Making a good photograph, regardless of subject . . . a hand, a tree, a mountain or even Kate Moss is damn difficult.
Depending on your belief system, producing a great photograph is either dumb luck or divine intervention.
If your so lucky to have made a great photograph you'll know it because it will be the only time in your life as a photographer that you honestly will not care what anyone thinks.
What camera you use . . . just listen to yourself not anyone else - negative or positive because both opinions usually are wrong, the negative opinion the least valid of all.
There is no rule or reason when it comes to the arts.
Personally I don't find it's hard to take good pictures. Early on when I was new at this game I had the fortune of shooting in the studio next door
to two a couple of the greats while renting in a Studio in the big multi studio outfits in Paris and Milan. Helmut Newton and Peter Lindbergh.
What I noticed is that both looked like what they were doing was effortless and came totally natural to them... both shooting with modest equipment by the way...
I expressed my respect for their work and asked a word of advice. Both said one thing in common. Don't drive yourself nuts. Shoot what
comes natural to you and is effortless. You can never be good at something it it takes you too much effort. They also both made the musical instrument analogy.
The both said ask a great musician what they do most of the time.... the answer will be play, play, play and practice.... the emphasis is on the work PLAY as in enjoy.
You need to find the instrument you prefer to play, but it is only an instrument.
Luck has it's part, the trick though is to play, play, play.... practice practice practice and be ready to take luck by it's hand as it tends to show up more often this way.
There is a wonderful series on the UK guardian website called My best Shot:
Here are some of my favorites:http://youtu.be/5_LOqgiNMRwhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/video/2009/dec/23/photography-jimi-hendrixhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/video/2009/nov/03/brigitte-bardot-photograph-terry-o-neillhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2009/oct/28/ellen-von-unwerth-best-shothttp://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2009/may/28/sebastiao-salgado-photography-kuwait
When it comes to the tools of the trade choose what you like, but after listening to both sides of the story and avoiding salesmen and hype.
Descent is often where more is to be found. At times confirming your thoughts even when they are different.
A great photograph IMO is when you take it and print it just the way it is. If you have to "work a file deep" it becomes another art form.
Yesterday I saw a book of fantastic landscape. Not one of the images looked "processed" colors were not the typical over saturation and detail was not these hyper detailed
images we see so much of. Natural colors natural depth. No crushed blacks and boosted colors. Haze was left where it belongs. Brilliant work.
So much of what we see today is such a process that it's bordering on illustration rather than photography.
I find it rather ironic that so much of that the MF companies show as examples what their cameras do are so heavily manipulated that they really have little
to do with the camera. The best picture Phase has is a wonderful portrait of a young girl by Peter Eastway with no makeup, simple lighting, no "work the file deep" post and it looks simply divine... but it's buried somewhere in their downloads. http://www.phaseone.com/en/Downloads/Sample-Images.aspx
, (but it looks better in C06)