Judging a picture by its camera

A few days back I watched the movie Gattacca. What does it means? its a word with basically no meaning, but letters coming from the DNA make up.

The movie got me thinking. Let me simply summarise the movie first. Its about gene manufacturing and controlling the genes before the baby is born, in a way the child is made up with qualities what the parents desired. Otherwise, leave the child to fate along with risk and disorder probabilities and your child belongs to the lower class in the society when it's born.

Jobs allocated to genetically engineered people, people who are superior, who are in almost everyway possess better quality. Then again, a child who was born normally applied for an exclusive space exploration job using superior urine and blood samples for himself. After which the samples was tested 'valid' meaning it was engineered, he asked the interviewer "how about the interview?"

"That was it", came the reply.

This movie made me think about how good we ourselves as photographers are. If we had a big DSLR, does that mean that we are better than those who are don't own them?

Having a more expensive lens will show that we can produce better photographs. Is that it? I have read enough on forums about how people have looked down on others who either have a cheaper DSLR or none at all.

Do they mean if we're using film we are even worse off?

I always see myself having inferior photographs as compared to others who are even using a D80 like me, I always myself how did they achieve it and I go about out figuring while in doubt wondering that if I can produce their quality finishes.

All this while as I shot, I learnt and practiced different techniques of processing as well. Trial and error was a painful way to learn but never too painful to stop learning. I found some processing styles which I liked and I saw improvements in my photograph.

Of course without the photograph shot well in the first place, processing comes to nothing. All this as a combined recipe helped me gain more confidence and more importantly, better finishes.

There is not shortcut to success, I'm still on my long way there...

Photo credits: Koh Sze Kiat.

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October 01, 2007


Indeed, let's always seek improvements, starting from ourselves. :)

October 01, 2007


I agree with what everyone has said so far. My two cents worth is this: having an eye as to light, mood and perspective is more valuable than the kit. There are many people with kit that can't achieve the same results as someone with an eye for a good image.Stock has become a standard for amatuers to aspire to, but there a whole other world out there of art - none of which sells for only 50 cents a pop. So let's keep some perpective here. A good, powerful or pretty image is just that regardless of what lens was used.Enjoy!D

September 27, 2007


I always think of better equipment like a sword, it helps to have a good one, but if you don't know how to use it, the best sword in the world isn't going to help you make it through the fight.

September 25, 2007


What you said can't be false, well I am the one who always see myself as not a good photographer or a photographer not good enough. There is always room for improvement and I know I got a lot more room to cover!~ =D

September 25, 2007


Good equipment does not make you a good photographer. In my 30 some years shooting I spent most of it with bottom dollar equipment, mostly because I could'nt afford better equipment I took some incredible shots back then. Now the contrary can be true, better equipment will tend to help make a good photographer better, but if you don't have an eye for photography you can have thousands of dollars worth of equipment and produce really expensive crap.

Here is an acid test of a good photographer: go out and buy a disposable camera, and go shoot things around your neighborhood. Take the film in and have it processed. and see what you get.

Based on what I see in your gallery you have a great eye. Don't let others tell you that your not a good photographer cause you don't shoot a really expensive camera and glass.

September 25, 2007


absolutely true. I got to agree that gear is sometimes essential even to a certain extent. with a bad glass, that eye for subject worths nothing. I had a sigma 70-200 that gave completely soft focus that you will see no sharp edges. after that i saw on forum that a person even after 4 lens exchange, its still soft eventually despite after correction. I sold it away and acquired the 80-200 push pull, though old but definitely more trustworthy and i havent regretted since. Limited gear really does forces creativity juices to flow, it peaked when I had 50mm 1.8 to play with, that was when I felt i began to learn alot. Thanks for sharing your experiences too!

September 25, 2007


I have found that there is a tendancy to feel like your gear is holding you back. I'm sure this is not the case as some of my best shots were taken on a digital compact.

During the 90s I started collecting synthesizers to boost my ability to create my own music. After 10 years and £15,000 I discovered something really odd - my most creative work was done when I had very limiting gear and had to use it to maximum potential. I think having barriers to overcome helps to give you direction in a strange sort of way. Having a lot of equipment means you spend more time worrying about the equipment rather than tackling the challenge ahead. I know in photography it makes sense to use the best glass you can afford so I have recently purchased a few nice lenses and the results are good. Although with photography it would seem that the main ingredient is getting the right light in the first place. You can still take excellent pictures using most cameras if the light is right. I'd say that good technique and an eye for composition are probably the most important assets you could have. Having some nice glass has made my images sharper, but they aren't THAT much sharper. I'm still prone to camera shake and focussing issues!

You can still take 'snapshot' quality images on high end kit!

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