I firmly believe that it is our vision as photographers that’s truly important. So many people who know little about photography often comment “what a great camera you have” when they see my images. Even photographers think that if they had a longer lens or faster camera somehow their images would be everything that they wished they would be.
Really though, it’s our vision of the world that matters. Great images are about what we see in the world and what we project onto it. Equipment can’t compose a scene nor come up with a great idea. That comes from within.
But having said all that, every now and then a piece of equipment can have an impact on what we see and how we express ourselves. In my case, the iPhone has filled that role. The fact that I have it on me all the time is something new. The Hipstamatic (and now Shakeit Camera) have (mostly) eliminated the need for post processing. It’s straight from vision to blog in the click of a virtual button.
Unlike a DSLR, the viewfinder on the iPhone is huge. And it’s often on. Sometimes I see things that I wouldn’t normally see with a pro camera or even a digital point and shoot. Sometimes, the equipment can open up new avenues – though it’s still up to us to recognize that a new road is opened for us.
I bring all this up because of this next shot. I was seated at a table drinking wine outdoors with my wife. My camera was in my hand and pointed at the ground in between snapping shots. I happened to glance at it and saw this composition. I lined things up and took the shot. But it’s a shot that never would have occurred but for the iPhone.
The original idea for this image was not a conscious one, but it has reminded me that there’s other perspectives than the traditional eye-level looking outward perspective that’s so familiar to most of us. And sometimes the technology can play a role in shaping our vision. It’s not the sole determinant, but sometimes it’s a factor.
Don’t be afraid to embrace new opportunities to express your vision and new outlets for your creativity. Simple things can have a big impact. Maybe it is that $2,000 zoom lens you’ve dreamed of. Or maybe it’s that simple little camera phone you have in your hands right now.