Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Gear Or Not The Gear?


It is snowing here today. This was the view early this morning.  A good day to stay warm and dry.
This afternoon I go and teach. The class started last Tuesday.  A day time class for a change.
Today we will talk about White Balance, a good topic with all the snow.

Being inside most of the day has given me the opportunity to catch up on my fellow bloggers.
Have you ever wondered why some photographers obsess over gear?  Several folks have said that the most popular blog entries over the last year were the ones on gear. It is well known that the most popular photo blogs are the ones that are equipment orientated. If you have an "Photo Art Blog" like I do you are not going to get huge amounts of hits on your site.
Interestingly enough: the majority of technical interest comes from men and the majority of Art interest comes from women. This reflects my ad hoc observations when selling in art shows and galleries.

The men ask technical questions and mostly do not purchase prints. The women see the image, enjoy it and purchase it. (thank goodness).  The men look at the image and see it in terms of: how to do that, what gear do I need to make that, Oh, he was just there at the right time, if I lived there I could do that, and Wow, he must have a great camera!
Women see the image, and a bit more, they mostly are able to read the message in the medium. They usually do not care how it was made. To them, the image, not the process is the important thing. Amen!

It has been my experience, over years of being a working photographer, that the gear does NOT make a good photograph. Yes, the equipment is necessary in order to create an image. But, the worlds best gear will not create anything by itself. It need the heart and mind of the artist behind the lens to make anything worth looking at for more than a glance. A typewriter was helpful a few years ago if you wanted to be a writer, but I will bet that no one ask Robert Frost what make and model typewriter he used.
Whatever you have now, learn to use it, to get the most out of it, to make say say what you want to say.
That message is what I will try to get across to my students this term. We shall see how that works out.



Uncommon Depth said...

I've never really noticed that distinction in the questions I get asked by the different genders. Perhaps I'm just not paying enough attention. I will pay attention at the openings next week and see though.

A lovely scene to wake up to!

steve said...

Yes, it was a very pretty morning.
I would be interested in hearing about your experiences at the openings. It may be that you, as a female artist, would get different questions.