Every Photographer Needs to Hear Pye Jirsa’s Speech on Photography


As photographers, it is tempting to get a little defensive or protective of your knowledge. You worked hard to get the skill you have. You experimented for hours. Cold, early mornings. Late evenings editing thousands of images.

Your skill is not easily won.

But the mentality of defensiveness and secrecy about your processes to new photographers is not what many of us got in the game for.

Pye Jirsa gets it. Listen to his speech below. You will be glad you did.

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

N√≥ normal photographer has al this equipment. Go to a simpler place, take a mid range camera, shoot a photo and throw lightroom in the dumpster. Let’s see if the photo’s are then still so good.

?? – last week I read an article by a pro who did PRECISELY that – and his photos were just as good. OK, they weren’t the same – you can’t shoot a telephoto shot without a telephoto lens, and I’m not trying to suggest otherwise. But his photos – with very basic gear – WERE “GOOD”. He was making the point – and Ansell Adams said it years ago – that it is NOT the camera that shoots the photo, it’s the apparatus 12 inches behind the camera. “Not having the same gear” becomes an excuse for not getting good shots – it’s great for camera shops, but has a terrible effect on your budget.

Great clip, Pye. Over the years – far too many to count, now (sigh!) – I’ve had a huge amount of advice and help from other photographers, who are only too happy to share their knowledge and experience. And to share mine, too, such as it is. Also true of the better photographic shops – I hope my spend was enough to keep them happy, because most of the ones I’ve dealt with over the years have gone to extraordinary lengths to help me when I had a problem or needed better information.

It’s been a lot like one of the other loves of my life – music & musicians. Musos generally really click when they get together – two of them meet accidentally, strike up a conversation and all of a sudden there’s a jam session in full swing, with others rocking up and joining in. That same attitude seems quite general among photographers and it’s one of the things that makes photography such a great pastime – whether it’s your job or “just a hobby”.

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