gear acquisition syndrome” and basically means that the photographer, admirably fueled by the pixel pedaling camera manufacturing industry, is constantly updating his/her equipment for the bigger and better model in the mistaken belief that, once they have the new camera body/lens/flash bracket their photography will instantly improve. This is a phenomena that has only really become apparent since we started using digital equipment. In the days of film, to a certain extent, a camera was a camera was a camera and photographers were excited by developments in film emulsion technology rather than the cameras themselves. Nowadays, like anything electronic, and computers particularly, as soon as a camera is bought it is superceded by a bigger better model with more buttons options, pixels and low light capabilities. The photographer feels the need to constantly upgrade to keep up and feels that his/her photography won’t be as good as it could be until the best equipment is purchased!
There is, however, another way! Real photographic progress is rarely made by simply buying new equipment. In fact, it can often be a good idea to regress in terms of equipment – perhaps commit to using a simple body and one lens for a while to hone your skills before moving on. Improving as a photographer has little to do with equipment and all to do with training one’s eye, perfecting one’s technique and, beyond that even, training yourself in the right attitude of mind.
This blog is going to be all about ow to improve your photography technique, how to really understand what you are doing, think creatively and improve through gaining real skills and technical understanding.