The Beginner Photography Podcast

474: Casey Fatchett - More Gear Doesn't Mean Better Photos: Master Photography Without Breaking the Bank

May 21, 2024 Raymond Hatfield
474: Casey Fatchett - More Gear Doesn't Mean Better Photos: Master Photography Without Breaking the Bank
The Beginner Photography Podcast
More Info
The Beginner Photography Podcast
474: Casey Fatchett - More Gear Doesn't Mean Better Photos: Master Photography Without Breaking the Bank
May 21, 2024
Raymond Hatfield

In this episode of the Beginner Photography Podcast, I chat with Wedding Photographer Casey Fatchett, who shares  how to make the most of the gear you have. Together, we explore the common misconception that newer equipment automatically leads to better photos and emphasize the importance of understanding and mastering your current gear. Casey shares his experiences with both digital and film photography, offering practical advice on how to push your creative boundaries without succumbing to the pressure of having the latest technology.

THE BIG IDEAS

  • Intentionality Over Abundance: Limitations can foster creativity. Choose your shots wisely to deepen your artistic expression.
  • Practice Made Perfect: Regular, intentional practice with your camera will sharpen your skills faster than any new gadget.
  • Embrace Constraints: Enforcing restrictions, like using older or manual equipment, can teach you the fundamental principles of great photography.
  • Value Artistic Vision: Focus on developing a unique artistic vision rather than mimicking prevailing trends for broader appeal.

Photography Action Plan:

  • Use a Film Camera: Find a film camera, whether by borrowing or purchasing a used one, to experience the process of manual exposure and intentional shooting. Use an entire roll to photograph a single subject or scene under different conditions and study how each image differs.
  • Master Manual Mode: Shift to using manual mode on your digital camera. Begin by setting your own aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to see their direct impact on your images. Practice this in various lighting scenarios to gain confidence and improve your technical skills.
  • Practice with Flash: Start with a basic external flash unit and experiment with bounce flash technique by aiming the flash at ceilings or walls instead of directly at the subject. Progress to using a diffuser or a reflector to soften the light and reduce harsh shadows in your images.
  • Analyze Your Work: After each shooting session, set aside time to review your photos critically. Identify one thing you like and one area for improvement in each photo. This self-critique process will accelerate your learning and refine your photographic eye.
  • Limit Your Shots: Challenge yourself with a 'single shot' day where you allow yourself only one photograph per subject. This will force you to think critically about framing, composition, and all camera settings before taking the shot, enhancing your decisiveness and precision in photography.

Resources:
Visit Casey Fatchett's Wedding Photography Website - https://fatchett.com/
Listen to the Nerdy Photographer Podcast - https://nerdyphotographer.com/
Follow Casey on Instagram - http

Grab your free 52 Lightroom Presets at
http://freephotographypresets.com/

Start Building Your Dream Photography Business for FREE with CloudSpot Studio.
And get my Wedding and Portrait Contract and Questionnaires, at no cost!
Sign up now at http://deliverphotos.com/

Connect with the Beginner Photography Podcast!


Thanks for listening & keep shooting!

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of the Beginner Photography Podcast, I chat with Wedding Photographer Casey Fatchett, who shares  how to make the most of the gear you have. Together, we explore the common misconception that newer equipment automatically leads to better photos and emphasize the importance of understanding and mastering your current gear. Casey shares his experiences with both digital and film photography, offering practical advice on how to push your creative boundaries without succumbing to the pressure of having the latest technology.

THE BIG IDEAS

  • Intentionality Over Abundance: Limitations can foster creativity. Choose your shots wisely to deepen your artistic expression.
  • Practice Made Perfect: Regular, intentional practice with your camera will sharpen your skills faster than any new gadget.
  • Embrace Constraints: Enforcing restrictions, like using older or manual equipment, can teach you the fundamental principles of great photography.
  • Value Artistic Vision: Focus on developing a unique artistic vision rather than mimicking prevailing trends for broader appeal.

Photography Action Plan:

  • Use a Film Camera: Find a film camera, whether by borrowing or purchasing a used one, to experience the process of manual exposure and intentional shooting. Use an entire roll to photograph a single subject or scene under different conditions and study how each image differs.
  • Master Manual Mode: Shift to using manual mode on your digital camera. Begin by setting your own aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to see their direct impact on your images. Practice this in various lighting scenarios to gain confidence and improve your technical skills.
  • Practice with Flash: Start with a basic external flash unit and experiment with bounce flash technique by aiming the flash at ceilings or walls instead of directly at the subject. Progress to using a diffuser or a reflector to soften the light and reduce harsh shadows in your images.
  • Analyze Your Work: After each shooting session, set aside time to review your photos critically. Identify one thing you like and one area for improvement in each photo. This self-critique process will accelerate your learning and refine your photographic eye.
  • Limit Your Shots: Challenge yourself with a 'single shot' day where you allow yourself only one photograph per subject. This will force you to think critically about framing, composition, and all camera settings before taking the shot, enhancing your decisiveness and precision in photography.

Resources:
Visit Casey Fatchett's Wedding Photography Website - https://fatchett.com/
Listen to the Nerdy Photographer Podcast - https://nerdyphotographer.com/
Follow Casey on Instagram - http

Grab your free 52 Lightroom Presets at
http://freephotographypresets.com/

Start Building Your Dream Photography Business for FREE with CloudSpot Studio.
And get my Wedding and Portrait Contract and Questionnaires, at no cost!
Sign up now at http://deliverphotos.com/

Connect with the Beginner Photography Podcast!


Thanks for listening & keep shooting!

