Saturday Evening Post #123; It doesn’t Matter

David Hume Kennerly, was at one time in his career the unofficial White House photographer.  This was, it must be said, at a much more laid back time at the presidential domicile, than has been the case in the past few years.
Photographers shot filum, and a professional purchased a camera and then used it for many years. Changing perhaps lenses and accessories to meet the demands of the job at hand.  They chose a short telephoto lens for portraits, a macro lens for some studio shots, a longer lens for sports, and for the cut and thrust of news stories, a short wide angle lens to get into the heart of the action.
Swapping out a camera and lenses just because a new one was on the market was not even considered.
A studio I worked with used 120 Twin Lens Reflex cameras for everything but commercial studio shots and had done so for many years, one of the Rollies was at least twenty years old.

David Hume Kennerly was at that stage the ‘unofficial’ photographer, because, perhaps security and press requirements were far easier than the complexity that press photographers currently face.

He was once asked, the story is told, by a student, in a carpark as it is also told, “Mr Kennerly, what camera do you shoot with?”

“It doesn’t matter,” he repeated emphatically, “it doesn’t matter.” That’s the way the majority of photographers in those day felt about it. It was actually actively uncool to care too much about gear.
What mattered was what you did with it.
Source: TOP Mike Johnston

Just recently a photographic acquaintance has purchased a shiny new Canon R5 and a few lenses.
He told me, “It’s a Game Changer”, but to be honest I didn’t quite understand what the ‘game’ was.
For those that who not hardware aficionados, among its many attributes the R5 sports, “Eye Recognition Auto Focus”, which enables it to lock on to an eye and hold focus. And especially bird’s eyes.
See a bird in a tree, camera locks focus on the eye. There’s a pelican flying past, the camera unerringly grabs focus on the eye.
How cool is that. (Except the coolness requires as I read the instructions about 4 or 5 major setting changes, and a button press (or two) to get it to begin to work its magic.
Let it be known that Canon is not the only black box with such amazing “Eye Recognition” Now I haven’t had time to read all the psuedo-expert sites that extol the virtues of the magic so can’t or won’t comment further.

Just to have full disclosure, I’m not an equipment luddite, still clinging to my 3 megapixel handfone to spite the changes in hardware going on apace.

But, what I do note, having seen some results, is, “It doesn’t Matter!”  What matters is what is being done with the camera.  Are the images telling a ‘game changing’ story?
Time I suppose will tell.

I found this Reed Warbler out in the open, and quite confident about posing for a moment or two.
I couldn’t help but ponder, how much better a ‘game changer’ piece of equipment would have been. Would it have taken the photo while I looked the other way?  If it was put it on a motorised trolley, would it tenaciously track down the Reed Warbler and get that prize winning shot?

Or perhaps it might just take the fun out of finding, and working with the bird to get the best pose and with a single spot Autofocus (on my old antiquated D500), just about getting the best eye focus I could.

David Hume Kennerly might well be right, “It doesn’t Matter!”