Technology has no soul

As soon as you start talking about the technical side of photography you start turning away from the most important aspect of photos, telling stories. Technology is and isn’t important when it comes to photography. No one care what camera or lighting you used except other photographers. I’m a big believer in the older you get the wiser you get, the less insecure you get, and the less you care about gear. Technology has no soul and here is why.

We all start at ruffly the same place, you see a photographer or an image and we get inspired to pick up the camera. You go the logical route and emulate what you see. You research or explore gear, technique, lighting, equipment. This is a good thing, you need to understand, learn, explore and try as many things as you possibly can. The problem lies when you use gear for the sack of using it and not because it helps tell the story better.

Lighting is just light, a lens is only optics, a camera is a tool. Be $100 or $10,000, the price tag doesn’t make you a better photographer. Know this, know that the newest gear might make your life easier and that is a good thing. Make sure your focus on gear isn’t more important than capturing the story. People don’t like you because of what you have or own, they might like what you have or own. But true relationships are about meaning, respect not objects. The same goes for your craft, it’s the personal connection in the photograph that matters not the pixel count.

I’ve had many different cameras over the years, I used to care so much about the gear I had and what I was using. I wanted the best, I wanted what my idols were using. I needed the best lighting gear, if I couldn’t afford it I would hire it. I thought more expensive was better, the price tag mattered to my ego. I wanted to have the most expensive cameras on the table during a photoshoot, to show my clients and subjects that I was a true photographer. Because real photographers have expensive gear. It wasn’t till I grew up that I realised this was bullshit, that I was just being egotistic.

Leave it all behind. Cameras do make the photograph, and every camera has its own unique thumbprint. I’m not denying that. I’m just saying people care about what the words say, not the pen that wrote them. People care more about the subject matter, then the camera that took the image. Don’t full yourself into debt, the gear you use have no soul. It’s the photographer that gives life to an image. It’s the photographer that tells the story. It’s the photographer that gives an image soul not the camera.

1 Comment

  1. First - Happy New Year 'Technology has no soul", totally agree - was also making this point to my daughter who was 'wowing' over the Shanghai drone display - sure, as tech its impressive, but..... antiseptic; give me proper fireworks!

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