Casey Fatchett:

Yeah. I mean, go look at photos from the, twenties and thirties The nineties, yeah, look at those photos and go like, oh, hey. They didn't have all of this stuff and they, they were still capable of creating amazing like Ansel Adams was not out there like shooting at,

Raymond Hatfield:

Of

Casey Fatchett:

128, 000 ISO. Yeah, it's not a knock against new gear, but it's that you don't necessarily need it, to create wonderful images.

Raymond Hatfield:

Hey, welcome to the beginner photography podcast. I'm your host Raymond Hatfield. And today we are chatting with wedding photographer Casey Fatchett about why your gear is better than you think, and why the newest equipment actually won't help you to take better photos. But first, the beginner photography podcast is brought to you by CloudSpot. Simplify your business with studio management. Organize clients, send professional contracts, automated invoice payments, and more keeping track of everything. Just got a whole lot easier. Grab your free forever account at deliver photos. com and only upgrade when your business is ready. You know, on top of being a wedding photographer, Casey is also the host of the nerdy photographer podcast. Uh, and he's also been on the beginner photography podcast before back in episode 362, where we actually gave you tips on how to be a bad wedding photographer. it was kind of in our, uh, little attempt, uh, at an April fool's joke, but, It's all through the lens of, you know, what not to do as a wedding photographer. It was a good one because he has a ton of experience shooting weddings. So it was, uh, it was, it was a great conversation. But in today's interview with Casey, you're going to learn. Three things one how limitations like you know when you see and you rule over the newest gear But your wallet just laughs at you how to use that limitation to foster your creativity Why you should never apologize air quotes there for the gear that you use and how the constraints of Uh, again, air quotes older gear will help you to better learn the art of photography. And lastly, why focusing on developing a unique artistic vision rather than simply mimicking the trend of the day will actually yield more appeal from those who follow your work. So with that, let's go ahead and get on into today's interview with Casey Fatchett. man, last time you were on Casey, we talked about chat GPT, so it feels like it wasn't that long ago. Right. But

Casey Fatchett:

it feels like it wasn't, but it's been two years.

Raymond Hatfield:

yeah, right. Like, it's so, it's so strange to think of, how long we've now had AI in our lives and stuff. I thought that was a fun conversation and I've had people reach out to me as well and kind of share a lot of the same sentiments,

Casey Fatchett:

It's, uh, that's, it's a whole, that's a very interesting thing. And, uh, and. I mean, I've started using it for a variety of stuff, including things we talked about. Like, for me, it's, it's coming up with the titles for the podcast episodes and it's become much more interesting titles to me because I mean, like take them, I look at the suggestions I give it like, and then I merge things together and make it my own, but it helps eliminate the sort of for drudgery tasks for me, like coming up with ideas, but also I always tell people now, this is the worst it's going to be

Raymond Hatfield:

right.

Casey Fatchett:

here on out.

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah, absolutely.

Casey Fatchett:

that's what scares me in some ways. I was following two different Instagram accounts for well over a month that I did not realize were

Raymond Hatfield:

AI?

Casey Fatchett:

all AI.

Raymond Hatfield:

Really? Images and everything? Was it like a photography based account or What?

Casey Fatchett:

they even put them espoused as photographers

Raymond Hatfield:

Ugh.

Casey Fatchett:

and it took one of them is like this very kind of avant garde fashion looking stuff. So, I mean, it kind of like lent itself to it, but it looked the faces, the hands, there were stuff like full body shots, movement, like people moving when I was like, this is, you know, oh, okay, great photos. And then there was some stuff that was, applications and stuff. I'm like, okay, well, there's, or there's some graphic design elements on top of things. I'm like, oh, you know, this is, multimedia ask type of looking stuff, but I didn't think anything of it. And then 1 day, there was 1 that was just like, very obvious, like, looks like, Alice in Wonderland, very typical AI type of look photo. And I'm like, or image. And I'm like, what? And so I start scrolling back and way down at the bottom of the captions. Hashtag A. I. R.

Raymond Hatfield:

that's how they get

Casey Fatchett:

there's this giant s captions. There's a whole other one that was like, this person was saying, that it was, landscape photography

Raymond Hatfield:

Mhmm. landscape

Casey Fatchett:

of actual places, like naming the place again, this giant caption, which I'm sure was a, I generated. and then at the very bottom, this is not an actual photo. This is my imagination. what my imagination of what this place looks like? AI generator, whatever. But then in the comments, people would be like, Oh, this is an awesome photo. And they'd be like, Oh, thanks, man. Like, it's not a photo. It's not a

Raymond Hatfield:

Were these places that were being named, there, were they actual places? Or were they, they were actual pla

Casey Fatchett:

Yeah. They're actual locations and it looks pretty simple because I'm sure they do just fading in, like generate an image of such and such or whatever. And this guy, like when you get called out on it, he's like, well, I can't go to these places to take the pictures. But this is how I can do that. I'm like, no, you're not taking pictures.

Raymond Hatfield:

Oh my

Casey Fatchett:

You're not taking pictures. You're using somebody else's photos of that

Raymond Hatfield:

Right.

Casey Fatchett:

to generate images.

Raymond Hatfield:

It's not your imagination. It's the other photographers imagination, or it's not even imagination at that point. But it's it's their actual work. That's anyway, that's a whole different conversation. But this kind of leads me into, I guess, my first question for you, which is, right before we started hitting record, you were talking about your film cameras, I was gonna say new film cameras, but you've had them for a

Casey Fatchett:

I do have a new film camera.

Raymond Hatfield:

So wait,

Casey Fatchett:

I had,

Raymond Hatfield:

wait, I want to frame this question. Okay, because this is something that I've been getting into. And I want to know, are other people doing this as well? Have you found more of a draw towards film photography? Because there is such ease and fakeness in in AI art now that you're looking for something real intangible.

