Moving from technically right to artistically interesting

I started to learn photography in January 2013 with a 3 months intensive school, when I learned the basics, and after the school I kept learning from different tutorials and books, trying out what I learned. Finally, after I changed entry level cropped frame Nikon to full frame Nikon, I started to get pictures I want. It was a constant effort and learning.

Now I got the technical side, but still am in a process to understand, what makes pictures attractive and interesting. I know some basic composition and color and other guidelines, and I now put effort in getting better results. Idea of stock photography makes me to work more, because now I feel like somebody might need what I create, and it gives inspiration and energy to think more and do more. Currently, I have not sold anything yet, but in hopes for it I keep going.

What I have understood, is that there are a lot of articles, that photography is not about gear. Do not believe it! Photography is about gear! I have seen and can compare what kind of pictures I can make with different cameras and lenses, and it is obvious, that better gear helps! And better most often means more expensive!

Birthday wishes jar and lion plush toy

Photo credits: Actina.

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Yes, Larrymetayer, it is not the camera, because camera do not see all the colors and patterns and composition and all that artistic side. But the day will come when you will realize, that you want to go to the next level in a photography and if you will want to grow and become better, you will buy a better gear. And of course, it should go together with a development. Camer by itself does not do anything. You can get lousy pics with any camera or appealing images from iPhone, which I do too, and I sell those pics even better.


My first photo sale came from a cheap box camera. It's not the camera but the person taking the picture. you know what the camera can or can not due. I do not have expenses equipment but I know how to use what I have.


Hi Actina,I can understand your point of view. In some circumnstances and in certain types of photography the gear can make the all difference. But in a artistic and creative way you would be amazed at what can be done with basic gear :) I am always amazed with what can be produced with basic cameras (even the carton ones). but obviously from a point of view of stock photography,great gear is always a great
help. Thank you for your post


Keremgo, did you see, WHEN he said so?


"Leica, schmeica. The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But you have to see." Ernst Haas (1921-1986)


Yes, Rigsby8131, that is true, and there are a lot to learn about exposure, composition etc. That is why I named my post: moving It took me a year to learn technical things and now I am still in a process of "seeing" all the triangles, repetitions, star colors and opposite colors, negative and positive space etc. It is still complicated. I guess, I have to "train" my eyes in all that.
But... if I want to get a really good quality images, I need better gear. It is just not enough with the lens I have now. I know it for sure. It doesn't mean, that it will make for me a better composition or autistic side, but it does mean, that my pictures will become sharper and will have a better look, definitely.
Vilaimages, I have owned both cameras you mentioned, the first - while I was learning, and the other one, when I was ready to "upgrade" for next level. There ARE some images, what I would not be able to make with my first camera, even if my D610 still is not the high end camera. I just wanted a full frame camera which I can afford in this level I am. And it DOES make a difference.
Thank you, Montylola, for advice - I never heard such a thing before, I have to check it out! I really want better lens.
Zaphodbeeblebroxv, It is so awesome you said!


You are totaly right about the technique Babar760. But let me give you an example. I have an EOS 550D with its kit 18-55mm lense, and shortly after I bought it I noticed that all my photos looked blured at 100% zoom. Tried shooting even from a tripod with a remote and mirror lock-up, with ample light, 1/500 and 1/800 and an aperture of 8 to 11 (always the lowest ISO). This is quite a recipie for razor-sharpness, you'd probably agree. Still, to get any decent photo, I'd need to run a Smart Sharpenning on it. Sent it to Canon, they said "This is the way it is. Can't get any better".
So, the bottom line is, Jay Maisel can create a compositional masterpiece with his iPhone. Of course. But my guess is it is a masterpiece you'd probably not burn to see at a 100% zoom before he has spent about an hour photoshoping it. Throw in the how-lucky-I-am factor introduced by the iPhone's automatics and you see the picture.


Some of my best images were taken with a Canon S95 and accepted by Dreamstime. Careful use of equipment is paramount. Don't just point the camera and shoot without thinking about focus, shutter speed, f/stop and iso.
Jay Maisel could create masterpieces with a cheap iphone!


You have a point Zaphodbeeblebroxv, photography gears does not just end at the camera body, it includes the precious glass also. No matter the complains some of us have here in DT concerning low sales, there are people making good sales here in DT and am not sure they are doing it with cheap equipment either. Your image might be technically right in terms of composition and the rest but they beat you in high image quality. Moreover, of the high image quality they get from their quality camera body and glass, they spend less time post-processing.


You might be right. I've been a member here for well over a year. In this time I have got close to 15 000 views and only 16 sales. One explanation can be that some of my pics are interesting on the thumbnail (composition not bad, bigger than zero sales potential etc), but once you zoom in they are just border line acceptable qualitywise (noise, border line on focus, border line on fringing etc, i.e. blame it on equipment 88%).
Another explanation can be the strategy of the website. I started also on another website (they just hide the name of it if I post it here) like 3-4 months ago and have already made the cash I've made on Dreamstime for a year and half. On the other site almost every view of an image of mine is a purchase.
So, I don't know what to conclude. The truth is probably somewhere inbetween. The fact is, there are many people making living on Dreamstime; I cannot match their equipment; I can match their skill even less. But submiting to more than one website seems to help if you wanna make a buck or two.


The most important thing tha no one has mentioned yet is the Glass that you capture all of those pixels through, don't be fooled into buying KIT lens with your camera. Buy a body even a good full frame second hand.
And do some research about lens that will work with your camera body, faster the better, say a 50mm, f1.4 or do what I do and buy medium format lens ( like Mamiya) get a converter to suit your body and now you are shooting with super quality glass and a fraction of the cost of canon or nikon equivalent glass.
The end quality will blow you away and acceptance levels will astound you.

Don't mess about with software get Full photoshop, neat image and eithe Bridge or Lightroom, then you will be cooking with gas, as they say.


Actina I disagree on the part about the importance of the gear. To me, the difference FOR A BEGINNER between a Nikon D610 and let's say a lot cheaper Nikon D3200 is a bit of less noise. Is it worth the difference in money for a beginner, I don't think so. Most of the extras you have on the D610 you are never going to use, and by the time your skills grow to the point that you might need them, other models are going to come to the market that are going to make the D610 obsolete.

Sorry if I'm being too direct, but if you are a beginner you should start with an entry camera. The money you saved invest it on lenses! those are going to be with you almost forever if you take care of them.

But of course, if you have the extra money to spend...go for the most expensive I guess. :)


Interesting blog. I agree that having expensive professional gear certainly helps, but it is not a guarantee of success.

Just as important as the camera gear is concepts and composition. Take a look at some of the successful photos here, and other sites, and you will find amazing images taken with 'budget' cameras.

What I love about Dreamstime is that even after uploading here for just over 4 years I am still learning and challenging myself to come up with new ideas.

I wish you good luck for the future and I hope your are successful.


Thank you for agreeing! I don't know why it is so popular to say such a thing, especially to beginners, but we just have to beat that myth!


Nice article. I believe you. If the gears were not important they wouldn't be that expensive. coupled with that expensive gear is a smart photographer that knows what to do with the gears to achieve an artistic job.

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