The target never moves in just one direction.

Chasing megapixels, speed, performance, ergonomics, focusing speed, dynamic range.......none of it matters.

Sad to think of a man sitting at a table covered with cameras and lenses and special flashes and super fast memory cards, but with no one to photograph.  The subject matter will always trump the gear.  The gear is the little sprinkle of caviar on the top of the smoked salmon, on top of the cracker.  It's mostly there for show.  A little extra flavor.  Some texture.  The gear is not the main course.

But what do I know?  I'm sitting here putting addresses on promotional postcards.  How 20th century....


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  2. Admirable sentiments, indeed. And a great portrait! Which reminds me, I really need to search ebay for a decent 6x6 kit...

  3. Or maybe just crop whatever you're shooting into a square...

  4. So true, it's all about the subject. Thanks for reinforcing that Kirk :-)

  5. Kirk, I've been doing a lot of cropping to squares of late. I really wonder if it wouldn't be better for the square format to be adopted as the universal standard for still photos. Good advice. And I agree with John above. That is a wonderful portrait.

  6. Spot on as per usual Kirk, well said Sir! Get out and shoot is the answer to most photographic problems, not gear.

    After reading some of the comments and sad little Canon v Nikon comments at DPReview and the like over the past few years of this digital photography age it does seem that the vast majority of photogs in 2012 do care mainly about silly little features on their latest overpriced gear that will not make their photographs any better. (If indeed they even take any?)

    A very nice portrait too Kirk, I miss my old Rollei and the 6x6 format and lustfully pine for a Mamiya 6 but I keep telling myself my E-P2 & little Rollei GRD III do 6x6 just nicely. Must try harder to keep the gear lust at bay.

  7. Such a beautiful portrait! This one made me catch my breath.

  8. My favorite portrait you've presented, out of many, many great ones. She is just luminous and seems so tangible. Fabulous.

  9. Hi Kirk,

    Short and sweet, which is often your best!

    My current project for improving my photography involves aking a cue from one of your favorites, Gary Winogrand. I'm grabbing my (outdated) kit and going about taking photos just to see how the subject or scene looks as a photograph.

    Doing this works wonders for realizing that the subject of a photo is more than just the object, scene or person in the frame. It's also the quality of the light and shadow and how the subject will never be the same as in that fraction of a second in which the capture is made.

    I look at portraits like this an my first thoughts are about the vision of the photographer (you) and the light. Sometimes I even think about the gear used for the photo-the lighting gear that is! LOL

  10. It seems to me that boring subject matter + great photographer = interesting photo. Although a really bad camera can ruin the photo, a really great camera cannot save it.

    In the same way, boring ingredients plus a great chef = good food. A really bad frying pan can ruin it, but a really great frying pan cannot save it.

    Reest assured that even when you share your recipe for great portraits, most of us are still blaming our bad meals on the microwave.

  11. On the other hand, This is yet another blog post where you failed to mention an advertiser.

    If you were willing to say; "This picture is great because of my [insert name here] camera and the special 35lb lens," you could be cashing your advertising checks in time to buy yourself a new Olympus OMG-EZ$.


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