Essays on Technology and Culture

A Camera Counterpoint

Álvaro Serrano has a damn good counterpoint to my statement on high-end cameras in geekdom.

I don’t mean that the intensity with which I love photography somehow justifies my obsession, that it’s OK for me to do it because I love it more than you do. Nothing like that. What I mean is that I probably think of photography in a different way than you do. To me, a camera is not just a memory-making machine: it’s a creative tool. It’s not just about capturing moments, it’s about creating the images I see in my head, much like a painter creates an image on an empty canvas.

On cameras, smartphones, smug superiority and the geek’s pissing contest – Analog Senses

When photography is something you care about, passionately, be it a hobby or a profession, then care about your tools all the way. You’ll want a real camera with all the appropriate kit…

But that doesn’t mean it has to be “the best” camera, either. All it takes is a minimum of manual controls — ISO, aperture and shutter speed — and, depending on your preference as a photographer, the possibility to use interchangeable lenses. That’s it.

The vibe I get from so many blog posts I see on cameras—though not Álvaro’s—isn’t love of photography, it’s about love of cameras. That’s a huge difference, and the sort of thing that irks me.