Can Less Camera Gear Help You Take Better Pictures?

Many of us love our gear, and while it can be fun to play with, it can also (perhaps paradoxically) cause a certain amount of decision paralysis and actually become a hindrance to the creative process. If that is something you sometimes find yourself struggling with, check out this insightful video that shows why carrying just a single camera and lens can actually make you a better photographer. 

Coming to you from Ben Harvey Photography, this great video discusses the benefits of limiting your choice of gear. It can seem like purposely leaving gear behind is something that will just cause problems, and in a way, that is true, but this can actually be a benefit. One of the greatest ways to bust out of a creative rut or expanding your palette is to impose limitations on yourself. What these actually are does not matter much: it could be using only a long shutter speed, a certain composition style, or, in this case, only a single lens. What inspires creativity is forcing your brain to think you the problems imposed by the limitations, which will often result in images you would have never thought of otherwise. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Harvey. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Good grief! Another less is better video. Just once, I'd like to see someone do a video on why it's great to have 7 primes and a half dozen zooms. It's like there's some sort of moral high ground to have less. Same with upgrading. As long as one stays within his/her budget, who cares?!

Having more/less equipment has nothing to do with one's ability. A good photographer is going to take good pictures whether or not he/she has a ton of stuff or a minimum of stuff. A lousy photographer is a lousy photographer, regardless of their equipment list.

You've missed the point of the video, this is not a preaching video on though shall have less gear, it's just to see if you limit, the sometimes overwhelming options in the camera bag, does this change the way you going about composing the image. As Ben states this is an experiment for him that he wanted to share with his followers.

No, I didn't miss the point. I just made a point that it would be nice to see someone make a video of how advantageous/fun it is to have a pile of gear in your bag. How many videos/articles have been published about less gear/no need to upgrade? I would guess dozens or more.

And I repeat, a good photographer is a good photographer regardless of the amount or type of equipment. A bad photographer is a bad photographer, period.

It's what I call 'content filler'. YouTubers have to keep the regular content coming and it's inevitable content like this or, for exapmple, comparisons to aps-c vs FF, does gear matter, brand loyalty etc. anything considered not very important in the grand scheme of things. I mostly watch photo YouTubers who discuss the photography process and analyse other famous photographers rather than gear related videos because after a while, gear related videos start regurgitating the same old unimportant subjects.

I shoot with a single camera and lens. Does this make me overly pretentious, a total amateur photographer, too poor to afford more gear, a master photographer for keeping it simple? I can't work out which pigeonhole my gear choices is supposed to put me in thee days 😉.

I have 12-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-200, 100-400, 28-200 zooms and few primes 25, 40, 55, 85, 90 macro and 135
Is it too many? I don't think so. Depending what I intend to shoot I take 3 of them with me on 3 cameras because I don't like to change lenses in field. Different set if I take it to National park or some place indoors or portraits and so on. What is wrong to have a choice available when I may need it?

Don't know if it'll make you take better pictures, but it should help you, if not force you, to see (look for) pictures and compostions in a better way. When you're gear-limited, you tend to slow things down and more cautiously and clearly look for 'that shot.'