Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane, originally uploaded by Justin Davis Davanzo.

yep....yessir....i reckin.

ok...so I read a great article last night that discussed how artists who complain or state that they need new and better equipment (primarily photographers) should take a step back and think about it...I think it was Ansel Adams who said, "the most important part of the camera is the 12 inches behind it..." ok..so there it is...the gauntlet has been thrown down. In this day and age, it seems that everything is making it easier to rely on technology for skill...and to use an excuse that says, if only i had the "right" or "better" equipment my photos would be better. nope. this is the part i like. I am paraphrasing some of this but it goes something like this.

A photo is a photo no matter what camera you use...it is the composition and the shape and the light that matters...looking back amongst photographers who were using box cameras in the early days...they didn't have digital zoom lenses and photoshop, they relied on their eye and their vision of what made a good picture...now it is true that having the right equipment can help a good photographer achieve the desired results faster, but good equipment does not a good photographer make. Why am I saying this? because as I journey down the road of photography, i sometimes get caught up in the guy next to me who has the huge camera and brand new lens and bla bla...but i realize...that is not the key.

The other day i was walking around with my Diana camera...which is a simple plastic camera with no focus ring, no zoom, no F stop..nothing...it is basically a contraption that lets light in by holding down a trigger and you control how long that is held down. In using it I realized that I cannot really control what the camera is going to do with the light and focus etc, but i can control what I wanted to try and capture...the fun thing about this camera and film is you never know what you'll get till it is developed...it is kind of like going back in time and to think the masters who took great pictures back then could shoot without any immediate output to help them figure out if it was right or not, is awesome...ok, so that brings me back to the topic....the vision of the artist is more important than the equipment. As I get ready to hang another show and spend quality and close up time with many of my pictures as I matte them, i start to see my vision more clearly...they are no longer just a snapshot on the computer, but a piece of art that I have created. They are small in size, but within i start to see the camera in my head and how it works...I see the world through a lens differently than anyone else...and i love that about photography...each photographer has a unique way of looking at the world. Do i still want a sweet bitchin camera? sure...will it change the way I see things? no....this is the key...mastering the simple tools is the thing to do because no matter how big your paintbrush, it won't help you paint better....here i go talking about size again.. oh well...

i felt relieved when I returned home last night after work having read the article that praised the artist, not the equipment....i like that.

Love and Understanding.


Anonymous said...

You are a delightful throw-back to a time when art was art and men were men and the 12" between the lover or the world were not measured in inches.


Anonymous said...

dear me

Anonymous said...

a recent fortune cookie fortune: Gaze at those around you through the lens of love...no matter how familiar they have become.