I usually get asked what I consider to be the number one thing that make us become better photographers.
And the answer is in short,
My reasons for writing this down is that for some people photography almost seems to be a material sport, where the passion for photography is subordinate or at least shared with a genuine interest in technology and where the latest technology, the best camera, the most expensive lens becomes an equal focus as the desire to just create is for others.
But will a better camera make you a better photographer? The answer is as simple as it goes. No, it won't. The price tag of your equipment does not define how good you are as a photographer. Tiger Woods will, with a wooden stick, beat me in golf any day, no matter which clubs I have. With the same logic Alex Noriega won the landscape photographer of the year award in 2016 with a Nikon D-600, today an 8-year-old camera. Not in any way a bad camera but in the hands of a very good photographer a fantastic tool.
But if the equipment really isn't that important why do most professional photographers use expensive and high-quality equipment?
It goes without saying, a camera for 4000€ is better than one for 400€. Such equipment will, thanks to better dynamic range, larger sensors, better ISO performance, etc, create more high quality files but never better pictures.
To create better images you need to practice and be inspired. Investing in inspiration is therefor a better way to get good pictures than any camera purchase in the world.
There are several ways to invest in inspiration. If you, like me, have three small children and a full-time job with completely different tasks than landscape photography (which happens to be my passion) then an afternoon in the forest can be a way to get inspired. A couple times a year I also try to take a trip, strictly designated to photography.
Join a photo tour
Either you buy a ready-made package or you do the trip yourself or together with someone or someone who shares your passion. The choice I think should be based on what your specific needs are and what expectation you have.
Arranged photo tours usually have the advantage that they contain professional guidance and are prepared and performed by people with good local knowledge and a skill set that meets your requirements. Another advantage is that you, during a fun and usually intense period of a few days gets to hang out with a group of people who all share your interest, and the opportunities for developing quickly are big.
For me, photo tours have had a crucial importance for me growing as a photographer. And every time I come home I feel both satisfied, full of inspiration and knowledge. But also a sense of longing to soon get out again.
To see more of Tamron Ambassador, Mattias Sjölund's photo tours, click here...