The goal of this blog is to share what I have learned about creating beautiful photographs instead of every day pictures. Even if all you have is your cell phone. Along the way I’ll post images from various sessions and assorted examples to illustrate my points. Now let’s get started!

Saturday, March 18, 2017
By Gary Joseph Photography
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The Myth: You must have a high end, very expensive camera to take great photographs. This is simply not true. One of the greatest photographers of all time, one that I admire the most, shot with badly worn older cameras. Mostly for budgetary reasons. As Ansel Adams became more well-known and people started buying his photographs he was able to upgrade, but in the end you couldn't see much of a difference in his work. Why is that? Let me answer it this way; suppose I came over to your house and you served what was considered to be the finest meal ever created. Then upon leaving I stop at your front door and remark "Thank you so much for such a wonderful meal. You must have some really nice pots and pans." Ouch!

So it is with photography. The art of photography is a lot more about how you create an image with light, creativity and composition than it is about the equipment you use. While studying for my Master of Photography Degree I read a chapter in one of our textbooks that addressed the various types of compositions. And as you would expect, there were plenty of pictures to illustrate the authors point. (This is one area where you can actually "read a book for its pictures" and not get judged for it!) Each image was incredible and worthy to be framed. At the start of the following chapter, the author informed us the images in the previous chapter were all captured on his cell phone. Wait! What! That can't be! I immediately went back to look for flaws, but alas I could find none. Continuing with the great meal analogy, it's all about the recipe and how the various ingredients impact the final result. Not the pans you're cooking in. Sure, there are plenty of expensive, high end pots and pans out there that will unquestionably produce a better product. But not if you don’t know what you’re doing and/or you have a terrible recipe with substandard ingredients. 

By now you must be asking “Then why do professional photographers buy those really expensive cameras?” Great question! Thanks for asking. The obvious answer is because they’re hardier and can take a lot of abuse. Although somewhat true, the real reason is because of performance. A higher number of megapixels allows for better photographs in low light situations while faster processing capability allows for sustained burst shooting. Imagine photographing a bride and her father coming up the aisle. The venue has low light and you want to capture those special looks at each other, guests, and of course the MOMS! While your camera is struggling to process low light images you continue shooting at a very fast pace. All of a sudden the camera freezes and starts buffering while the dad kisses and gives his daughter away. Suddenly you find yourself standing there, staring at your camera and sweating like a Sumo Wrestler waiting for the camera to catch up. Oooops! You just missed everyone’s laughter over something funny or the look on the bride and grooms faces when they first locked hands. Trust me, it’s happened. There are many other reason related to performance like file size, sensor size, sensor type, etc., but I think you get the “picture!” Sorry.

In our next blog we’ll begin the discussion on the most important element of photography; light. Please let me know if anyone out there is reading this, and please feel free to ask any questions.