I always feel hestitant in giving advice, recommendations or endorsements when it comes to
photographic equipment. Probably the best advice I can offer about equipment is:
In this forum I will try to focus much more on approach than on technical matters such as what type of lens
or camera or film one should use. Libraries, bookstores or the internet are tremendous resources for this. Check the links page for
a starting point of websites. Photography is (or it should be) a very personal journey of self expression. Compositional choices, subject matter, lighting, etc. are all very subjective. There are no absolute
truths. One must follow their instincts and accept and learn from their choices.
2) Obviously to really measure your progress, you must actually take photographs to see your growth and improvement. Countless times I've been asked on how someone could improve their work and the first thing I'll always say is "shoot more, take more photographs." Not buy a better camera or lens or more expensive film, that is not the problem. From painters and poets to athletes and actors improvement comes from doing. There is no magic formula. Save your money on fancy lenses or expensive cameras and spend it on film. With today's digital cameras there isn't even that expense. One less excuse.
3) Study the Masters. They're called masters for a reason. They've excelled were others have failed. Look at their work. Over and over again. Learn their life story, their motivations. Be more than a photographer, be a student of photography. My first "distant mentors" were Eliot Porter and Ernst Haas. I love their work, their philosophy. Never met either of them, yet through their work and their books, I knew them. How-to books can be good (although often repetitive) but the books that I learned from the most were showcase books featuring the work of a single photographer. Many are available at local libraries. There is nothing better that sitting in a comfortable chair looking through a beautifully printed book of photographs. It can better than actually seeing their work in a gallery or museum because there is no barrier, no distractions between viewer and the work. Of course if an photography exhibit comes near, be sure to visit. They can be very inspirational experiences.
4) More than a Hobby. When talking to people they often tell me how much they love photography, how they wish they could do what I do for a living. I ask how often they are making photographs and
almost exclusively they'll reply " Oh you know, when I get a chance."
Copyright 2010 John Rehner Fine Art & Framing/ John Rehner jr. 216-227-2790
No part of this website or any image(s) may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner.