Shitty Teachers, Gear Lust and Artistic Visions

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    Yesterday, a friend asked me for some tips on how to properly light a subject. I figured it would probably be a lot easier if I just went over to her house and actually showed her rather than only telling her what to do. Herein lies the problem though. I'm a HORRIBLE teacher. We spent some time both inside and outside in different lighting conditions as I tried to show her how different conditions affected the way a scene is lit. We didn't have any real light modifiers though, so we had to rely solely on natural lighting. The sun wasn't really cooperating with us in this aspect either seeing as how it was a sunny day at 1pm, the lighting was harsh and not very flattering.  So then I tried to explain some composition stuff and more of the technical aspects of the camera, but you're limited to what the camera is capable of and I'm just really shit at actually explaining how things work. It's not like I don't know, I can never just explain anything properly without just doing it for myself, but that doesn't really help anyone. She said I still helped out a little though, but the whole circumstance kinda got me thinking...

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   There are so many photographers out there that say gear doesn't matter and I'm one of them. You don't need the latest and greatest gear in the world or even the most expensive gear either to take amazing pictures. You can even use a phone and take nice photos, but really aren't you limited? While gear doesn't matter, if you're trying to achieve a certain look or do a certain technique and your tools are limiting you from achieving this, then by definition you are limited. I just thought it was an interesting take on the subject as a whole. My entire shooting style wouldn't come across very well if I didn't have the tools that I have. Your artistic vision is beholden to the tools you have at your disposal. Sure, a great artist can create a masterpiece with a pile of shit if need be, but if that same artist was given different, not necessarily better, tools then the piece would have turned out completely different, yet still masterful. So my advice to anyone out there looking do something greater with their craft is not to just go out and buy the most expensive tools out there, nor is it to get the tool "all of the other professionals" are using either. Buy and subsequently use the tools that will give you the outcome you desire. Use the tools, don't let the tools use you. Just remember that it's the artist that creates the art.

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~~Writing Light Across The Land~~