June 29, 2013
I have to ask myself if some of the older generation of photographers are upset about their ego's being bruised by a new wave of imagery being presented by an ever younger generation of shooters? There is paradigm shift from a knowledge based art-form to a new manufacturing model, replacing the older photographer's concepts of image creating. The learning curve for new photographers is becoming shorter and shorter. Cameras are put on auto pilot and selling imagery has never been more efficient. What this means to the older generation of shooters is that it takes less time to become capable of producing a usable image. And with new smaller high pixel range finders and cell phones the amount of imagery being produced is mind boggling and scary if you plan on making a living in the future taking photos.
Small camera photography is the big attraction for amateurs and professionals alike. Today, you shoot on the fly and don't necessarily care about having a picture perfect image. As a matter of fact having an image that is real with flaws is exactly what the new breed of editors are looking for. In the old days Stock Photography was a glamour magazine. Picture perfect imagery that entices it's viewer to travel to these beautiful locations and see for themselves how they could have it all by just stepping off the plane and missing all those piles of crap. But now people want more of the nitty gritty, a real life experience.
Downsizing to a smaller camera just makes since for this very reason. Let me give you a few examples of why a small camera is useful in some circumstances. It seems wherever I go, I am asked if I am a professional photographer ( I admit sometimes I carry alot of gear). I normally say no, I am an amateur and I just enjoy taking photos. If I were to say yes it could open up a whole can of worms. For one thing I might have to answer alot of questions that are distracting me from why I am there in the first place, to take photos. Secondly you never know who this person is and maybe the subject you are shooting is somehow restricted and you might need a permit or permission to take pictures. But by being a gullible amateur just having fun more often than not you get the images and move on.
By shooting with a small camera you can take photos anonymously, especially when you are shooting in foreign lands or in sticky situations here at home. Why would you draw attention to yourself by having big lenses and a motor drive humming away when that could get yourself arrested. By keeping a low profile you are able to get a more intimate portrait of the scene. That's a bigger reward than showing off your latest and greatest. Small cameras beg to be shot from the hip with no set up time because you want capture the action when it is happening at break neck speed.
Another plus is sparing your shoulder and back the heavy weight of your photo gear. Small camera's are easy to carry and have ready at all times. I know we all have been there and saw a spectacular scene unfold before our eyes but didn't have our camera with us. But now you have no excuse for not getting the image.
Ultimately it is not whether you are a novice or professional, use a big camera or a small camera what matters is quality imagery.
If a photographer approaches a scene with reflective intent and finds a purpose present in the subject then the image will be a success no matter his age or his camera preference.