One of the most common questions I, and I’m sure many other photographers, get asked is “what kind of camera do you use?” Maybe this question is used to break the ice, perhaps to launch into some other deeper questions. Unfortunately, this question is often poorly received by many photographers. A better question that could be asked is, “what do you look for when you frame your images?” or “what type of editing did you do on that photo?” or even “when do choose to shoot in black-and-white vice color?” Any of these would open up more interesting conversations and recognize that the most important aspect of photography is not the equipment, but the person behind it.
This post could easily descend into a conversation about what camera/brand is best. I won’t do that. The real answer to this question is that the best camera you could possibly use is the one that you have with you. But there’s more…
What’s just as important as having a camera with you is having the presence of mind to see a photo opportunity when it arises. Be aware of your surroundings. Be inquisitive, and always looking at what is going on around you. Moments in life are fleeting – this where the magic of photography really shines. It captures that single moment and freezes it. No moment is ever the same, so be on the lookout for those special ones when they happen and be ready to seize the moment.
The above photo was one of those moments. I had just walked off the ferry after arriving in Seattle. Instead of just looking down or in front of me while heading toward my destination, I looked up. I saw the angle of the building juxtaposed with the cloud line. I saw how the morning sun was reflecting off of the building. This photo was taken using my iPhone – the only camera I had on me at the time. Sure, it might have come out better with a nicer camera by having better contrast, less noise, and crisper focus. More important is the composition of the photograph. It doesn’t matter how nice of a camera you have; if you can’t frame an image, it won’t come out well. So, don’t be afraid to whip out that cell phone and shoot away.