Tip #60: Yin & Yang at the Intersection of Gear & Art

Big & Little - Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Canon 7D + 300mm f2.8L IS
The following has been written during the heat of the Nikon - Canon wars. The decades long battle is now reaching a feverish pitch as the two photo innovators have just introduced a pair of long anticipated image capture devices. Interestingly, the war is not waged between the manufacturers, but is a proxy war being fought by zealots and fanboys. Camera keepers and toy lovers unite... the battle is on. 
Wonder Lake - Denali National Park, AK
Hasselblad xpan + Hasselblad 45mm f4.0 @ f16
The type of camera war to which I refer is a subset of the debate that began a millennium ago. It is the sport of the non-photographer techno-geek who prefers an argument about gear over creative expressions and the making of images. Ten years ago they argued about film v digital and prior to that, it was about the inferiority of small negatives when compared to the large. Before my time, I am almost certain that the argument was about black and white versus color, or the purity of chromes when when compared to negatives. Whatever the difference, near the core of this maddening discussion is something about theoretical limits and optimal image quality... 
Black & White Colobus Monkey - Lake Navaisha, Kenya
Canon 40D + Canon 100-400mm f4.5L IS
Lost in the point and counter-point of the debate is the image, the making of art, and the expression of feeling. Yang, is the bulky intrusion that preoccupies the mind and sparks feelings of envy and inadequacy. Yang is the camera in your hand, it is both an obstacle and facilitator of your vision. Yin, is the unobtrusive and petite object. Yin is light, airy and whimsical. As with Yang, Yin can distract or enable your art. The generations long debate about the Yang you use can inhibit your Yin. Yes, your Yang is important, but seek a balance. While a little Yang goes a long way, we need to make equal room for the Yin, the creative imp in us all.
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