More Advice for New Photographers

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Recently a reader emailed me asking one of the timeless questions that many new photographers ask: Would newer, better equipment improve my photographs?”

I get this kind of question from time to time and I wanted to share my response with any readers who might have similar thoughts. Keep in mind that this is not the answer but is instead just one answer and it’s my answer. Feel free to ask other photographers their opinion and when all is said and done, make up your own mind based on the kind of photographs that you like to make.

The short answer to “Would newer, better equipment improve my photographs?” is maybe but just as likely maybe not. Ultimately it’s the photographer who makes the picture, not the camera. The most important photographic accessory is one that you already have and it’s the one between your ears. The next best thing you can do is…

  • Practice, practice and practice. Make a picture every day, at least try to. That’s actually harder than it sounds.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because that is how we all learn and be prepared to discover that some mistakes may give you ideas that can lead to better photographs.
  • Don’t chase perfection, instead work on gradual and incremental improvement. One way to do this is to tackle a subject you think is difficult (but maybe isn’t) such as macro photography or infrared photography. When trying something new don’t look at the most expensive ways to accomplish these things; instead look at the cheapest ways such as using on-camera IR filters or close-up filters.
  • Don’t be afraid of using and shooting with used equipment. After all, you’re going to use it anyway, inot wrap it up and kiss it goodnight. You can purchase used gear from eBay, Craig’s List or friends. That’s one reason I added the Garage Sale section to this blog.

And if it doesn’t sound too self serving, please visit this blog from time to time. If you like photographing automobiles, visit my website/blog Both sites/blog are many hundreds of posts at both sites. Find something that grabs your attention and read about it.

I’m always glad to answer questions from readers; just click the Contact button above and drop me a note. I promise to get back to you in a timely manner.

IR.bookAnd Lots of questions get answered in the pages of my books. For instance if you’re interested in black and white or infrared photography, my book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is out-of-print but new copies are available from Amazon for $37.65 with used copies at $14.38, as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon with used for $4, which is a heckuva deal.