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    • So many of us feel like we need to have the latest and greatest gear to get the images we want when in fact a lot can be done with what we have.  I was given this shoot as an assignment four years ago and it taught me a lot. This was shot with my first DSLR and a used lens I purchased from a friend.  I did not own any lighting equipment, umbrellas or even an external flash at this point.

    • I agree. Like many of us, I certainly bought photography gear to solve problems that could be better solved by skill development. Or just to have a fun new thing like the cool kids. Honestly though, just really learning to get the most from the gear I already own is a great idea, too. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Beautiful shot, Lauri. I know I’m late to this realization, but now I think it’s really important to master smartphone photography (and video). I’m surprised by how often it’s the equipment you have and how good the images can become if we obsess over them the way we do images on our pro cameras.

      I shoot a lot of video and would curse when, as a last resort, I had to pull out my iPhone. But then I bought the app Filmic Pro and spent hours learning how to use it because I saw some filmmaker show how he could shoot iPhone video that most people couldn’t distinguish from footage shot on his RED.

    • Lora Lee - I'm almost obsessed with NOT buying new gear. It's a funny sore spot for me for some reason. I could buy new gear if I wanted so it's not the lack of being able to buy it. I just feel very strongly about people not learning to use what they have and thinking that the next new camera or lens will make their images better. Sure, some of my shots might be a tad bit sharper if I had the 70-200L lens instead of the 'consumer' 70-300 that I use, but it works for me and they are sharp. Someday I may get that lens but for what I do, I think I'd miss that last 100mm. haha.

      It is a good lesson to learn and a great exercise to use what you have to try to create images. Not just camera gear but also props, lighting and the sort of DIY/McGyver mentality.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Thanks so much. This exercise was a great learning tool for lighting, paying attention to details, watching reflections in items and proving that you can still make great images without the latest and greatest gadgets.

      Technology today has helped push the boundary of 'professional' gear. In the end if you treat the phone as a phone and not as a camera/video recorder you're not going to be in the right frame of mind to get the better shot/footage. I use my phone camera sometimes just messing around and my thought process is totally different if I do that as opposed to when I take out my 'camera that's in my pocket' to shoot something purposefully with the camera/phone.