|Llyn Brianne, Ceredigion, 1986|
Not that the skill requirement is over complex or ultra demanding but it does take time, patience and a basic understanding of the materials you are using. The problem is that few have the humility to accept this, or are willing to devote the time to learning these basics. They scour photo magazines and read internet blogs in a vain search for the 'holy grail' of technique that will transform the technical side of their work overnight.
There are a few simple axioms that I have followed all my working life in photography and they apply as well to using digital equipment and techniques as they do to my film-based work. Cameras and lenses - buy the best. Not what you can afford, I do mean the best. If you can afford it without a struggle or your eyes watering then you are probably buying too cheaply or a multi-millionaire. At a stroke, this eliminates all the 'excuses' you can make about poor technique or having to fiddle with equipment. In terms of materials, also buy the best but this you will find is also the simplest and most easily available. I have had the privilege to meet and work with a host of great photographers over the years, worldwide. Although their styles differed greatly, the common denominator was that the equipment they used was the best and their materials were almost always very straightforward.
|Part of the 'Wildwood' exhibition|
I carried over this philosophy with my recent colour work too and to the use of digital equipment and techniques and it still applies. I read reams of stuff on photography forums about photographers trying this or that technique, constantly swapping computer programmes and fiddling with this or that control. Me? I use the best equipment and lenses, (some lenses now over 60 years old but because I bought the best at the time, still perfect today). I also use the simplest and most basic programmes and 'fiddle' with my images only in very minor ways. Keep it simple and master the basics. I have seldom needed any more and it allows me to spend more time concentrating on the important stuff. The world around me and how I wish to interpret this.