This is the second installment in this two-part series. To read the first article, you can do so by clicking this sentence.
As promised last week, I'll be telling you the funny story about gear. This happened in March of 2013. I was a novice photographer at the time. I knew how to use Manual mode, and knew what each aspect of the exposure triangle did. So keep that in mind when reading.
I went to go see some family who were staying at the Marriott in San Diego. While they were talking, I went around and took some photographs of the hotel. Now there was a flower in a vase that wasn't the most interesting thing on earth. I decided to drag the shutter while using the pop-up flash, and with these results:
While I was taking the pictures, this lady came up and decided to take photos of the same flower. And what was she using to take the photos? Just the CANON 5D MARK III AND THE CANON EF 50MM F/1.2 LENS (total price of the setup... $5,000)! I'm thinking to myself, "Oh man, she's going to whip my butt..." But after about five minutes of us looking at each other, I decided to show her the back of my camera... and her jaw dropped at what I was taking. She was asking me "how I did it," "how can she do it," and (my favorite question of that day) "can you use my camera to shoot that"... How could I pass up an offer to use that setup?!
She hands me the camera and I hit the playback button to see what the previous photos were taken at. And she was shooting at f/16, 1/200 shutter speed, and around 6400 ISO.... If you know anything about photography, you would know immediately her settings were WAY OFF. After calling that to her attention, I explained to her how to expose properly indoors and how to get nicer images. I then proceeded to show her how to look for the right composition and make the photos more interesting. After that, she thanked me and went on her way.
What's the moral of this story? For me, it made me realize that... even though she had the better gear, I was taking better photos. It really IS the photographer taking the photograph.
I hope this series has motivated you to go out and shoot/learn what you can with what you have. And once you make the money upgrade, you'll know what to use and how to use it.
And as always, there will be a new post up next week. Until then, thanks for reading.