Better Equipment Versus Knowledge – Which Will Help You Improve Your Photography More?

Something to think about:  Which will improve your photography more?  Better equipment, or more knowledge?


person standing near lake
Photo by Lukas Rychvalsky on


As a photographer, you always have the urge to buy new equipment thinking it will bring you better results. This might be true, but only up to a certain point, because if you don’t have the knowledge you can’t make the most out of your equipment.  I started out with a basic manual camera, the film camera from Nikon, the Nikkormat.   It was a work horse and it had a manual light meter and I knew I had to learn the metering system quickly and learn what happened if I didn’t get the meter in the middle, as well as how to correct for backlight, front lighting, etc.  I got pretty good at it, and I knew that the only thing left to do now was to add some equipment to my knowledge.

But, here is what is interesting:  if you found a photographer that was a good film photographer, that learned how to work their manual camera well, and learned how the metering system worked and how to manipulate the f-stop to get the desired depth of field, and how to use the shutter speeds to their advantage….. and give them a camera today, they would out shoot most any of us now, because they know what it takes to make a camera work to their advantage.

I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on how to take better photos and overcome the obstacle of not having the latest equipment.


The most important thing you can do is to read. Many people skip this step and think that only by practicing will they improve. It is true that you have to practice, but unless you study the theory first there is no way of practicing in an efficient way.

For example, if you read an article about shutter speed and aperture it’s easier the understand the mechanism and then apply it, than trying to figure it out all by yourself.

adult back view blur book
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2. Know your equipment:

You just bought your first camera and you are stuck with the first “kit” lens.  You know you can learn from that kit lens a lot of things.  That lens at 55mm can take portraits just fine, and you can learn to take a lot of people pictures with zoom lens at that millimeter.  And the wide angle part of that lens is not too bad to take some pretty good scenery photos.  It is not a perfect lens, but, you can learn so much with doing that lens.  I figure you should be able to shoot anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 photos before you have learned everything you need before you need to buy another lens.

beautiful blur fashion female
Photo by Pixabay on


3- Know what to buy:

I have had a major blog and instruction on how to purchase your first camera.  You have friends who own a Nikon, a Canon, a Sony, an Olympus, blah, blah, blah.   I am going to tell you now, that you should not listen to any of them.  You need to find out for yourself which one works for you.  And that involves a bit doing number 1 again.  Read about the different cameras first.  And then go to a real camera store.  Walmart and Target are not real camera stores.  The people behind those counters don’t know anything about cameras.  Go to a real camera store that has knowledgeable camera sales people.  And then beware of the salesperson who tries to sell you a specific camera before you get your questions answered.  HE MAKES MONEY ON SELLING YOU A SPECIFIC BRAND.   You need to get several cameras in your hand and feel them, and see which one feels the best to you.  The one that feels the best, and moves with you the best, and the buttons and dials seem to be in the right place for you, is the camera that you should buy.  Personally, I have owned every brand.  I needed to be non-biased and have found good in all brands.  They are all good, and I think I could like any one.  So, it is a matter of trying one on for size, and see how they feel to you, and study what the critics are saying about the different cameras.


Knowledge Over Equipment

Next, I’m going to present some arguments on why better equipment doesn’t necessarily make you a better photographer and on why knowledge can help you overcome your equipment struggles.

Buying new equipment is always tempting, but you have to learn how to make the best of what you already have. The best thing you can do as an amateur is buying an entry-level camera and a prime lens. Stick with it and see if you can come up with a new vision every time you go out to take photos.

selective focus photo of woman holding rail beside monkey
Photo by Dazzle Jam on

At first, I didn’t know how to use manual mode. But do you think buying a better camera is going to help with that? No is the answer, you have to read and understand how the relationship between ISO, shutter speed and aperture affect everything in a photo.

After learning that no picture is the same and the settings are going to change every time, you have to do a lot of trial and error. If you practice enough you can achieve great things. After learning how to use your equipment you have to learn how to process your pictures because it makes a big difference as well.




