Stay Sharp

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Gear Freaks & Fuck you Heroes a.k.a catch 22

I know as well as most hard working freelance photographers do, and that is that some of our clients first look at whats hanging around our necks or on our shoulders, and then maybe if you are lucky and have met a smart one, he/she will judge you by what you have in your portfolio. It's sometimes like an evil circle or a bad catch 22. They only want to publish famous photographers cos then they can sell more issues. But to be that famous photographer you have to be published, right? If you get published you get money, if you get money you can get yourself some cool gear, and with cool gear you gonna be published and "famous". Well, if you ask me, I think it's all bullshit.

But of course, you got to give credit for someone having enough money and/or fame thrashing around with a Hasselblad on a MTB assignment or a small little petit precise Leica on a metalcore concert. But what can he do with that light proof film holder that a camera body actually is? Prepare your self for a surprise, it is NOT what kinda shit you are carrying around that matters, it is how you use it. Sure, you get what you are paying for, but is that Domke bag for 300 bucks really gonna make you shoot better pics? Or is that latest gadget on you Megapixel monster really gonna make you get that "once in a life time" McCurry shot? Hey, come on, be realistic and look at your self man. One of my heros in modern photography is Glen E. Freidman. This is what photographer and Journalist C.R Stecyk III says in the forwords of the book "FUCK YOU HEROS" about the man

-"Look at what he could do with pawn shop Pentaxes and Takumar optics rather than with high-priced, pedigreed professional choice brands. His background and settings are as important as his forground, so 99% of his work is done on location in the field, not in a photo studio!".

Two mottos I try my stoic best to live up to as a professional photographer is "Simpel is best" and "DIY". I do also have a small gear freak in me, so I have a Domke bag and I do like it (bought secondhand for $30 though) and I do shoot with the top of the range Canon system. But I bought all this second hand and I know how to use it and what I need for doing my job, but more important than that, I know also what I DON'T need. I'm filling up my small office with more gear year after year, slowly grading up to a higher quality both in equipment and in my own work. I know that I have found my own style and I respect my own senses to what I can do to make a good image, the way I think it should be. I know this guy who has to rent a car to transport all his shit to the shooting location, but the man drives like a crackhead after a sixpack of RedBull...what a headache! So If you ask me what I would pack my camerabag with on any given day it wouldn't be a gas driven generator or 3 flash heads with stands and umbrellas. What I can carry on my bike is good for me, so here it is, for all you gear heads:

Canon 1V body + 1N body
Canon Digital 20D body (soon 5D)
EF 50mm F1.8 II single focal, Standard
EF 16-35mm F2.8L Wide Zoom
EF 24-70mm F2.8L Standard Zoom
EF 70-200mm F2.8L Telephoto Zoom
Canon Speedlite 580EX
Canon Speedlite compact bettery pack
Minolta Autometer IV F

Thats 3 bodies, 4 lenses and 1 flash head....

The Mac G5 was my choice of computer and since an easy, fast and reliable software suites me, the Adobes "Lightroom" seems to be just on the money (free so far!). Hey, don't get me wrong, I really respect and appreciate good trustworthy equipment, but without the eye your out.

No comments: