Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm just sayin (part 2)

The last blog was about the difference between people who studied and those who just rely on talent. This blog is all about gears: "You don't need to have professional/ crazy ass expensive/ equipment to be able to produce good images."

*There are a lot of kinds of professional equipment out there, but for simplicity's sake, let's just think of lens since I'm sure most of you dream of upgrading lens.

When I bought my dslr, it came with a kit lens. I told myself that I don't need to buy a fancy shmancy lens because I believe that it still depends on the user. The user must know the limitations of his camera and adapt his shooting style to it. And that's what I did... for a while. If you just like taking pictures of your family on holidays, then the kit lens is perfect for you. But sometimes, kit lens is not enough...

You see, photography is like a girlfriend. The 3 types of guys are:

1.Guys who leave their girlfriends behind. To these guys, photography is just a passing interest. Maybe they thought that it's too complicated, bitchy, demanding, two - timing piece of... oops... I got a little carried away. I mean some people lose interest because they think it's complicated.

2.Guys who love their girlfriends but don't want to get married. These guys think that kit lens are good enough for their needs.

3.Guys who love their girlfriend so much that they want to marry them. Of course, if you want to marry someone, it is preferable to move into a better house. Staying in your mom's basement or your disgusting moldy apartment won't do. A house with a big lawn and a swimming pool is the dream, dude. A movie house and a bowling alley inside won't hurt either. To these guys, photography became a passion. You want to create better pictures and you know that sometimes, ordinary equipment has limitations. You can overcome those limitations for sure. But it will be difficult. Who wants to make love in a sticky couch with cockroaches falling from the ceiling? YOU CAN. But the results won't be good...

Basically, it depends on your needs. If you're just a casual shooter then your kit lens is fine. If you're a casual shooter but wants to have nicer pictures then it's okay to buy a nicer lens. But if you want to be a professional, it is proper to use professional gear. You wouldn't want to go to a dentist that uses a straw to suck the saliva from your mouth then spit it in a bucket right? Dentists should have a machine to do that. That example is a bit exaggerated. But it's true. For example, covering for a wedding is so hard when the only thing you've got is your kit lens. The lights inside churches are usually dim so you have to use slow shutter speeds to achieve proper exposure. And as you know slow shutter speeds result to blurry photos. You can use a tripod to counter camera shake. But it's too cumbersome to move around with it. And remember, tripods only remove camera shake. Your subject's movements will still be blurred... That's okay if you want to make your groom and bride look like ghosts. You can also use the pop up flash but the pictures will be as if it came from a point and shoot camera. There's no depth. It will also have that distinct "deer in the headlight look". If you want decent photos, you should have a fast lens and a speedlight to bounce off of walls.

Having said that, please don't think that you will suddenly have "professional" shots once you buy professional gears. Just because you have a machine that sucks saliva like there's no tomorrow doesn't make you a good dentist. A lot of people make this mistake. They often blame their current gear set up. You should study the fundamentals of photography and practice. And if you found out that your gear is lacking at something, then that's the time you buy. Base your purchases depending on your style and needs. Don't just buy everything you can afford.

To sum things up, it basically depends on your needs. Period. "Ordinary" gears are for casual shooters. Professional gears are for professionals. Casual shooters can buy professional gears as well as long as they know what they're buying and how to use it. But professionals shouldn't use "ordinary" gears. As professionals, you do have to get good gears to get incredible images. But please take note: I used the adjective "good". I didn't say "expensive". Unfortunately most of the time, good gears ARE expensive. But again please take note: I used the word "most" not "all". Confused? Yeah, me too. Anyway, the point is, there are some gears out there that are cheap yet good. An example of this is the Tamron 28-75 f2.8. This baby is incredibly sharp. Even at wide open. I'll make a review of it soon. Please watch out for that.

But you have to realize that there is no perfect gear but there is a perfect gear for you.