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  • Brian V. Berry

Does the Latest Photographic Technology Produce the Best Images?


Recently, a customer reached out to me for a short-notice family photoshoot… While we were in the process of finalizing our arrangement, he asked about my equipment. And while I’m usually reluctant from answering questions about the equipment I use, I complied anyway... Needless to say, he was never heard from again… Ghosted! :P He may have been wooed away by another photographer boasting that he or she had better equipment… Or maybe he just wanted a recommendation on what camera to buy in order to take the portraits himself. If it were the latter, I would have happily given him a recommendation… With this said, I guess perception REALLY is reality with some people... Over the years, camera and photographic equipment manufacturers have sold many of us this notion that better photographic or imaging technology will produce better images. Do you suppose that this is correct? If this is so, then, why was my grandfather, a lifelong professional photographer, able to produce remarkable photographs with cheap instamatic cameras? Yes, for his business, he primarily used Mamiya and Fujifilm medium-format cameras... And yet he didn’t need them to produce adequate photographs… Why? Could it be the technical know-how he acquired over the years? On the other hand, would an inexperienced photographer be able to effectively use his professional equipment? What about the current technology out there at the time? Unless he or she had the same experience in photography, I would think not. Wouldn’t you? When presented with reasonable cause and the opportunity, I do use the most current technology that I can afford. In fact, I just acquired a new mirrorless camera and native lens… Will it allow me to take better pictures than my current DSLR? Probably not… My guess is that the images will be comparable… But will it make capturing images easier for me? In most cases, yes! The new mirrorless technology, in most situations, is truly a WYSIWYG solution – removing “chimping,” for the most part, out of a photographer’s workflow when shooting. And because, the viewfinder is electronic, you can overlay other useful objects, like histograms and grids, to assist you in capturing images. And of course, I won’t even mention the phenomenal focusing capabilities of these cameras… Is it enough to dump my current DSLR? No. My DSLR is far more energy efficient (i.e.: batter life) than my mirrorless… Less prone to automated mistakes when using flash equipment… And I have better functionality with legacy lens. My DSLR still takes great and comparable images! So what did I just subtly demonstrate just now? Human intervention! Knowing the differences between these two types of tools and how to best apply them with my currently knowledge and skill… Going deeper, it’s knowing the science of photography and applying it by making the adjustments in your equipment to produce great (for some of us) or adequate images. 😉 This is, probably, the reason that my grandfather could take great pictures from any camera - right? For those of us who could remember the "good ol’ days" of film and film cameras, the learning curve was steep (for some of us) and arduous! :D Feedback on our photos could take a week; corrections to adjust our technique took too long! One-hour photomats enabled us to make corrections sooner… But only the truly dedicated, at the time, would acquire the skills needed to be an adequate photographer… This is how I learned photography - first, in high school, with my instamatic camera, and later, as a young man, with my Canon AE-1 Program, which was “state of the art” at the time. When digital photography became mainstream and affordable, this all changed; the feedback loop was shortened to less than a minute! The average person, could now take adequate pictures, with or without adjustments, rather quickly! And hopefully, learn the basics of photography and build on that experience in the process! But somewhere along the way, we were sold on the notion that, when given one of these "miracle devices," we could automatically take great pictures - in any situation! Or a photographer would produce better pictures because he or she had the latest and greatest technology! Again, there’s no substitution for experience… Most often than not, I find myself putting my equipment, in Manual Mode in order to achieve the images that I want. Sunset portraits are an example of one of these situations… Most of the technology out there, can’t achieve a decent image without manual override or human intervention… The same could be said for some low-light situations… This is were the value of an experienced photographer is: knowing his or her equipment and making adjustments to overcome adverse lighting conditions or other challenging situations. It’s also having the talent to compose an image so that it’s interesting or pleasant to view! 😊 Yes, having a photographer is not necessary if you only desire “snapshots!” Heck, you don’t even need advanced photography equipment; in most cases, your mobile phone can do an adequate (sometime exceptional) job! And of course, if you have the “latest and greatest” photography equipment, as some photographers do, you can achieve the same thing as well - snapshotty pictures! Just throw that thing in full-automatic mode - and away you go! :P But if, on the other hand, you desire a little bit more (better composition, technique, and style) for your images, you should hire an experienced photographer! Look at it this way… You can’t relive a moment of a life event, such as a wedding, birthday, graduation, or holiday celebration… Why not capture it the best way that you can to preserve the memory? An experienced photographer can ensure that your memories are captured in the best way possible. With that said, if you’re looking for the assistance of a experienced photographer, please consider my services… While I specialize in Model Photography, I would be happy to assist you capture your memories. Thank you and Happy Holidays! #goodphotographers #goodphotography #photographyequipment #digitalcameras #snapshots #snapshottylook #mirrorlesscameras #photographyskill #photographycommonsense #whyyouneedaphotographer

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