Casey Fatchett:

wow. We just got really deep. I think it might be, uh, some sort of backlash to that sort of generation Of images, uh, that might be, sub kernel. I have to talk to my therapist about that. Um,

Raymond Hatfield:

There's an AI chatbot therapist you could talk to.

Casey Fatchett:

I'm sure there are many. the thing that got me for this was, why I got back into it specifically and on a conscious level was because I'd been feeling a little stale creatively. And I think that we get comfortable in a way with our process, how we take photos, how we do things and. you get into this, pattern of how you create images. And for me, it was, I needed to really stop, break it down to the basics again, and really be intentional about what I was doing. And when you've got a manual focus lens and film, which you cannot see the outcome of whatever you took, you really have to think, and you have a limited number of images that you could capture. really have to. Breakdown the process a lot differently than you do when you're shooting digitally. you spend more thought power on, what is the image that I'm capturing then? I think that digital lends itself to an ease of creation, which in some ways is good depends on what you're shooting. I would never go out and shoot a wedding entirely on film. If I had the choice to shoot digitally as well. Like, I just, I want to be sure that I can get the photos that I want to deliver, to my clients. And they deserve to know that. I mean, I'm capturing everything. According to my artistic vision, but I think this is as an exercise, and I have some projects that I'm working on with film is helping me my creative process and like pushing me in different directions and making me think about the process differently.

Raymond Hatfield:

How so? Like what directions are you being pushed in?

Casey Fatchett:

really getting down to, like, because these are also like manual, fully manual cameras, there's no. Aperture priority. There's no shutter priority. Really thinking about what kind of picture I want to take. because I might think to myself if I'm shooting digitally, I want to, I want something that's, you know, I wanted to have a longer shutter speed here or whatever. And like, I can't change my ISO. there's a lot of limitations That you have to work your way around to get the image that you see in your head. So you have to be very clear about the image that you're seeing in your head and not just kind of want something like this. I have to be a lot more focused on that and like the light and, I have a limited focus window depending on what I'm trying to photograph or I have to be really good on the manual focus, like depending on what it is. Yeah, so it's like really thinking about those things. And again, the limited number of exposures, there's no trial and error. Hey, you can't see what you're capturing anyway, but like, there's, you have a, a limited room and to to work it.

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah, I have found that like when I first transitioned from from video essentially into photography. Uh, I started with film and it was like that there was that focus knowing like 36 chances to get the photo that I want. And I found that like for me, my progression of film photography changed a lot where I went from. Um, I was almost reserving film for like. I'm going to save this for the best of the best, like those most artistic moments. but then I would critique everything that I would see as, is this good enough? Right. I would question myself. Is this good enough? Is this going to lend itself to film? And then once I changed that mindset to thinking, every time I go out, I'm going to shoot an entire roll of film. Like I have to shoot the entire roll of film. I feel like everything changed at that point because now I wasn't, I was trying to limit myself to like one or two photos at a time when really, you When you open that up to 36 photos, it feels like a whole new universe. And it's

Casey Fatchett:

uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, um.

Raymond Hatfield:

it's great.

Casey Fatchett:

you've like gotten yourself in that mindset of, Oh, there's only X number of exposures. If you said there's do that initial responses, I can only take like, Oh crap. Like how many of I have? and I, I, I, what I found also equally, I don't know. It's weird is I use different. Numbers of exposures. I have rolls of film that are like 36. I have ones that are 24 and I have girls that are 10, 10. exposures. Yeah, it was like a gift pack of some kind like that. And they had like, it's got like, I've got like eight rolls of just like 10 exposure film. And it's like, huh, okay, this makes, this will make me think differently about what I'm shooting. Then if I had 24 rolls or 24 exposures or 36, um, and how I approach each thing, you know, like, differently, depending on the number of exposures that I have. so, yeah, it's, it's a interesting, mind exercise and creative exercise.

Raymond Hatfield:

And yet, you know what I was just thinking of? Have you heard of that experiment? I don't know what college it was, but it was like a photography professor who took his class and split it into two groups. he took one group and said, for the entire semester, you can only take one photo. And it has to be the best photo, right? But for the other group, he said, you have to take, a hundred photos a day. Take as many photos as humanly possible. And then at the end, select your best photo. Right? And it was like, the group that could only take one photo for the entire semester, They all hated their photos and like on a grading scale, they were all much worse than the people who took hundreds of photos throughout the semester, which in my head says okay, you get more practice, you get more reps in, you're going to be better at it. But at the same time almost seems counterintuitive here because with digital, you can take a thousand photos a day instead of, say 36 at a time with film. I don't know where I was going with that. Do you got it?

Casey Fatchett:

I mean, I think that, yeah, I mean, there, there's a part of me that, that gets that because if you're learning photography, and we're always all, always learning, you should never stop learning, but there's an element of the practice of it gets you like looking for better images or just a better sense of what you're trying to do as opposed to, I feel like there's, if you're only allowed to take one photo, that's really weird.

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

that that's that's like for an entire semester. It's like, Oh, what am I even going to take a picture of? The limitation is too much. Like it's too narrow. If you said you can only take one picture a day, that's. I think that would be a more interesting limitation to put on it. Or if you said like, oh, you could, yeah, I mean, yeah, one picture a day. So then each day you're like consciously and intentionally thinking about, okay, I can only take one image and then you have to pick out your favorite out of all of those. Um, that's different than saying like, you can take as many pictures as you want. because I feel, yeah, you're going to learn something over that time of repeated it. exercise and Practice. that, okay, this is now what I'm looking for. You know, now that I think about that that could be a very interesting project. Um,

Raymond Hatfield:

What, to take like hundreds of photos a day? Versus one photo?

