Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
Compensating for lack of skill with technology is progress toward mediocrity. As technology advances, craftsmanship recedes. As technology increases our possibilities, we use them less resourcefully. The one thing we’ve gained is spontaneity, which is useless without perception.
— David Vestal
If you have a copy of "The Keepers of Light" be sure to reread the introductory essay on photographic syntax. In short, as the medium evolved through its dominant technologies, what we could create with those technologies changed.

I think primarily of Paul Strand (and, by influence, Walker Evans), when newer, faster film technology allowed him to take his camera into the streets and make portraits like "Blind," the likes of which had never been seen before. He created what we consider modern photography, and was gifted with extraordinary perception. At the end of his life, when it was too difficult for him to use his 5x7 and 8x10 cameras, he switched to the "easier" technology of 120 roll film and still made magnificent photographs.

The technology of fast film and small cameras gave us Cartier Bresson. The Leica, that's as easy as it gets, except it isn't. Vestal obviously spent his days toting around a 35mm, which I'm sured raised certain eyebrows among "real photographers" who wouldn't be caught dead with anything smaller than a 20x24 view camera loaded with hand poured glass plates.

You see, you can play the game to absurd lengths. You can always rewind the clock and find some point of purity, some line which you would not cross, fearing banishment from the kingdom of "real photographers." It's a silly game.

Photography has room enough for all of us, the Atgets and the Winogrands, Walker Evans and Frederick Evans. Good photography is good photography. Don't get caught up in the "how" when you should be focused on the "what."