In May, Peter McKinnon posted a video called “Finally Switching Cameras - Leica Q2.” It’s a cool video, you should definitely give it a watch. In case you have somehow evaded any video or Instagram post by Peter McKinnon, he’s a photographer and videographer in Canada with over ten million YouTube subscribers.
I generally like Peter McKinnon, and I have nothing against Leica, either.
But this video… It kind of irked me, and I wanted to write about it, because writing is how I think.
So what’s wrong with Peter’s new Leica?
My last post, which was now over a year ago, explored how I took my own advice and doubled down on my “chosen style.” The concrete outcome of that decision was a reformat of my gallery home page.
So, it’s been a year, and the gallery is still the same… Has anything else changed? Absolutely! I’m a photographic hipster now.
I’ve been through stages in my practice of photography, which I’ve been doing on and off for at least 20 years now. I want to talk about my journey toward finding “a style,” why you might want to do it too, and how your art aligns or overlaps with commercial and social interests.
I’ll try to keep this focused and brief, though there are some topics in here I’ve been thinking about for years, so there may be jumping-off points for separate posts. If such an area interests you, please comment and let me know!
You absolutely can.
If you have any device that can capture an image of what’s in front of you, and with which you have at least some control over the composition, focus, and exposure, you sure as hell can learn photography with it. In fact, if your device is a smartphone, it even has some unique advantages over other kinds of cameras, which I will dive into today.
It is no secret at this point that today’s smartphones are capable of taking amazing photographs, but the question I want to really dig into is can learning photography with a smartphone be an on-ramp for more “serious” photography? To be clear, I believe that answer is also “Yes.”
I’m serious. You probably don’t.
Here’s the thing, guys, if you need a lens with an f/2.8 or larger aperture, you already know it, so why are you reading this article? Perhaps you suspect that I’ll talk you out of it somehow, teach you something you don’t know about the fundamental physics of light and save you a few bucks.
Well, sorry to let you down, but I won’t be breaking any laws of physics today. But if you’re here because you’re actually not sure if you should spring for that fancy and expensive f/2.8 lens, I think I can talk you out of it, unlike Nando Harmsen of Fstoppers, who decidedly expressed almost no opinion at all.