The best camera is the one that you have with you
Camera’s are everywhere these days, everyone from your mom to your gran has a camera, most times it’s built into the phone that they are carrying and in a lot of cases, the quality of the cameras built into these devices is fantastic. It also means that almost everyone is now armed with a good quality camera and so is able to capture an image, anytime, any place and almost anywhere.
This means that millions of photographs are now flooding the Internet, literally there are images everywhere you look and a lot of new photographers have arrived at the conclusion that they should put their images to work for them by adding them to micro-stock and stock photography sites, which has led to some places, lowering their prices and perhaps even standards, in order to compete and deal with this influx of images.
However there is an issue here, that many people seem to be overlooking, which is, that there is a big difference between taking an image and making an image. Sounds like such a minor thing doesn’t it? I’m here to tell you it isn’t though, it’s a huge thing, massive, world changing, time stopping thing. Why? Well before I get to the explanation, let me add something to oft quoted title of this piece, a qualifier if you like;
The best camera is the one that you have with you, but you have to know how to use it
You might not think it but this goes hand in hand with the promised explanation. Trust me, it does.
Let’s examine the process that goes into taking a picture, you see a scene before you, something that catches your eye, something cool, something sexy, something colourful, something historic, so you whip out your trusty camera, whether it be a phone, mirrorless, DSLR, doesn’t matter, you pull it out, release the shutter, grab your image and go.
Now lets look at the process of making an image. You see the aforementioned scene unfolding before you, as before you pull out your camera, you take a heart beat to properly frame and compose what’s going on before you, another heartbeat to release the highlights are too bright or the shutter speed needs to be increased, perhaps a third to adjust depth of field, to make sure that the subject of the frame is more in-focus than the background, which is now nicely blurred, letting them pop-out, further strengthening the storey that the image is telling. You release the shutter and make an image.
All of that may sound long-winded, it may sound like it would take so long that whatever moment you were going to capture has come and gone but that’s where you would be wrong and where knowing how to use your camera, comes into play. Because when you know how to use your camera, all of that is done in an instant, the blink of an eye but the difference is staggering, instead of a snapshot, you now have a compelling image.
The type of camera that you have, be it smart phone or DSLR is almost irrelevant, sure there are technical differences, limitations and so on but at the end of the day, if you put a camera of any kind into the hands of someone who knows how to use it, you will get a compelling image at the end of the day. You will get an image that tells a story, moves people, grabs their attention and doesn’t let go.
This is something that Arcangel realises and is one of the reasons why our images are the best in the business because all of our contributors, make compelling images, not snapshots. We also know that it’s not the tool that matters but the person and the eye behind it, come and see for yourself.