Tools and talent

October 28, 2011  •  Leave a Comment
"A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said 'I love your pictures - they're wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.' He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: 'That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove.' "


Sam Haskins

I think that was a brilliant way of showing where we place importance with different things. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard,

"Oh that's a nice shot! You must have a really good camera?"



"I must have a really...?! What the...?!"

I smile. I honestly thank them for their appreciation of the image. And then I think about people and our... biases.

From a purely photographic point of view, the funny thing is that the camera is the 3rd important thing. More important than the camera is actually the lens. People forget that a good camera with a rubbish lens will be like doing a tug of war with a 3 year old in your team - no matter how strong you are those teeny tiny 3 year old hands will struggle to perform to a high level!

Note we are talking about capabilities and not results.

But the most important thing, the most important thing, theeeeee most immmm-po-tant-ting ("h" not included), is the mind's eye of the photographer.


What would you rather have?
Vision or money?
Understanding or results without understanding?
Insight or happiness?

It's curious and not always easy to see the point. But one option gives instant results and gratification. The other gives the ability to know why you got results and how to get more results and develop beyond your own ability.

But to say it was all the camera...! That technology is the real skill! That I go for instant gratification without spending time on core values! I'm, I'm, going to cry.

But this happens in many other things. Most people seem to think that footballers are too highly paid. In motor racing, it's the car that does all the work. Hospital consultants earn waaaay too much. That chef is sooo overrated. (And my own personal one) Paris Hilton is rich for doing nothing.

Really? Really?


The point is not to be controversial about how much are they morally worth compared to others. The point is, do we really understand what they do and how they got to the position they did doing the things they do. Or even the things they had to give up to get to where they are. We all can only dream. I was at an event recently listening to a very successful, inspirational lady talking about how people always assume she had a silver spoon upbringing and her success is the result of an easy route. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Taken in 2007 and still one of my favourite powerful moments

A vision, insight and understanding is what we need. Even for Paris Hilton. Which I am really really struggling with!

ADP


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