Camera vs skill

Photography Professor Curtis Corlew participated in the 2017 Journalism Association Community College Conference.

He was the proctor for photography contests and took the time to talk and share advice with students.

One of the topics he talked about was the quality of the camera vs. the skill of the photographer.

Part of his contest frequently asked questions said, “Is it fair that some people have really expensive cameras and I only have an iPhone?”

His answer said, “Is it fair that you are more experienced, creative, clever, better looking and have more people and journalism skills that the person with the zillion dollar camera? I think you get my point.”

His question and answer made me think of the relationship between a photographer’s skill and camera.

A better camera offers more options for you to work with but it is still the photographer who chooses how to use all those options.

If you have a zillion dollar camera and do not know how to frame a photo, but the person with the iPhone, samsung, LG or One Plus brand cellphone does then who’s going to get the better photo.

My bet is on the person that actually knows framing the rule of thirds and other photography techniques that improve the photograph.

Yes skills and personal experience are important, the type of camera you use is also important.

The quality of work is not dependent on the type of camera used, however a good camera will more likely be used in a Pulitzer winning photo, because any photographer that can afford it will buy that better quality camera.

The problem with Professor Corlew’s logical explanation is it doesn’t account for the people who have a decent amount of skill and a zillion dollar camera. How does the very skilled and cellphone only photographer compete with the automatic settings like sports priority, aperture priority and manual settings that a zillion dollar camera has?

In that situation the person with the zillion dollar camera would win.

There is hope, for those photographers like myself that cannot afford the zillion dollar cameras, the option is clear keep working on improving techniche light manipulation and all the other mechanical technical aspects of photography, all the while saving money to one day buy that zillion dollar camera.

Statue taken with a Nikon D55oo on the right statue taken with the one plus 2 cellphone
Like what you read? Give Perla Lara a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.