Casey Fatchett:

no one photo a day, I think one photo a day would be like, you really have to, I think this is the thing that, that a lot of, I'm not being ageist here, but a lot of younger photographers tend to fall into trend traps. because I see that gets a lot of likes or it gets a lot of comments or whatever, instead of doing something intentionally and like really thinking about what the And the goal is other than, you know,

Raymond Hatfield:

Attention.

Casey Fatchett:

getting likes and comments, and really thinking about your artistic intention. so they just sort of like fall into the, I'm just going to do the trendy thing and not thinking about why. what is the purpose, your artistic vision other than to, gather attention? so I think that do having a, if you give people an unlimited number of exposures to work with, there's sort of less, uh, less, uh, pressure. There's, there's like, you need a little bit of focus and pressure to like form a diamond through pressure. Um, and if I was teaching a class. If I was telling somebody who was just learning photography, I would say, like, go out and practice as much as you can, because most people don't practice a lot. But if I was teaching a class where I'm specifically trying to get to some end point with people, I would never say, like, you can only take one photo and you can take as many as you want. I would tell people that like one photo a day, I think is, would be a great idea to make people gather their artistic thought. And may, you know, not every day is gonna be a winner. That's something that everybody can learn from. Like, just because it's like, you know, it doesn't work doesn't mean like you learn something from that.

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

if you're not going to take a chance and this is, that's one of the things I really like about shooting film right now is that, I get the images back like a month later, you know, like, it's not like I see it and I see it and I come back and I go like, huh, I don't know. Like I said, it didn't work out, I guess I, you know, I should, or when I go back to that, I should do it differently or, you know, like this one really came out like great, but it's different than what I thought it was going to

Raymond Hatfield:

Mhm. Mhm.

Casey Fatchett:

So, like, those sorts of that experience of going like, oh, I'm really retracing my thought process from when I was out there taking the photo and now seeing what I, what the result was and using that to learn. And adapt to what am I trying to do next time?

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah, well, I think one of the things that like, I find, with a lot of new photographers as well is that, there's almost as like, so like those cameras that you have, you know, maybe they're, I don't know, take a guess. Like how old do you think they are?

Casey Fatchett:

they're probably like 50 years old.

Raymond Hatfield:

Okay. So like 50 years old and yet like they still work, which speaks obviously to film. They're made out of metal. these are, built like a tanker, right?

Casey Fatchett:

they're, they're not the, this is as heavy. Like one of these with a little lens on it is just as heavy as like a DSLR. like

Raymond Hatfield:

Right, like a flagship camera. Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

it's,

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah. But like, at the same time, new cameras today, they go obsolete much quicker, right? And even, like right now, maybe not right now, but very recently, we've gone through the shift from not only film to digital, but from DSLRs to mirrorless. And what I have found, which I think is so interesting, is that there's almost this apologetic nature in photographers, if they're shooting on a DSLR, which is only like You know, maybe it's even a recent DSLR. It's only like three years old or something. there's this apologetic, like, I only took this with a DSLR. Sorry. Like it's not mirrorless. I want to upgrade, but this is what I can afford. But at the same time here you are shooting with a 50 year old camera. I'm also like my professional camera that I would shoot weddings with is older than my daughter, you know, who is in like elementary school now, cause it still works great and I love it. Like, where do you think that comes from?

Casey Fatchett:

I think that there's a, it's kind of our consumer society of like, always like newer is better. And it's always going to be automatically like the new one is automatically going to be better than the old one. Like, yes, it might be an improvement. And one of the things I always love to tell people is they start Oh, pixel counting things. I'm like, you know, how much resolution you need to like, Really gain any sort of meaningful difference. Like you need to triple the number of megapixels to double the resolution. So, if I have a 24 megapixel camera, that's basically twice the resolution of an 8 megapixel megapixel camera. Do you know how many years? Of difference. That was between eight megapixels at 24. That was a while. There was like, you know, and I mean, we're still have cameras. Like the R3 is 24 megapixels. You know, it's yes, there are new bells and whistles on things. I think that it can become a. One, it can become a crutch for people to lean on, to sort of like having the camera do all the things for you. And it's, it's funny because I'll be on, you know, various online forums and Facebook and reddit, whatever. And you'll see people like trying to understand why their camera is doing a thing, you know, like, why is it focusing over here? Or, why is the exposure like way off? Like, well, You know, again, I'm not trying to be if you need to know your equipment, whatever it is, whatever, whether it's a film camera, that's 50 years old, or it's a brand new mirrorless. I, when I switched, I mean, that switched, I still use my DSLRs for things. I have an R5, when I like, there's a difference in like the controls, like the, one of the things I would say to Canon if I could talk to them is the, for people who making the switch from one to the other, it was not as intuitive as I would have liked it to be. there were some things in like the controls that I was like, okay, you totally switched this to a different way. And it's not necessarily better. Um, it's just different. I understood that, Controls for things changed because the size of the camera changed. That's fine. but there were things like in the menus that they like made weird. Uh, I don't know. It just, uh, but yeah, I think there's this sort of feeling that people get that. Oh, is. If it's newer, it must be better or, and yeah, I also see those like apologies. Oh, I only shot this on a, you know, five D mark four

Raymond Hatfield:

Right.

Casey Fatchett:

you know, it's a great camera.

Raymond Hatfield:

also, like, if it's new, it is better, right? Like, like, there's no denying they're not going to make a newer camera that's worse, at least intentionally, right? So, like, the hope is what's newer is better. But I think that there's been such a, shift into, you know, You can't get what you want unless you have the newest. You know what I mean? And that's where I think is the biggest problem.

Casey Fatchett:

Yeah. Because I think that there's a, it's a misconception that you'll only be able to do it if you have the latest piece of equipment,

Raymond Hatfield:

Right. Which is wrong.

