I have this hopelessly romantic notion that ‘spirit of place’ is a metaphysical reality; that as humans we can be in a place and somehow communicate with our surroundings, allow ourselves to feel the emotion that’s wrapped up in the ‘spiritual energy’ of any given location.
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New Gear Buzz


‘Loch Lomond’, Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Pre-Production Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS @ 35mm, 4.5 seconds @ f/8, ISO 200
LEE Seven5 2-stop Neutral Density filter.
Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 tripod with XPRO-3WG head.
Adobe Lightroom: Fuji Provia Profile.

“A new camera CAN arguably make us a better photographer.”

New Gear Buzz

We’re never too old to feel the excitement that accompanies shooting with a new camera. A traditional view among photographers is that a new camera won’t result in better images: gear is unimportant, the success of the final image depends entirely on the skill and creativity of the photographer. But perhaps this view is a little too simplistic. The latest camera models often boast new specifications like higher resolution sensors, and lower noise, that translate into real world improvements in final image quality; and this is especially true for those of us making prints. Redesigned ergonomics and controls for some of the most basic functions, like the inclusion of a joystick to select our focus point, can profoundly influence our enjoyment and ease of use on location. All these incremental gains, quantitative and qualitative, strengthen our confidence that the images we are making will be of a high quality, and they facilitate a more enjoyable and relaxed experience because they simplify the practical process of making pictures. A confident and enjoyable disposition translates into greater creative mental capacity: ‘creative space’, and that, is a potentially priceless consequence of using new gear.

For those of us who can identify with these sentiments, a new camera can arguably make us a better photographer. Moreover, we could say exactly the same things about any of the gear we use: new lenses, filters, tripods and the latest versions of our favourite software and computers, can all potentially lead to a more fulfilling and creatively rich photographic life.

I made this image on my first shoot using a pre-production sample of the then recently announced Fujifilm X-T2. Loch Lomond provided some compelling twilight ingredients. I spent an ecstatic hour shooting long exposures, slurring instants into moments, texturising the loch against a pastel smeared cloudscape; remoulding the time surrounding this beautiful scene into a more surreal dreamscape. New gear invigorates creativity.

This article first appeared in Outdoor Photography Magazine. Reproduced with kind permission.