The next thing you have to know is that light makes the difference in every picture, you have to learn how to manipulate and control the light. Once you know how light works you are going to love your equipment.

portrait of young woman during winter
Photo by on
woman wearing black scoop neck top
Photo by Samad Ismayilov on


When do you need better gear?


1-  In low light situations:

With your entry level camera you can maybe shoot in low light to ISO 1600 and then your photos will start having something called “digital noise” happen to the picture.  With the more expensive cameras today, I have seen some of the newer cameras shoot as high as ISO 10,000 ISO and hardly any noise to the picture at all:

adult beanie dark emotion
Photo by Brandon Nickerson on


2- Sports Photography:

I have seen two problems with the entry level cameras that you will have that you won’t have with the more expensive cameras.  1-  The autofocus on the more expensive cameras is much faster and more responsive on them than on the entry level cameras.  And 2-  the motor drive in conjunction with the autofocus is much faster and it can keep up with the action photography.  I have never seen a good sports photographer use an entry level camera to take their better sports photos.

high angle view of people on bicycle
Photo by Pixabay on


person kicks soccer ball in field
Photo by Zac Frith on



So in summary, equipment is just a tool. It doesn’t help you to shape your vision and buying the latest gear as a beginner is not the best choice you can make. When you find that you have difficulty expressing your vision with your current equipment, then you can start thinking about upgrading.







Photos of the Week: 7/12/2018 : Special Photo Gallery of the Canary Islands !!!

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Monday’s are better in the Canary Islands

Oh boy, another pictorial of some islands !!!  Why?  Because the islands are where most of dream of going.  The Canary Islands are different than what most of us think, because these islands are in the Atlantic Ocean.  Sometimes when we think of the most exotic islands, we think of Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, or some of the other pacific Islands.  In the Atlantic there are some other great islands as well.  Have  you ever thought of the Canary Islands?  These islands are very close to Spain.  In fact, they say that of the 10 best beaches in Spain, 6 of them are located on the Canary Islands.  How close is the Canary Islands to Spain?  Here is the map:


Well now, isn’t that interesting?  The Canary Islands aren’t even that close to Spain.  They are right off the coast of Morocco.  So, are they part of Spain, or Morocco?  Here is what the big Encyclopedia says about the Canary Islands:

The Canary Islands (/kəˈnɛəri/SpanishIslas Canariaspronounced [ˈizlas kaˈnaɾjas]) is a Spanish archipelago and autonomous community of Spain located in the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Morocco at the closest point. The Canaries are among the outermost regions (OMR) of the European Union proper. It is also one of the eight regions with special consideration of historical nationality recognized as such by the Spanish Government.[3][4]

–From Wikipedia


So, now that we are a bit familiar with the location of the Canary Islands, let’s see if they compare with the other beautiful islands of the sea:

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If you feel like a swim somewhere completely natural, head to Güigüi beach, head to west#GranCanaria


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If you feel like a swim somewhere completely natural, head to Güigüi beach, head to west#GranCanaria


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Good morning from #Lanzarote



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La Gomera is a privileged place for dolphin and whale spotting



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Nowhere better than Gran Canaria



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It was in the 18th Century that the first petroglyphs (rock engravings) were discovered in the Canaries, in Belmaco in the south-east of La Palma. Since then the place has become a reference point for all those interested in the region’s past. Ten natural caves and an area of rock paintings- with their many different interpretations – make up this archaeological site, which has been declared a Historical-Artistic Monument.

Everytime we visit La Palma I am amazed about the different climate zones for such a small Island. It’s like a mini continent. The steepest Island in the world  in my opinion also the best climate, never to cold and never to hot. An Island in the goldy lock zone on earth

  • tourist


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The Las Playas Natural Monument protects one of#ElHierro‘s most surprising landscapes: the enormous marks left along the south-east coast by a series of massive landslides that affected part of the youngest of the Canary Islands. The result is an enormous amphitheatre, nine kilometres long and over 1,000 metres high, which faces out to sea captivates visitors, creating a secret tranquil space. Far from towns and villages, this is an ideal place for a very quiet holiday.


