It’s time to vent about gear vs. skill.
You know… the old trope about how gear doesn’t matter, and it’s the photographer that counts.
We need to acknowledge that the gear matters.
Yes, putting fancy gear in the hands of a total newbie likely won’t result in an awesome photograph. And we can acknowledge that a seasoned professional is going to be able to get better results from subpar gear than someone without much experience will. But those usually aren’t the arguments when folks get passionate into the “gear doesn’t matter” line of thinking.
Part of being professional and experienced is knowing the right gear for a given situation. If you need to create an outdoor portrait with soft lighting at noon on a sunny summer day, that’s going to require the right gear. If you need to create a 4 foot by 8 foot print, that’s going to require a certain level of resolution, either from the camera or by intelligently using software. Software is gear, and having skill in applied imaging software is the equivalent of having another piece of gear at your disposal.
Pretending that anyone can go create amazing, intentional images with crappy gear is to pretend that most of what goes into images is luck.
As we’ve seen photography grow in popularity and with everyone now having a decent smartphone camera in their pocket, the reality is that the gear baseline has gotten better, and it’s precisely because of these advancements in consumer photography technology that we see more folks being able to make acceptable images without investing in additional expensive gear.
Gear is important. Photography skill is important. Thinking that gear vs. skill is a mutually exclusive situation is a mark of ignorance. To become a master image maker, you’ll want to understand both realms, and understand how they work together to make the image you envision.
To neglect either or pretend that mastery of one will overcome for deficits of the other is foolish.
Your (civilized) two cents are welcome below.