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It’s #TravelTuesday with me, Dave Williams, and today I’m in the KelbyOne studios recording some classes for you beautiful people! If you’re waiting to learn a little more about how to make some money and about how to prepare for travel photography, you’ll love my two new classes! But before they land, I’d love all you KelbyOne members to join me in an exclusive webcast about where to shoot in Iceland, and if you aren’t a KelbyOne member you can sign up for a free.

Today, I want to touch on something else. Right now I’m planning on changing my camera, and it made me think a little about that age-old conundrum: whether or not gear makes the photographer. Well, my answer is no, and my argument is that if you give a pro photographer a $700 camera, and give a rookie a $5,000 camera, the pro will produce the better image. One main reason for this argument is that the pro will be concentrating on the creativity whereas the rookie is more likely to be focused on the gear. Here’s why: –

When a pro photographer and a rookie photographer each shoot 100 images, the pro is more likely to say that one is good, and the rookie is more likely to say that 90 are good. If they then look at each other’s images, the pro is likely to say that one of the rookie’s is good, and the rookie is likely to say that 90 of the pro’s are good. Self-criticism lands front and centre, and the pro is far more critical of themselves than others. But it goes beyond that: –

When the pro screws up, they are far more likely to blame themselves than to blame the gear. They are probably shooting Manual, may have added some extra gear, such as filters or lighting, and have planned the shot. If something goes wrong, they are far more likely to blame the application of their knowledge than they are to blame the gear. Here’s the point: they will use the same gear and try again until they get it right, working on correcting their technique rather than switching out the gear.

There’s a lesson to be taken from this. Being honest about your skills, having the understanding to apply them, and giving objective evaluation to your creative vision will help you to become a better photographer and not to rely on the gear, rather to rely on yourself. I’ve been through this process and continue to do so, as does every other pro photographer, and it’s extremely valuable to think this way.

I hope to catch you all in the comments tomorrow on The Grid!

Much love

Dave

Hey there! Happy #TravelTuesday one and all! Since it’s nearly July 4th in the States, it’s just been Canada Day, it’s not raining (for once) here in London, and, hopefully, the rest of the world is loving life, too, and everyone is taking the time to unwind a little, I’ve decided to lighten things up a bit today and give you some easy reading!

So, here’s the thing: There are many, many different personalities within photography. Everyone is unique, but everyone still fits somewhere. By and large, photographers fit a category, and I’m not talking about “portraiture” or “architecture.” Oh no, I’m talking about something else altogether! I’ve seen many different types of photographers out in the wild whilst on my travel photography missions, and I’ll try my best to categorise them today. Which one of these are you?

The Junkie
The junkie thrives on social media—Instagram is their portfolio, Facebook is their life, and Twitter is their playground. This is the person who goes on a #walk in the #mountains with their #BFF and finds such #inspiration in a #tuft of #grass next to a #rock that they must #post #about #it #now!

Their brand is their life, and you’ll often find them in the wild, posing nonchalantly with a jacket strewn across their shoulder, arm outstretched to emphasize the brand of watch you’re never heard of before, and often not wearing any socks. They prowl in packs, all photographing one another in every piece of available light they find in a mutually reciprocal manner, checking their phone every few seconds for the latest comments and emails about which trainers are hot right now.

The Bokehnator
This photographer shoots one way and one way only—wide open! Every shot must bokeh the c*§p out of the last and, with their surplus of prime lenses, they’re often heard uttering phrases like, “zoom with your feet” or “look at the onion-shaped bokeh I’ve got here.” A personal favourite is the single term, “bokehlicious,” which seems to be a standard response in a lot of comment sections online.

The Bokehnator will generally be found at twilight in the city, contorting themselves into all manners of positions, whilst firing off shots and turning to their model (which is actually quite often an inanimate object) and saying, “ooh, that’s so silky.”

The Collector
This is the photographer who tends to go over the top. Their collection of gear is impressively unnecessary and far outweighs the circumstances. Their collection of lenses is bigger than their collection of photos, and in the wild this photographer can be easily found because they stand out from the crowd with one camera affixed to a tripod, another slung, a huge bag of gear, and quite often a raincoat and hiking trousers and shoes on even on the hottest day.

This is the person who asks, “What settings are you using?” and follows your answer with a gurned face and a slow intake of breath before staring intently at the back of their camera, slowly nodding but looking somewhat confused.

The HDR-er
This is someone who cannot simply take one photo, but rather they will take a series of at least five, sometimes even nine bracketed shots. It’s not acceptable in their world to take a single shot and use the single exposure to emphasise tones, to create an image of highlights and shadows. They’re often heard talking about stops, and back home they own at least three different software packages designed to create different HDR looks, passing each image through each one in a conveyor belt process until their image looks nothing like the scene they were standing in front of in the wild.

The Judger
This photographer is usually not all that good of a photographer, and colloquially referred to as a “troll.” We’ve all had experiences with this one. You’ve never seen a photo of theirs, however, they seem to always have an opinion on what’s wrong with yours. You don’t tend to see them in the wild, as they prefer to blend in and only reveal themselves online where their disguise affords them security and protection from reprisals.

Their specialty is popping up and offering their expertise when you least expect it because they took a photo of a butterfly on their iPhone that one time that their friends thought was super cool and, therefore, they are the leading authority on photo critique. There’s one potential defence against this strange breed, and that is to say “No CC” nice and clearly. This tends to get them to leave you alone, but it’s no guarantee!

The Filterer
This person cannot take a photo without something on the front of their lens. It generally takes them longer to set up than to take the shot, and that’s saying something because their exposure time tends to be way up there in the minutes. This person tends to be filled with talent and is capable of making incredible images. If only you had their patience!

The iPhoner
You know this person. You’ve been practicing your art for years and this person comes along, having never defined themselves as a photographer, and blows you away with something they shot on their iPhone. They appear out of nowhere, whip out their iPhone, and somehow their snapshot is perfectly composed with beautiful framing, perfect exposure, and mesmerizing content. This person has a natural gift for creating captivating masterpieces capable of leaving jaws on the floor the world over.

The iPadographer

I don’t need to go into much detail on this one. You’ve seen them, I’m sure. They were probably standing right in front of your lens when you saw them! You know, when you’re standing with your rig taking a shot and step, perhaps, a little to your left, then out of nowhere, the space you were standing in is immediately occupied by somebody who was watching what you were shooting? That’s them.

The never-righter
This person is close to a purist. Rather than spend a few seconds in post moving a slider, they want to nail it in camera. The light will change the most minute amount, and they’ll take another shot. They’re never happy and always want one more shot. One more shot. Just one more shot. Okay, I’m nearly done, just one more shot.

You
There’s one photographer who doesn’t fit these boxes. Never out of line, using the right gear at the right time, and balanced with the correct amount of selfies and appropriate use of social media. You. And me. And all of us. ;)

There are, of course, other breeds of photographer out there. Tell us which I’ve missed off in the comments here, or over on Twitter.

While I’ve got you, it’s only a week until my (really stupid) Sunrise Challenge where I’m challenging you all to get out early and shoot a sunrise! You can win prizes from KelbyOne and Platypod, and everyone gets 10% off a Drobo using the code ‘DAVEWILLIAMS’ at checkout! Find out all about it right here

Much love

Dave

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