Push Dat Button – Twirl Dat Knob

Paul Schipp001_edited-1

Get a little drunk and you lose your job.

Say, I could write Broadway hits, as long as no-one sang them…Apart from the Tin Pan Alley stuff, this post is a cautionary tale for those of us who tend to – figuratively – get caught up in the machinery.

Equipment love is a mild disease that affects most photographers. You might think that it would be strongest in the professionals who get to use the big, expensive cameras, but the opposite is the case. Amateurs are more likely to fall victim to it.

It used to start with the photo magazine – they had magnificent advertisements for all the film stuff and we lusted after new cameras and lenses. Articles in the magazines re-inforced this by showing glamorous photographers with glamourous cameras and glamorous models in glamorous locations. I am surprised that we could finish a copy of
” Popular Photography ” without bursting…

Nowadays it is the internet that fires the imagination of the amateur. Experts you have never heard of tout cameras with features you don’t need by telling you how other experts you have never heard of are becoming famous using them. Then they show glamorous models in glamorous places…Sex, and HDR seascapes sell.

I fell into the trap many many times – I bought the cool looking camera with the knurled knobs and spent months driving around Perth trying to find some excuse to twirl them. Not knowing where it was at, and not being able to create it, I was reduced to operating the machinery to no purpose. I was no alone – I met lots of individuals who collected test rolls of film but never made any pictures. The operation of the camera was the point activity – not a resultant picture.

Fortunately, age and honesty have changed this. Now I take the picture with the least possible fuss on the smallest possible camera – set to “Auto” if possible – and then crop it and publish it as fast as I can. I plead guilty to buying new equipment but only after weeks of consideration and numerous trials to see if it can be done without. My equipment roster grows smaller yearly, but the output increases. I wish I had done this sooner.

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