Casey Fatchett:

which is absolutely wrong. and it's one of those, okay. The, Uh, it's not the gear saying it's the photographer is true to an extent, like, you know, you could give me a phone and I could take some good pictures with the phone. depending on what it is, like, again, I've seen all of these, on various photography websites, which I will, which will go nameless for now. Uh, so and so shot a wedding on an iPhone. And it's like, would I do that? No, they have like three other photographers. They're shooting with, uh, full on professional cameras and they shot with a, yeah, that's going to work for some pictures. I mean, I can get good, reasonable photos from my iPhone. I can get good photos from my film camera. I can get good photos from my old DSLRs. I know what I'm looking for and what I need for certain things. So again, there's a, it's not the gear. Works to some extent. Depends on what you're trying to do. Yeah, you might need a better lens. You might need, a different piece. You might need some like lighting equipment to make your artistic vision work, but you don't necessarily need the top of the line piece of equipment or the most brand new thing to do that. Like, you know, mean, we all suffer from gear acquisition syndrome. I need the, I need a new thing. I need a new thing. I think if we can all take a step back and look at what you actually have in your hand and think about what you're trying to create, that it's that you can achieve your vision most likely with maybe a couple of tweaks. If you need like something. else. but one of my, one of the things I love to do is I'll sit there and I go, I want to do this shoot. I want to do something like this. And I look at it and go like, well, what gear do I need for that? And I'll go like, eh, do I really need a scrim that costs 3, 000 to shoot this? You know, and I can get some PVC piping and some fabric and whatever. I'll make it for 50 bucks. doesn't have to be the top of the line. cameras, when you said like, oh, you know, cameras go obsolete. Very quickly. Do they? Do they really go

Raymond Hatfield:

unquote obsolete, according to every, you know, YouTube review.

Casey Fatchett:

Yes, because they're trying to sell new cameras.

Raymond Hatfield:

right.

Casey Fatchett:

That's like, yeah, it's not like Nikon and Sony and Canon. And they're going like, you know what? You can still use that camera you bought three years ago. It's going to be pretty much just as good as the new one. with some minor improvements, here and there, and that's the thing. It's like we get into. Specification, like, what are the specs? Oh, it can take one more, like the buffer is like one or two more images per second. you're not blowing me out of the water here. Like, yes, it's an improvement, but it's not like, it's not like we went from, a propeller plane to, you know, a supersonic jet in like one. Step it's, you know, there's, there's, it's a gradual building. Yes. A mirrorless. A new mirrorless camera now is going to be better than a DSLR from 12 years ago. Yes, it's going to be better. But is it like light years ahead? No, it's, it's that, that 12 year old camera is still going to be able to take some, quality images.

Raymond Hatfield:

So then, I'm going to take your own words here. You said that you could take a great photo with a phone. You could take a great photo with film cameras. You could take a great photo with your DSLR cameras. Why did you upgrade to mirrorless? Like, like what did going mirrorless, what did upgrading from a phone to a DSLR, like what did those things do for you? Why not just buy old gear?

Casey Fatchett:

you know, I honestly upgraded to Miro, so I started shooting more video.

Raymond Hatfield:

Okay, so it helped you achieve something that you wanted.

Casey Fatchett:

it's better for video than, my DSLR is just, you know, better face tracking. and that was honestly like that. And, the weight was a little bit better. I mean, there's some things I still don't care for out of mirrorless. Uh, battery life

Raymond Hatfield:

Were you shooting video on your DSLRs?

Casey Fatchett:

yes. And I also had a dedicated, uh, video camera.

Raymond Hatfield:

So what Mirrorless did is it made your job easier here.

Casey Fatchett:

yes, significantly for video. and I, there are things that I love about it's, you know, the quality of the images are great. It's fantastic. It's, uh, the R five is a Powerful machine is and the more I use it, the more I like it and it's great. But what I say that if you told me I couldn't use it and I had to use my mark four or my mark three I'd be like, all right. I mean, I'm not gonna be like, okay ladies. Oh, it's terrible. My life is there's no way I can do this I've got a like on my shelf behind me. I don't know if you can see it I've got a mark to a mark three and a mark four You In amongst the stuff, I use them. I still use the mark for a lot. it doesn't, I do think that the age of the gear is the most determining factor in creating quality images.

Raymond Hatfield:

What

Casey Fatchett:

I think that's you. I think it again, like most, which we say, like, you know, the gear doesn't matter. It's the photographer. It is the photographer. You have to be willing. And you don't have to apologize for you like I know, like I've seen people create amazing photos with like a point and shoot camera, not because they were like, oh, I've got to, you know, like, that's what they had. They were able to, create great pictures. Um, yeah, you don't have to like, sit there and apologize because you. learned on a, Canon rebel, the XTI or whatever. Like it's Like and you're still taking good photos. It's the people who like come in and like, I have the latest gear. Look how amazing my picture is. That's the, you know, you're just trying to tell people, Oh, I've got, I was able to spend the money on the latest equipment as opposed to, I really thought about what I needed. And I, when. You photographers who are starting out and they started asking, I go, what would you do differently about your cameras or whatever? what would you do differently? And I always tell people I would invest in lenses before I would invest in cameras. just because lenses last, I mean, last, like we said, they don't go obsolete, but you'll, I've still using lenses that I've had for, you know, 10, 12, 15 years.

Raymond Hatfield:

What about your Minolta's right there? How old are those lenses?

Casey Fatchett:

Those lenses, the film camera lenses are again, like probably from the seventies.

Raymond Hatfield:

And light still enters the lens? Wow! That's amazing! Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

like something like these have had since I was a teenager, which is a really long time. The only thing I've ever had done to these cameras is I had them professionally cleaned once about 15 years ago, and they fixed a couple of light leaks. in the housing of the camera. That's it. and then recently, just because I was, you know, I've been shooting more film and I was, there's kind of a, since I am a Canon guy, I got this Canon AE 1.

