A camera, by itself, is just a camera. It’s a mechanical piece of equipment that captures a specific moment in time. These moments can have lasting impressions on people. Remember that part of a movie or that one photo that you saw once and how it impacted you to feel a certain way? That’s the creativity of those who use cameras. But, without a camera, there wouldn’t be that one part of the movie or photo. There would only be someone’s creativity. After all, an author can’t write a best selling novel without a pen or a keyboard.
Those who pick up a camera should do it to get some kind of personal benefit from it. Shooting movies or photos should be a way to express yourself, not something that you dread doing. It should always be fun and personally satisfying. But, at the same time, it’s a process that requires attention to detail. You have to make sure that you’re using the the right lens for the shot that you want to get, have everything positioned the right way and have the right focus, just to name a few. Not only that, but you have to make sure that you’re getting better every time you pick up the camera, whether you’re taking a picture of your dog that’s panting after playing fetch or making a low budget zombie flick. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, then where’s the challenge? And how do you know if you’re getting better if you keep making the same mistakes time and time again? The way I see it, people should push themselves out of their comfort zones. Where’s the fun in shooting pictures or videos of sunsets all the time? If you like taking pictures of nature, then why not take a hike and shoot? Do you think that Stephen King got onto the New York Times Best Seller’s List countless times because he wrote about same character doing the same thing?
But enough about that.
There isn’t a proven path to go on while using a camera. Much like the Ramones teaching themselves how to play music by simply doing it themselves, all you need is the “can do” attitude. They were told that they weren’t very good, that they wouldn’t make it and that no one would like their music. But they kept playing anyways, not to prove to their critics wrong (getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t hurt), but because they wanted to express themselves via music. The same goes for shooting. You don’t have to be Ansel Adams and take beautiful shots of Yosemite. You just need a camera and the willingness to challenge yourself to go outside of your comfort zone and try something new, despite what other people may say. What it comes down to is your own personal satisfaction and desire to go out there and make something.