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The little park nortwest of Alfredo Kraus Audiotorium in Las Palmas..  And look how blue the ocean is there.   



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Vineyards Lanzarote


The archipelago’s beaches, climate and important natural attractions, especially Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Teide National Park and Mount Teide (a World Heritage Site) in Tenerife (the third tallest volcano in the world measured from its base on the ocean floor), make it a major tourist destination with over 12 million visitors per year, especially Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.[8][9] The islands have a subtropical climate, with long hot summers and moderately warm winters.[10] The precipitation levels and the level of maritime moderation vary depending on location and elevation. Green areas as well as desert exist on the archipelago. Due to their location above the temperature inversion layer, the high mountains of these islands are ideal for astronomical observation. For this reason, two professional observatories, Teide Observatory on the island of Tenerife and Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, have been built on the islands.


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El Sabinar in #ElHierro, home to this tree and hundreds more ancient, living sculptures



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You know we always say that the Canary Islands are one of the most biodiverse spots on Earth: This is what that looks like in real life


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at Punta de Teno.


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The Teno Rural Park in western #Tenerife includes the spellbinding Masca Ravine



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At Monumento Natural Volcanes De Teneguia.




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 at El Hierro, Islas Canarias.



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Evergreen cloud forest growing on the slopes of a volcano with trees that grow nowhere else on Earth: Walking in #ElHierro is quite something



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The Canary Islands are one of the most protected places in Europe 



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This is the capital ‘city’ of one of the Canary Islands but who knows which one?

What?  There is more than one capital City?

Here is the details:

From Wikipedia:       The capital of the Autonomous Community is shared by the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,[11][12] which in turn are the capitals of the provinces of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Province of Las Palmas. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has been the largest city in the Canaries since 1768, except for a brief period in the 1910s.[13] Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands. In 1927 a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present.[14][15] The third largest city of the Canary Islands is San Cristóbal de La Laguna (a World Heritage Site) on Tenerife.[16][17][18] This city is also home to the Consejo Consultivo de Canarias, which is the supreme consultative body of the Canary Islands.[19]



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Winter games where there is no winter. The#NotWinter Games go global. Follow them!

Wow, hardly looks like an island community.  That’s because there is so many people that live on these islands.

Check out these stats as of 2010 (and I’m sure it has grown since then):

Population of the individual islands[edit]

The population of the islands according to the 2010 data are:[65]



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Santa Cruz de La Palma has turned white today for the Los Indianos carnival festival



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Wish you were watching the sunset at Puerto Naos in #LaPalma?



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The Garajonay National Park, with its evergreen forests and rocky peaks, is a must visit Canary Islands spot! 



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The circular hike around Vallehermoso takes you through juniper groves, hamlets, and a hermitage and down to the beach



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Q. How much do you love the Canary Islands?
A. A yacht




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Find a dark spot tonight and look up into the night sky: The Geminid meteor shower should peak at around 02.00 with up to 200 shooting stars per hour 


So, there you have a good view of the Canary Islands.  If you compare it with the other islands you have seen in pictorials, what is your impressions?   Your comments are welcome.  The Canary Islands are certainly beautiful, and diverse.  Lots of variety in the terrain.  So, much to see and do.  So, is it a getaway you would like to do?


We will be doing other picture galleries of other islands in the sea, so you can get some comparisons.  We have done the following islands so far for you to compare:  Fiji, and the Falkland Islands.   Coming up:  Tahiti, Bermuda,  the Azores, and many others, including the famous Hawaiian islands.  Keep coming back to the Photos of the Week, on Thursday.

For more information and travel information about the Canary Islands, visit their main Facebook Website at:






Who can you learn from as a mentor in your photography?

assistant beard boss business
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We all have different types of photography that we love.  Where do we go to find a photographer that displays photos, or even perhaps may help you develop your talent in that type of photography?

