Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Elephants Never Judged One Another

Judgement shows itself in many forms.

I've seen many examples of judgement in my life, from something as simple as the way someone doesn't approve of the way another is dressed to the disapproval of a same sex kiss.  Judgement, or in some cases it may be referred to as bigotry, is prevalent in our society in more ways than we might notice, and these judgements all come from the same place in our minds.

There are people who are racist.  There are people who are prejudiced.  There are people who don't like anything different and offer vocal disapproval.  We can probably all think of someone we have met that fits this description.  Maybe a contractor in your home, tearing apart a wall might say something like, "Whoever built this house didn't know what the hell they were doing."  Or a business lawyer might say, "He went to Cornell?  If he didn't go to Harvard then he won't get a job here."  These are all judgements based on prejudices and we all deal with them everyday; some of us more than others unfortunately.

The same holds true for photography.  As photographers (pros and amateurs alike) we observe each other's cameras - don't try to pretend that you don't.  We're curious about what they're using and sometimes we make a judgement upon them based on that observance.  Why?  Well that's a deeper psychological question that you'd have to ask your therapist.  But we don't have to pass judgement on them as we might.

Let me elaborate.  My father was a professional photographer and shot with a Nikon FE - a camera that was considered a "semi-pro" film camera of the day (1970s and early 80s).  Why didn't he use a higher end camera?  Probably because that one did exactly what he needed it to do (occasional magazine shots) and nothing more.  As a photographer, amateur or professional, it doesn't matter; if it works then it works.  You might observe someone using a 5D MkIII or a 1DX around town or at an event that you're attending.  This might be because they need this level of camera for this or other work or it might be because someone told them that they they need a certain level of camera to be considered a "professional" so that's what they bought.

This is where prejudice comes into play.  Just because someone uses a six thousand dollar camera doesn't necessarily make them a better photographer.  The proof is in the pudding.  If that camera helps them capture that pudding for their clients then they need that camera.  If they're just using it because they were worried about being judged by others for not using a top-of-the-line camera then they wasted their money.

Images speak for themselves.  Use your best judgement when purchasing equipment.  Only buying what you need or what you think you might need in the near future is the best investment.  Anything more and you could just be throwing your hard-earned money into traffic.