It’s a humble experience to find your first camera. The camera that started your journey and curiosity in photography. I was amazed to find that almost nothing was different from my old camera, regarding specs. The only main thing that changed was that whole film into digital thing, that’s about it. So if the only major change in a camera that was released in 1976 to my current camera was the conversion to digital. Why was my photography so different, from inception to present? It made me wonder, I pondered over this revelation, till it came to me. The most important thing to a photographers development was their experiences.
There will be people that argue, autofocus, video functions, ISO, pixels, resolution etc. I’m sure someone could point out a spec list of evaluation so long that it could even prove smoking to be healthy. But really what do we buy cameras for? To take photographs, thats it! That spec argument is just a debate of convenience and it’s missing the point. What is more important, is what you have learned, what you have experienced? For an artists development, resistance, struggle, limitations and obstacles lead the way to progression. Embracing inconvenience over the easy path.
This makes me wonder why I even changed my camera, why did I get a new one? I guess the consumerist society we live in influenced me in thinking that a new camera would make me a better photographer. Looking back this insight was very sobering, the camera doesn’t make the photographer, and neither does its specs. Analogue, large-format, digital, all these things are trivial compared to the development of the photographer’s eye.
Looking back in retrospect is something we can only do once we pass the threshold. Only time gives us this privilege. It’s something we all need to learn for ourselves, through our own experiences. I’d love to know what your first camera was and what your current camera is. But more than that, what are the major differences, and are those differences just specs. Was there something else more important in your own photography journey that shaped you and your craft beyond the confinements of the camera? Whatever you deem to be important will be, I just implore you to look back and see how far you have come. Because your photography journey is yours and yours alone own, it’s not your cameras.
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