Raymond Hatfield:

Ah, cool. That thing just looks like a tank. I love the look of the

Casey Fatchett:

It is, I mean, it's, it's, it's solid. It's just solid. And like, you know, one of the things I like to do is just like, one of the things I'm working on is when I go into New York city, like I'm just taking one of my film cameras and I'm going to snap some photos on the street.

Raymond Hatfield:

hmm.

Casey Fatchett:

That's it. It's just like, Oh, you know, like I'll see them later. Yeah, it's, uh, that's just sort of like a little treat for me.

Raymond Hatfield:

Right, right.

Casey Fatchett:

but yeah, it's still, it, they work the same way as the SLR mirrorless thing is like, it's just some mirrors,

Raymond Hatfield:

Mm

Casey Fatchett:

like that's, The difference. I mean, it's captured in the same sense of it's a lens that lets light in. You determine the aperture and the shutter speed. what is the golden triangle we have between like, you know, film sensitivity, whatever your, your sensor sensitivity is. So I, so depending on who you are, aperture and shutter speed, It's all the same. whichever camera you're using.

Raymond Hatfield:

Every photo, literally, like, ever taken, uses those three elements. Like, the shutter speed to the, the, an aperture, and sensitivity on whatever it's being captured on. Like, that's it. That's all that it is. Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

and learn those things. That's what I Learn Learn your things down to like where you really understand that. And that's when gear becomes less important.

Raymond Hatfield:

Right.

Casey Fatchett:

If you really start to understand. and again, there's, it depends on the type of picture. If I want something with some motion blur in it, I know that I might need a slightly longer exposure so that we capture that. It's like, okay, well, how am I going to compensate with that? Am I going to compensate with sensitivity? Am I going to stop down a little bit so that, we have a little bit more. Do I want more depth of field? Those sorts of things that you, when you start to understand the balance of each picture. To get things right, you, like

Raymond Hatfield:

The whole world is

Casey Fatchett:

camera you're using, right. The, the camera you're using starts to become less and less important.

Raymond Hatfield:

I think it's always funny, looking at, Like, at least, maybe it's just me. the type of photos that I take, sometimes I like taking the, slow shutter photos to exaggerate that motion. No new camera could come out that could help me take better slow shutter photos. You know what I mean? nobody's ever working to make a better 1 30th of a second or 1 15th of a second. Everybody wants to go either faster or go higher on their ISO, which isn't really conducive to most photographs, unless you're in, like, the right condition, I've found. But they focus on that because it's

Casey Fatchett:

Yes. Yes. Focus. Um,

Raymond Hatfield:

Unintended. No pun intended.

Casey Fatchett:

yeah, the, uh, I, I think that's interesting because where I would counter that is, the types of sensors and what kind of noise they you're picking up and a longer exposure is better and whatever. Sure.

Raymond Hatfield:

Just if you're

Casey Fatchett:

But yes,

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

it's not a, it's not a selling point of cameras to be like, Oh, you can take a longer exposures. And that's one of the things I've learned about, you know, with film, um, yeah. Shooting these film cameras is just looking at the settings that you can choose, like the highest setting you can go to for your shutter is a thousandth

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah, right. Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

on on one of the, you know, all three of these is a thousandth of a second. And it's just like,

Raymond Hatfield:

If a camera came out today and could only go to 1, 000th of a second, like nobody would buy it. And yet for, you know, almost a hundred years, like that was the best that you could get. And people still were able to create incredible photos out of it.

Casey Fatchett:

right. Yeah. I mean, look at those photos. Like, yeah, there's like, that's, that's the, I think some of the disconnect. Is go look at photos from the, twenties and thirties and, or,

Raymond Hatfield:

90s.

Casey Fatchett:

the nineties, the last, the, the, you know, the 19 hundreds, the last century, uh, the last millennium or whatever. Um, yeah, look at those photos and go like, oh, hey. They didn't have all of this stuff and they, they were still capable of creating amazing like Ansel Adams was not out there like shooting at,

Raymond Hatfield:

Of

Casey Fatchett:

128, 000 ISO. Uh, yeah, yeah, there's, you know, something to be said for. It's not a knock against new gear, but it's that you don't necessarily need it, create wonderful images.

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah. When I, uh, this is, just wait. I'll relate it to photography. Hold on. When I, when I was in high school and like, it was time to, get your license and stuff like that. I didn't want a car. I don't know why I didn't want a car. I just wanted a, uh, a motorcycle. So, when it came time to get a motorcycle, I thought and if anybody knows motorcycles, like enjoy the story for what it is, but I wanted to buy a bike that was like 750 CCs, which is, uh, it's a, it's a good size bike, it's a big bike, it's a good

Casey Fatchett:

it's a big boy

Raymond Hatfield:

Especially for a 16 year old, 15, 16 year old. not

Casey Fatchett:

a lot of power for a 16 year old

Raymond Hatfield:

Yes. And, my, my mom had said you know what, maybe let's look for like a 250. And I almost like laughed at her cause I thought a 250 is like, I don't even think I can go on the freeway with a 250. Like that is so,

