Great Article from Petapixel

What I’ve Learned About Photo Gear Over the Past 40 Years

Terrific summary and great dispelling of the constant upgrade myth. A great photographer can make great images with a pinhole or a Brownie box camera, in addition to a CaNikSonEikaBlad. A mediocre photographer gets caught up in an upgrade chase thinking gear is the solution to a skills problem. Don’t get me wrong, gear is fun, and its always nice to have the right tool for the job – there are photos you can take with a Canon 5D that you can’t take with a Hasselblad, and photos you can take with an 8×10 Sinar you can’t take with a Leica (the old “don’t use a hammer to do a screwdriver’s job” adage). But when it comes down to it, it’s far to easy to blame the tool when we don’t get what we were looking for (“I would have gotten the photo if only I had an xxxx”). This is part of why I’m fixating on my Rolleiflex. It’s just one camera, with just one lens – it’s forcing me to pay more attention to what I’m shooting and how I’m shooting it rather than running around with two or three bodies and half a dozen lenses in two or more formats. My Argentina trip of a few years ago was a prime example – I had the 5×7 with six (SIX!!!!) lenses, 13 film holders (13!!!!), and a tripod, along with my Contax G1 with 45mm and 28mm lenses. While I did take some wonderful photos in each format, I’m pretty sure both suffered as a result. Certainly, there were photos I could not have taken with one that I did with the other. My Recoleta cemetery photos would not have happened with the Contax, and my street scenes in San Telmo and La Boca would not have happened with the 5×7. But by dividing my attention between the two systems and two ways of thinking probably meant that I wasn’t fully in the mindset of either system and then tried (and failed) to make images with one that would have been better done with the other.

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