I’m re-reading Hugh MacLeod’s IGNORE EVERYBODY. Great book. You should read it. Seriously. But that’s not why I bring it up. I just posted about shooting with a little less gear and then I sat down with a glass of wine and this book and a pen and read the following. I think it applies.
There’s no correlation between creativity and equipment ownership. None. Zilch. Nada….
A fancy tool just gives the second-rater one more pillar to hide behind.
Which is why there are so many second-rate art directors with state-of-the-art Macintosh computers.
Which is why there are so many hack writers with state-of-the-art laptops.
Which is why there are so many crappy photographers with state-of-the-art digital cameras.
Which is why there are so many unremarkable painters with expensive studios in trendy neighborhoods.
Hiding behind pillars, all of them.
Pillars do not help; they hinder. The more mighty the pillar, the more you end up relying on it psychologically, the more it gets in your way.
Ouch. And yet it I wonder if it hurts because it’s more true than not in this particular neck of the woods. Some photographers seem to escape this. I’m sure they have their own pillars to deal with. But the gear thing, man can it get in the way. I’m going to leave you with Hugh MacLeod’s words because I don’t think they need elaboration, but feel free to discuss. I know, I KNOW, we need good gear, etc, etc. But once you lay down all the excuses and the reasons, seriously, when’s the last time that new piece gear really truly made better, truer, more honest photographs for you? I’m a fan of the What If…question. So in the spirit of that…what if our hunger was less for new gear and more for images that were more deeply personal, more honest, more powerful, more subtle, more emotionally compelling, more beautiful, more luminous?