Casey Fatchett:

like, yeah,

Raymond Hatfield:

exactly. Yeah. Looking back, that's probably exactly what she was thinking. But, so I ended up getting a 250. Right. And, I don't know. it was underpowered. there was so much that this bike was lacking and I realized now looking back that getting that 250, getting that thing that was not the best, getting that bike that was like, 15 years old at that point, uh, that was underpowered, that every time I'd come up to a light and there was another guy on a motorcycle right there, like they would laugh at me, made me a better writer for when it came time that I was ready to upgrade to a 750. I knew more about the basics of riding a motorcycle than. You know, I would have if I just got a 750 as my first bike. And I kind of see photography in that same way, of Get the cheapest thing. literally, get the cheapest thing. figure out how you want to use the camera. In my case, figure out how you want to ride a motorcycle. Like, where you, where you see fit. And then, when it comes time to get the thing that you want, You're going to be ready for it. You're not going to be, constantly looking for the best of the best because you already have that solid foundation. So I think it's like if, as you said, if you build that solid foundation and then the power comes to us and not the camera. And then we can, I don't know, I don't want to say dictate how we use our gear, but it's, uh, it's easier that way. Right,

Casey Fatchett:

The cameras are dumb. They do what you tell them to do. And like exposure modes, the number of people who don't understand exposure modes kind of staggers me and like how the camera sees things. And they're like, oh, why isn't my camera exposing correctly for? I want to, how do I create this kind of shot? Like, if I had a penny for every time I've seen a post, how do I create this type of photo? yeah, I'd, I'd probably have, you know, yeah. 10 or 20 bucks. But, uh, the,

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah. And

Casey Fatchett:

yeah, a good amount of pennies. Um, but the thing is like, you know, understanding how your camera sees the world and being able to make it capture that picture is, your job as the photographer. And, it goes right back when you're talking about, get the cheapest thing, it goes right back to what we were talking about earlier about the film cameras is, you know, these are manual exposure. If I have a limited number of exposures to shoot. I really have to be thoughtful and intentional, and that makes my life so much easier when I then go out and shoot with my mirrorless camera, which can do all sorts of fancy things, but I know how to, lock in for my goal, and I know how to use that piece of equipment when I get there. yeah, it's again, like, you know, if I learned on a, Two seater Cessna, whatever, how to fly. And then I, you just like, instead I, you plop me in a jet and I'm like, there's like thousand different buttons in here. Like what, like, my favorite part, one of my favorite parts of a Top Gun Maverick. Is when the kid gets in the back seat, like when Miles Teller gets in the back, he's like, there's like 800 fuses in here. Like, I don't know. What do I do? He's like, I don't know. Your dad just figured that stuff out. Like it's, there's, there's all these bells and whistles that you don't understand. it, yeah, it was like lock down those, foundational elements and you can, then you can use the features of that newer gear to your advantage in a better way. If

Raymond Hatfield:

Or choose the right better gear. Because now you know what it is that you want. And what?

Casey Fatchett:

Choose the gear that works for you and what you're trying to accomplish as opposed to, oh, I saw some guy on YouTube and he has this camera and these lenses and says that those are the most awesome lenses in the world. That's it's the, I don't know, social media thing that gets me like that grinds my gears, makes me shake my fist at a cloud. is the, here are my camera settings for this photo.

Raymond Hatfield:

Oh, right. Because nobody can use that. it's not going to be

Casey Fatchett:

good is that to anyone? Right. Guess what? Lighting conditions might be completely different when you're out there. that doesn't guarantee you the same photo. And I think that there's, you know, trying to take that shortcut instead of understanding why those camera settings work in that particular situation, as opposed to saying, these are the camera settings that you should use.

Raymond Hatfield:

Well, I watched a video the other day that was, it was, somebody had comment. Okay. Let me, in the video, somebody was talking about they went out on a photo walk and shared all their camera settings. And then in the comments, like one of the first comments was somebody saying, thank you so much for sharing these settings. Like nobody else wants to share their settings. It's like they're, you know, keeping some sort of secret. Okay. And that was the most, liked comment. And I was like, there's such a disconnect here. It's I think people aren't sharing their settings because, if you're a competent photographer, you know those settings aren't gonna work literally for anybody else. In any lighting situation ever. that's what it was right there for them. It's not that there's gatekeeping going on. But at the same time, new photographers, they need to start somewhere. and they're looking for some sort of answers. So, that's a, it's a hard balance to find, I think.

Casey Fatchett:

Yeah, I think it's, I mean, and I can appreciate that, starting out mentality and going like, Oh, what is this? And that is one of the things that I think that digital really makes it easy for you starting out, but you have to look at your settings. And I think that maybe that's the thing that, that, I don't know, we're in such a rush to create a whole bunch of content all the

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah, because everybody else does.

Casey Fatchett:

Right. and, you know, like this endless cycle of trying to get stuff out as quickly as possible. has probably led to a lot of the AI issues as ago. I can just, you know, if I do this for an hour, one day I can create enough stuff for the whole week. as opposed to, going out, shooting, coming back, looking at the photos, look, what were my settings, what settings did I use and what isn't good about it? Like what didn't. land for me in this photo, or what, what did it like, look, this is great. And then understanding like, okay, well, that's when I shot with like, at a lower ISO and, a slightly higher aperture level, like that's when things really clicked in. Oh, how was the light when that happened? Oh, okay. Like, that's what you like making those connections between What settings you use, as opposed to looking at somebody else's settings when you have no idea what the light was like or, what the situation was and then just going okay, well, I'm just going to use their settings and then go from there and then get mad when I come back to come back and like complain in the comments going, I used your settings. I didn't get a photo of anything like this.

Raymond Hatfield:

Or worse, I used your settings and my photos are garbage. I must have to upgrade to the new A70M4M7 or whatever. Right?

Casey Fatchett:

exactly, I need,

Raymond Hatfield:

it's not the other YouTuber's fault. It's not their fault. It's their camera's fault. You gotta upgrade. That's how they get ya.

Casey Fatchett:

The cameras can't, like I said, cameras are dumb.

Raymond Hatfield:

cameras are dumb. Cameras are dumb. So, then let me ask you another question here, because I feel like we've been, I think, if somebody's listening, they get the point now about cameras. And hopefully they feel like, oh, maybe my Rebel is good enough, because it is. Yeah, you are good

Casey Fatchett:

shirt idea. new t shirt idea. I called it.

