One of the things I find most appealing about photography is that an infinite number of choices are required to create the final product. Of course this is no different from any other creative endeavor.
Yet some still don’t think of photography as a true art medium. This is evident from the compliment many photographers have received that runs along the lines of “wow that’s a great photo - you must have a good camera.”
Yes, it's true, the camera and lens a photographer chooses has an impact on the final image in much the same way the brush a painter chooses has an impact on the final painting. I wonder, would one ever suggest that the quality of a painting was due solely to the brush?
You see, the camera choice is only the start. It was just one of the many decisions made along the way. The subject or location you chose, time of day, the place you chose to stand, the mode you put the camera in, the shutter speed, aperature, and ISO settings you picked, the number of shots you took - did you decide to bracket them?, the height of the camera, angle of the camera, did you use a tripod?… these are just a few of the choices you made in the field… then when you got home you began a whole new chain of choices as you decided what shot, which software (or perhaps none) to use to and how to process it.
The number of choices are so numerous it would be near impossible to make a complete list - but as stated at the outset, that’s exactly the beauty of photography and why it is indeed truly an art form. I LOVE having so many choices. It means I have the opportunity to create something unique. My DNA is in each and every image I create because the combination of all those unique and random choices produces an outcome nearly unrepeatable.
Here is a example of how I made a few different post processing choices to create three final images from the same initial photo.
So the next time you wonder if it's really possible to make a great unique image - remember - what camera you use is only one of an infinite number of choices. No one else can create exactly what you do!