Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino View Post
I'm not sure I agree here. If the equipment you use doesn't produce the result in your brain then of course you're going to think about some other equipment. You're not going to get screaming facemelter guitar solos out of a bajo sexto, even though technically they're still guitars any more than you'd get 15fps sports shots from an 8x10 setup.

But if you want that Sally Mann/Alec Soth/Paul Graham sort of look you're just not going to get it from your dad's hand-me-down OM-10 no matter how good your concept and execution are.

Maybe, just maybe, there's someone who started off saying "Ok, to get that awesome color palate and detail, I have to start off using 4x5/8x10." I've never met one of them, though.

And that's to say nothing of people who rotate through different gear because they're looking for a 35mm/6x6/whatever setup that feels invisible in their hands. People talk about Leicas that way. Could/Should/Would people just accept whatever gear is in their hands and make great photos? Engh. Anyone who's met me knows that I'm not going to be comfortable in a size 36 jeans or size 7 shoes. Why not find something that fits?

Now if/when someone gets to the point where casting about for gear takes the place of making photos? That's another issue, a pathological one that should be remedied with a prescription of one full day off, five rolls of film, and $15 for beers or coffee to be had throughout the day while making photos.
Of course the old "why use a hammer to do a screwdriver's job" still applies- If you want to capture "decisive moment" type shots, or "street" photos, you're not going to get the results you expect with an 11x14 portrait camera. You might surprise yourself with what you do get if you try it with that 11x14, but I think that kind of photography requires a very self-aware photographer who is creatively open to serendipity. And the same goes the other way - if your goal is to make 6-foot tall prints of grand landscapes where you can count the ear-hairs on the deer that happens to wander through the background of the shot, you're not going to get there from here with a 35mm point-and-shoot. But you might make some landscapes that are breathtaking in their own way when printed 5x7 inches.

What I was specifically addressing in my comment, though, was the mentality of "my pictures will be BETTER if I only have camera/lens/format/tripod abc etc". Your pictures will NOT be more like Ansel Adams' if you go buy an 8x10 field camera and a 14" Commercial Ektar lens. Your pictures won't even necessarily get any better at all if you go buy that 8x10 field camera, unless you use the discipline and rigor such a camera requires to slow down and think about each frame you expose and why you want to expose it and if it's worth committing to film in the first place. And you really ought to be thinking long and hard about why you want your pictures to look like someone else's pictures in the first place. What I wanted to learn from Ansel Adams was rigor and technique; I learned it and added it to my repertoire and moved on. I want any landscape/streetscape/portrait/abstract that I take to look like a Scott Davis, not an Ansel Adams. Call it ego if you want to, but I don't want people to mistake my work for anyone else's.