Change Your Direction

Posted: January 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

To many photographers think that if they buy a better camera they will make better images.  They spend most of their time on sites like DPReview, or Ken Rockwell, where they give you the updates on the latest greatest equipment offered.

If I post here on this blog about some new Tamron lens or some equipment important to what we do as macro photographers, I get tons of hits on those posts.  If I post something about composition, I get far fewer hits on those posts. People have it backwards

My most successful image I ever shot was of a green fern on a black burned tree trunk, and that image won more awards, and made more money then any image I ever produced, and it was shot in 2004, with a Fuji S2, 6 megapixel camera with an old macro lens from my film camera.  That system was many generations ago in the digital world and it produced my most successful image.

That image did well because it was a great subject and composed well.  It had nothing to do with the camera.  Because if it was about the equipment, then I should be producing more successful images with my more advanced system I use today.

My Nikon D7000 camera body is 8 years old and doing just fine, and the only reason I had upgraded from my fuji DSLR camera bodies was to get liveview.  So I have no need to do another upgrade unless there is some feature I want, like maybe an articulating LCD.

I don’t do high magnification macro photography, but my favorite photographer who does is Thomas Shahan.  His spider and bugs images have been featured in National Geographic Magazine, he was interview by Al Roker on the Today Show,  and his original you tube video, “An Introduction to High Magnification Macro Photography” has close to 1.5 million views.

Even the most famous of all nature photographers Art Wolfe doesn’t  come remotely close to 1.5 million views on any of his youtube videos.

Here is the link to Thomas’s video CLICK and you will see he was using very low end inexpensive equipment to produced very successful images. I talked with Thomas back in the summer and he’s still using inexpensive equipment.

I’m not saying you don’t need a good camera, good quality lenses, (like Tamron lenses) and certain accessories needed for what we do, but once you have acquired those things, stop wasting time on the tech sites, and spend your time learning about what makes a image successful. 

You spend thousands of dollars on equipment and no money on education.

Having the tools to produce quality images, but not knowing the difference between good and bad subject matter, and how to compose a subject properly, is going to keep you producing poor images.

If you are one of those photographers that spend all time on tech sites, change your direction.

Check out macro learning opportunities.


  1. Jennifer says:

    I so agree with you. I am trying to get better with composition and my vision.
    A question, are you going to be at FotoFest this year? I am interested in going to that.
    Love your images and the posts.

  2. Richard Grubola says:

    You are passionate and on fire in this message Mike.

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