I struggle sometimes with this blog because I tend to talk a lot about equipment and I know intellectually that the camera's we use have less to do with how good our images are as photographers than our skill at the craft and sense of art. Cameras, lenses, lights and other goodies do help make our job easier and allow us to express ourselves in ways we couldn't otherwise. As a wedding photographer I'm often grateful for the low light performance of my Canon 5DmkII and I love the shallow depth of field I can achieve with my 35-100 f2.0 Olympus lens. Those tools help me so they are worth talking about, but they don't define me as an artist any more than a quality paint brush vs a cheap one does for a painter. I could create images with lesser tools.
And so occasionally I worry that I'm giving the wrong message on the blog about equipment. I worry that what I'm putting out there is that you must have a certain camera or lens to create worthwhile art and that's not my intent. I love photography equipment. I can even get kind of geeky about it. Having said that, I am aware and want everyone else to be aware that I'd still be creating images even if I only had access to that 3 megapixel Kodak Easyshare DX6340 point and shoot which was my first digital camera.
And despite all that it's pointless to ignore the connection a lot of photographers have with their tools. Some of my cameras, like the Canon 7D and 5Dmk II are much more generic but useful wrenches in a toolbox to me than others. Those others seem to fall into my hand naturally, they resonate with my mind and how I like to work and they appeal to me on a personal level. I think it's hard to explain, but I know you understand it. Why for example do I love the Datsun 240z car in orange? I've always wanted to own one. There are faster cars, safer cars, better handling cars and certainly more modern cars. With no backseat the Datsun is pretty much useless to me as a family man. But I love them. Some people drive Chevy's and love them. To me they are boring, common and really just not special. It's not a brand that speaks to my soul. I prefer Mac to PC. Just because they run more reliably? No. I love that they are exclusive, well crafted and easy to use. Seeing someone else in a coffee shop with a Macbook Pro tells me something about them and their tastes even if it shouldn't.
And so the new Olympus OM-D camera that is being heavily rumoured over the internet as potentially announced on February 8th, 2012 has caught my attention and a great deal of my senseless camera lust. My OM4t is a camera that I love deeply. It fits neatly in my hands, has a super high quality build and feel and all the buttons and dials make sense to me. It's my orange Datsun. There are a lot of specs being tossed around about what the OM-D will be and won't be, some I like some I don't, but mostly I look at the photos of it and the beauty of it and think that this will be a paint brush that will feel good in my hands.
Which leads me back to that conflict I have when I write on about equipment on this blog. I'll continue to write about images and the gear I use to make them, but please know that in the end I sincerely believe that there are photographers out there that kick my butt with a Fuji point and shoot. There is some photographer somewhere using that Fuji that has more talent than Jerry Ghionis. Bet on it.
And about the OM-D? I understand I don't need it and that it won't make you or I a better photographer. But I've emailed my friend at the local camera store and asked if I can have an OM-D put aside for me when they come in. That is IF they look and feel the way I hope they do. I can't have the Datsun, so I might as well have the camera.