making better art

The recent post from Mastin Labs, Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade Your Camera Gear, was just what I needed to hear.

Kirk Mastin has some great suggestions on what we can do to become a better photographer, and none of them have anything to do with buying a new camera, lens, or flash.  He makes a strong argument for doing the mental and emotional work to discover the WHY behind our photography.

I believe your best photos come from synthesizing your knowledge of the world and pursuing subject matter that moves you in some way. Often these subjects are personal - something that you do, or something you wish to learn more about because it resonates with you.
— Kirk Mastin

Instead of buying new gear, Kirk suggests we take that money and invest it in things like travel, education, photo books and art. And my personal favorite, he advocates that we save and invest our money — wisely recognizing that financial security can give us a foundation for lifelong learning and adventure.

It's easy to feel tempted. But then I read and study a favorite photo book and I can see that Kirk is right. I am a better photographer when I focus my precious time on making the pictures that matter to me - and no amount of gear will help me to connect with my subjects more easily, to see with fresh eyes, or to interpret a scene and find the hidden picture within.

Here's the newest addition to my photo library, I've Lived in East London for 86½ Years.