Photographic Imperfection

Arun Venkatesan, writing about camera gear on his blog, helps me reflect on my own camera journey:

To the novice me, believing that gear mattered and accumulating it helped me come to my own conclusion. Along the way I tried a wide variety of cameras — old, new, cheap, expensive, film, digital, fixed lens, interchangeable lens, etc. This variety of gear helped me build up of a wide library of skills. It’s with these skills under my belt that I feel confident with any gear. Yes, I’m happy with my current multi-lens setup, professional lighting, tripods, stands, etc. But, I’d also be happy with just one camera again.

Camera purchasing conversations generally include a few variables like cost, portability, functionality, etc. Over the years I discovered a missing variable when deciding what camera to purchase or take on a trip: my own personality. What camera meshes with the way I approach shooting?

For me portability is important, but I have also learned that I thoroughly enjoy access to dials. My Fujifilm X-T4 has dials for shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. No menus or unlabeled dials are needed to make adjustments. However, I have also learned that friends don’t enjoy waiting for me to swap lenses during a fun moment.

Similar to Arun, experimenting was necessary. Purchasing the best/popular/cool camera won’t guarantee good photos (trust me), nor will it guarantee fun. If photography is a hobby and not a job, fun is a crucial factor.

Arun also discusses developing a personal style:

It’s with the Q that I started to discover my photographic style. I had a vision not just for how I wanted to shoot a photographs, but also how I wanted to edit them. I transitioned from using other people’s presets to crafting my own.

For years I chased perfection in photography. Perfect lines, colors, angles, scenes, etc. Eventually I discovered that imperfection builds character, tension, and intrigue. Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes because you don’t know which mistakes actually become strengths.

Cameras Photography