Can you be a photographer without a camera?

March 11, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Well, ok, I guess that's a silly question.  But the idea occurred to me as I was thinking about the photos I am posting.  What made these photos better than the others in my library?  Wasn't an easy question to answer, but I finally decided it must be the content.  Or at least the content played a major role.  And as I looked through the many photos that didn't make the cut I realized how difficult it is to find good content.  Sure, there's a lot of beauty in Sequoia National Park, but finding a scene that is unusual or worthy of a place on your wall is not that easy.  I suppose some photographers have specific content in mind and search it out, but for me that's seldom the case.  Perhaps I'll develop that skill now that I have more time, but up until now I've just gone to "places" where content might be found and looked around.  Sometimes I get lucky.  Sometimes the shot is right in front of you and you just don't see it.  

Balloon Bee For example, I went to this hot air balloon festival where the field was filled with glorious huge airbags floating above the ground.  I tried some panoramic photos but they didn't do much for me.  So instead, I tried zooming in on just a small piece of the event, and came up with this shot of a giant bee against the darkening sky.  I think it's a keeper. 

So, back to the original question, can you be a photographer without a camera?  Often the success of the shot depends on what you do before you click.  Finding the content, framing it out, determining the best lighting, and sometimes timing - all of these factors make or break the shot, and all can be done without even picking up the camera.


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