Photography skills or better gear; What matters more?

Starting out into photography and browsing thru a couple of forums, you probably have read about the great debate: whether better gear trump photography skills, or vice versa.

Professional photographers would lean towards the latter and argue that the person holding the camera matters the most. Without knowing the difference between aperture and shutter speed or proper framing, among others, your expensive glass and modern cameras can only do so much.

A few people would disagree on the notion that having an expensive lens or camera body can make a difference. Expensive lenses can spell magic, better background blur, sharpness etc. An expensive body allows you to crank up the ISO and shoot at night without introducing much noise. You can have all the proper skills and imagination but if you’re limited by what your gear can do, then you can only do so much.

To be honest, the answer to this debate is not clear cut. The video below argues on the importance of photography skills over better camera gears.

In this video, clearly,  photography skills beat better gears. Of course it would be a different story if they were on equal footing, photography skills wise.

I am no professional. I consider myself more of a hobbyist, however, my stand on this is this; for those starting out, invest your time honing your skills first. Aspiring photographers should focus first on the foundations of photography. You can start with the basics, like learning the rule of thirds and familiarizing yourself with the triangle of exposure, and then go from there.

I took this shot using a smartphone with a manual mode and a tripod.

You can start with an entry level camera and most basic kit lens. Keep shooting, practice and develop your own style. Thru experience, you’ll realize what kind of a photographer you would like to be. Do you like shooting people, landscapes, or wildlife? Which do you prefer, day photography or night time photography? Or a mix of both?

After a while, you can start upgrading your lenses based on that and soon after, your camera body. You can also start investing on filters or flash guns as you make your way into professional levels.

What do you guys think? Leave a comment below.

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