Shut up and Shoot


Contrary to the header, I am not that frustrated. There has been many arguments about skill VS equipment VS talent and I thought, I also have a voice. I’m sure you have seen photographer’s with humongous lenses and thought “Now that is a serious photographer”, I do not hold you at fault. I also have done that severally.

Now all I’m saying here is my opinion(duh!) so do not rush off and apply as gospel truth. It is what has worked for me thus far and what has shaped my beliefs too.

I believe photography is an art. Is it also part science? yes it is. You see, the fact that the camera operates like the eye goes far to show that it is science oriented. I believe that if you are a photographer you need to know your science bit, understand exposure, shutter time and size, the works. Without that understanding, the art shall not become art. That said, there is no science to composition and instinct that beats art sense(so to speak). You can only read so much, at some point you just need to shut up and shoot. Get the heck up from your computer screen and shoot, make your mistakes and in so doing discover what happens when you increase/decrease shutter time, discover what it means to open your shutter wide or shut it down tight.

The problem with always reading is that you get an information overload (trust me it happens to me a lot). It may make you blank when you actually go out to shoot because you are processing a lot of stuff. I prefer to get information and then read it slowly. If you want to shoot portraits, research a bit about it, get inspiration on flickr’s interesting and then try something out. But don’t read forever, get out and shoot.

The equipment debate; I won’t bore you with details. With better equipment, you increase the chances of getting the perfect shot. But is it just a product of the camera? NO! It is a combination of good equipment and impeccable skill. Good equipment does not make you better photographer, it increases your boundaries.

What I’m I saying is, if you are a beginner, like me, just shoot, find a way to twist the equipment you have to your will and do a little less complaining about what you don’t have because it’s just tired. I have discovered that due to continuous shooting, you get to discover the stuff you use most and so you can know what to include or add in your arsenal because you need it, not because some review told you about it.

- Update : After a discussion with some of my friends who are pro photographers, it seems that they know what camera they want next or what piece of equipment they shall buy next and the reason why. Do you know why this is? It is because they have worked with what they have long enough to know what they need to add on it. Experience has taught them something and they can apply it now with new equipment. So till you get to that level, practice with what you got, shut up and learn what you can and apply it. You too shall be like them someday and all this shall make sense -

The Nikon d40 I use has been my trusted companion for about 2 years now. When I got it, I thought I’d never need another camera in my life. After continuous use, I have discovered where it falls short for my use. I discovered I need on camera body focus, I need live view, I need auto bracketing for HDR….All this I discovered by using the camera and not by reading up articles on my computer. So get out there and shoot if you love photography, quit complaining about the camera, lens, or whatever that you don’t have. Shoot, Shoot, SHOOT!

So the photos I posted today are all photos taken in my very make-shift studio at home ie On top of the microwave oven for the reflection. Using a Canon 550d(my friends’). They are not perfect shots by any means, but they are what I did, I’m glad I learnt to take the photos using a makeshift studio with a DIY‘d table lamp. So do not complain about the lack of stuff and instead learn your camera to detail so you can push it to its extreme.

Despite it all, this argument did not start with me and it shall not end with me so lend your view to it. Comment below and let me know what you think.

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7 thoughts on “Shut up and Shoot

  1. truth truth kabisa… I also use a make shift photography table (james u have seen it) at home and look at the out come with weshootbottles.pixcaliba.com … Equipment is not an excuse… what u see through your minds eye is… Even when u use a phone camera.

  2. This makes sense in almost every art, coz av been learning guitar with an artefact that was my mum’s back in the day. And I’v taught myself through a lot of practice, 5 months and I play way better than guyz with the newest guitars in town who have been learning in school.

    Sometimes we just need to make 100% use of what we have, and so know what we need when we’ll need to upgrade.

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