Monday, August 31, 2015

What Gear Should An Aspiring (Urbex) Photographer Buy?

Keep Out The Sun - Tehachapi, California
Captured using a Nokia Lumia 1020.
I get asked pretty often what gear a beginning photographer should buy. What camera should a aspiring photographer purchase? Canon? Nikon? DSLR? Full frame? How many lenses?

I don't like answering this question because gear isn't nearly as important as many think it is. It's the wrong question, really. If someone wants to be a photographer they need to understand what it even means to be a photographer. What is it about photography that attracts you?

You have to know why you photograph in order to know what and how to photograph. There are so many different genres and styles, and in order to be successful you have to create your own style and niche.
Fruit Cup - Tehachapi, California
Captured using a Nikon D3300.
The gear you use doesn't make any difference to understanding the deeper, more important questions. And gear makes very little difference to the outcome of an image. You would be hard-pressed to find a camera that isn't capable of capturing great images.

So to answer the question, get a camera--any camera--and use it. Figure out the deeper questions. Begin to understand vision, creativity and the decisive moment. Then, if you think you need different gear, go out and get what you think you need. But until you've figured out what you need and why, then stick with whatever it is that you already have.

If that's not a good enough answer for you, and you want some specific gear to buy, how about the Nokia Lumia 1020. I paid $100 for mine, and I guarantee that it's the best digital camera you can buy for that price. Or Nikon's entry level DSLR, the D3300, which is very inexpensive and yet is still a quality camera. But, really, any camera will do.

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