There are many photo web sites that are dedicated to a photographer.  And their photos.  Would they be willing to help you?  That I am not certain.  But, at least you can follow their photography, and if you send them a message and ask them to help you, I have found that many photographers are willing to give you guidelines.   Do they want your competition?  That is not the issue.  They know what it took to get to their level, and most photographers are willing to help you get to that level.  In fact, they probably realize that most people aren’t willing to do what they did to get to their level.  If you are serious about getting to their level, then be serious before asking.  You will be surprised what type of commitment it takes to get to the level of some of these professionals I am going to introduce to you.

If you want to become a WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER:

I have a friend who is one of the best in the business, and may be able to tell you what it takes.  Go to:

Mr. Grumpy Pants
Normally I never post images where you can’t see the eyes, but I had to make an exception for this Huge Male Bear 
This is one of the largest bears I have seen in person Katmai National Park, Alaska 
Release the Animals

This is one of his most recent photos.  Just got back from Alaska.  He spends a lot of time getting these kind of great photos.  He may be able to help you.   It takes real guts to get this kind of photo, but, so worth it.


If you want to become a PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER:

I have a couple of people you could contact:   It takes a lot to understand posing and to do it right.  Here is one person who had done a lot of portraits for many different types of people photography.  From babies, to weddings, to 50th wedding anniversary.

Go to:

loveless photo
Bridal photo by Kelly Loveless.  Copyright protected.


Kelly Lovelless photo
Another photo from Kelly Loveless photography.  Copyright protected.


Another portrait photographer, who specializes in just children Photography:


april reeves
Photo by April Reeves.  copyright protected.
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Another photo from April Reeves.  Copyright protected.

The above photographers, as  you can imagine, are very busy.  If they cannot help you, please, just go to their websites, and study the pictures they have for display.


If you want to learn to become a good STREET PHOTOGRAPHER:

A street photographer is a new and upcoming art form.  And it takes a special person to know how to do it well.  One of the best street photographers I know lives in France.  Her name is:  Elisabeth Engels.  If you know French, that is great, but she does speak some English.  Here is her website, and a couple of her pictures.   She is an award winning photographer in this field.

Her main website is on Facebook:

A great street photo, just capturing life everyday on the street.  Photo copyrighted.


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Another great photo, capturing everyday life on the street.  Photo by Elisabeth Engels.  copyrighted.



If you would like to take pictures of ANIMALS:

This would be more like pets.  There is not a particular person or photographer that I have in mind, but there are community websites that you can go to, to study some great animal photos.  They are on Facebook, and you will love the great collection of animal photos.  These are community websites and many people post photos there of their pets and animals of all kinds.  Try these for learning:

joy of animals
They are all just too cute


If you are interested in becoming a master in LANDSCAPE OR SCENERY PHOTOGRAPHY:

Now there is a lot of photographers who specialize in this.  Here are a few websites to follow:

DUARTE SOL PHOTOGRAPHY:  He is one of the best in Portugal.  Every time he posts a photo on Facebook, I fall in love with his work.  He is considered one of the best photographers in Portugal.  His website is on Facebook:

duarte sol
The dramatic sea stacks of Ribeira da Janela on the north coast of Madeira island are always a place deserving a visit…specially when the God of Light´s give you a little hand…
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Duarte Sol Photography


Another great website I like is this one called:  EXPLORE LIGHT.   The photographer specializes in scenery and landscape photos, but uses different types of lighting in his creations.  So much to learn from that:

explore light
It seems pretty colourful but I’ve toned this one back colour wise. Hands down the most intensely colourful morning I have ever experienced in Dublin Bay. I presume you all know where its shot? 


If you want to learn from MACRO PHOTOGRAPHERS:

Go to this website:

macro world 1
Photo by Hiroshi Kuwada.
macro world 2
Photo by Hamato Amemiya.

That is the list of great websites that I think you can go to.  There are obviously other sites like travel sites, but that is more like scenery shots again.  And I also have some on some specialty strange ones, where the photographer specializes in doing some special effects photography.  But, that is really specialized.   If you would like information on some type of photography, go the comment section at the bottom of this blog, and I will be glad to find that for you.


Thanks so much for following along.  You are appreciated.