Equipment brou-ha-ha

Canada Film General

Just when we are at this period where a lot of people are switching to digital, and comparing the quality of photos produced by digital and film photography, and how some people totally reject the art of film, I came across an interview with Patrick Ecclesine and he said:

“I shot everything,” he says. “Film, digital, medium-format digital, 5-megapixel, medium-format, whatever I could get my hands on at different times. For me, a camera is a camera. It’s just an instrument. Certainly, every one has pluses and minuses, pros and cons. But light is a light, and a camera is a camera. I think what it really comes down to is how you shape light, and how you modify it, and how you control it with the background.” – From Digital Photo Pro magazine, May/June 2009

I am not an expert, but I think some people give too much emphasis on the equipment alone, that they forget that the person behind the camera is the one that runs the show. Even if you have a million dollars worth of equipment, if you cannot use it (or if you don’t invest the time to learn how to use it), your photos will be ugly nonetheless. There’s no feeling and no emotions put into it.

I am just glad that Ecclesine have that same view about equipment (or at least part of it). I own more film than digital cameras and I use toy and plastic cameras for shooting, and I am not embarrassed to say that I still use film. For me all of my cameras in my collection serve me different kinds of purpose, depending on what I want to shoot, where I want to shoot, and what is the situation that will affect the shoot. Regardless of that I still want to capture moments and the existence of people, places and things, and I am comfortable enough that I have the tools that I need to capture the right images.

That is why I don’t think one should be really conscious about camera brands and units. One should start small, and if s/he develops his/her skills and eyes and if s/he needs to go further, then I could say that there’s a need to acquire a better (and more expensive) photographic equipment. Otherwise, getting a good entry-level is the best way to go.