Randy Bayne

The Best Camera is the One You Have

Best camera

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” – E. B. White

This E. B. White quote is easily applied to anything you want to accomplish. Photography for instance. A photographer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without making a single image.

Does anyone even know what the right conditions are anyway?

The best camera

Occasionally I’m asked what is the best camera for a beginning photographer. This is usually right after someone says, “Nice camera. I bet it takes great pictures.” The response I would like to give is, “This camera doesn’t MAKE any pictures. I do.” My actual answer is something along the lines of, “Yes, it is a great tool, and I am very happy with the images I make with it.” The best camera for anyone, I tell them, is the one you have. Ansel Adams probably said it best, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”

Waiting for the perfect conditions, the perfect camera, lens, gadget, or program, won’t make anyone better. Waiting for the perfect weather, light, or other conditions won’t mean better images. Great photographers don’t depend on equipment or conditions. Great photographers use what they have available and make beautiful art. There’s nothing wrong with seeking and having the best equipment and conditions, but it is the twelve inches behind the camera that matter most.

The best camera is the one you have.

Best camera

3-step Formula

A great writer doesn’t become great by having the best pen and ink, typewriter, or computer. A great writer becomes great by writing. A great musician isn’t great because of great instruments. A great musician becomes great by playing. Great artists are great because they put in the time to practice their art and become great artists. It is all about the doing.

Step one: Do it.
Step two: Do it again.
Step three: Keep doing it.

Again and again and again.

That’s my 3-step formula. This is where you begin. There is more to it, but you won’t get better until you begin. Then, as you get better you can, and perhaps should, think about new and better tools; not so you get even better, but rather so you don’t limit yourself. Grow into your new and better tools.

Now it’s your turn. What thoughts do you have? This post certainly doesn’t say everything. Do you agree? Is the best camera the one you have?

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