Many people dream of wanting to make photography a bigger part of their lives. They are deeply passionate about pictures and they are often more talented than even they seem to realize. It’s amazing to see their joy when they realize that they can be the photographer they always wish they could be.
Perspective-control lenses are one of my secret weapons. They are tools that allow me to create pictures that would be nearly impossible to capture in any other way. They will always have a place in my camera bag, and they might deserve a place in yours too.
For the last several months my smartphone camera has remained in my pocket and I’ve been carrying around a new camera instead. It’s made an incredible difference in what I see, what I shoot, and most particularly in the quality of the images I capture. Most amazingly though, it’s a professional camera that also allows me to get any image to social media—within seconds.
Brad Smith, the former director of photography at Sports Illustrated, says, “Photo shoot is Latin for “‘problem.’” Problems are relative, of course, but there is something about a photo shoot that seems to generate more than its fair share of hurdles to clear. Overcoming those problems can be one of the most satisfying parts of creating photographs—especially when you’re working with more than 70 of the world’s best athletes at the MLB All-Star Game.
Every introduction of cutting-edge camera technology brings a set of new possibilities—some insanely valuable, some with questionable merit. What really matters to me is, “What will the technology allow me to do that I can’t already do?” If something is just marginally better than what I already have, I’ll likely stick with what I’ve got. But if it will allow me to make pictures that I couldn’t make any other way—or nearly as easily—then the line forms behind me to get my hands on it.
One day I asked myself, “If someone were to give me the complete freedom to shoot anything I wanted with an unlimited budget, what would that be?” This was meant to be an existential question about who I wanted to be in the future as a photographer. The answer changed my life as a photographer and might change yours as well.