Raymond Hatfield:

Would that sell? I wonder if that would sell. Make it. I wanna know. I wanna know. Okay, but so like, let's talk about other gear real quick. In particular, Flash. Because. I hear a lot of pushback from photographers about using flash. and I think, I mean, this has been going on for a number of years with, natural light photographers, whether they use natural light because it looks a certain way or simply because it's too complicated. But now I feel like as we, continue to progress and now we have things like mirrorless and the technology gets better and the ISO performance is better and the, now there's in body stabilization, so you can shoot at a lower shutter speed and things like this. I feel like that conversation continues to get magnified. Like, what's the point of Flash? Where do you fall on that? Do you see a time where you could potentially shoot a whole wedding without Flash?

Casey Fatchett:

Uh, no, I don't, here's, well, again, depends on the scenario if I'm in a dark space and in here is what I have always the flash is another tool to have in your toolbox when the situation arises where the photos are not going to look good. Even if you, the thing that people, it's getting slightly better. And I would say that, on my, this is one of the things about having newer gear that at a higher ISO, ISO kind of, you know, like Rob Hall, it's like, Oh, it gets the ISO thing in my head. Um, yeah, whatever, anyway, higher sensitivity, there's more color depth in a higher sensitivities now. And I can say that I can shoot something probably. at 3200 on my R5 and it will still have pretty decent color depth. But once I get up into, once you get it up in like 10, 000, 20, 000 and higher, the colors start to get really muddy. And if you're shooting a wedding, it depends on what you're going for. If I'm shooting black and white. I'm not so concerned about it. but if I'm shooting color and I want those colors to look good, and I don't want it to just be like completely ambient lighted, um, because sometimes the ambient light looks terrible. Sometimes you've got like some amber gels

Raymond Hatfield:

Look at you right

Casey Fatchett:

going. Oh, I mean,

Raymond Hatfield:

With, the

Casey Fatchett:

washed out. I'm so washed out. I look. It's just like the whole forehead, which is expansive as it starts anyway, is just like completely washed out. and makes me think I've got to get a new, sort of diffuser over my, uh, my skylight, to play with that light. Um, I think that flash for a lot of people, especially. People who term themselves natural life photographers, I know how, what, listen, I, I thought flash was imposing when I was starting out and I was a natural life photographer. It wasn't, it wasn't a thing then. I just used a lot of natural light because I was like, okay, well, I don't know what to do with this flash. but I also used reflectors a lot for portraits, to like, modify the light, like bounce the light back and get the light that I needed. but, and then my, my flash at that point was sort of. Mostly TTL flash and, uh,

Raymond Hatfield:

an auto mode.

Casey Fatchett:

auto yes, in automatic mode. And then learning not to point, if I was gonna point it at somebody, I needed to diffuse it a little bit and, the, or bounce it off of something, but like bouncing it off of things that didn't affect the color of the light, um, is the ceiling. Wood, because if I bounce it off of a wood ceiling, I'm automatically going to get some browns and reds and yellows in there That I might not want So yeah, they're like understanding the light more how it moves and the inverse square law, it all seems like so, so overwhelming at first, I think that using like some auto modes on there and like when you're starting out can help you feel a little bit more comfortable, but like putting it on manual and like getting again, it's that, that getting out and practicing with the gear, makes you feel a little bit more. Like understanding, I understand now when I go to a wedding, what settings based on the size of the room. Am I pointing it directly into the dance floor? Am I bouncing it off the ceiling? I know what settings I need to use on my like off camera. Lights basically almost like I can dial it in within probably, a range of power of one or two, usually like pretty fast. Um, but then it's like, you know, sometimes you need to adjust because it gets darker over the course of the evening or whatever. And that's one of the great things about having a transmitter on your, like, the wonders of, you know, now it's so much easier. Like, when I started off trying to use on camera flash, it was. Or off camera flash. It was like a pocket wizard that had no power control

Raymond Hatfield:

or off. Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

just on or

Raymond Hatfield:

Walk over to the stand, bring it down, adjust it, send it back up. Try it. That wasn't right. Go back over, bring it. Yeah, I know the worst. Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

Now it's just like, Oh, I just like dial it in. Oh wait, it needs to be a little brighter. These will be a little darker. I have zones of, you know, flash I can use that. That can seem very overwhelming at first. And I know that feeling, it really did feel that way for me when I started out. But the, how I learned. Was again by practicing and sometimes there's a great saying that if you're not prepared to be wrong, you're never going to make anything original or worthwhile.

Raymond Hatfield:

Oh, I'm writing that down.

Casey Fatchett:

it's Sir Ken Robinson. I got it like sitting on my desk and my, and that's, I think that's fairly accurate as far as the saying goes, but like, It's true. if you're not willing to make mistakes, I think this is okay. This may be the thing. That younger or more experienced photographers and probably a lot of older photographers, it's probably across the board. A lot of things. People are afraid to make mistakes. They're afraid they're going to get judged. They're afraid they're going to put something out there that people are just going to rip apart because the internet is a place where. people love to make their comments on other people's work, especially my, one of my absolute favorites is when people comment on my stuff and I go to look at their profile and they don't have a picture of themself or like really any other images in there, like, or the, you know, it's a private account, whatever. I'm like, you're not putting yourself out there to be judged, but yet you're like, totally happy to like, go out there and like, just.

Raymond Hatfield:

Do it to everybody else. Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

Right. Exactly. It's just like, uh, yeah. Okay. Troll. Whatever.

Raymond Hatfield:

you know, I mean, they've watched enough YouTube videos, so they know how photography works. Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

I've, I've watched two and that makes me an expert.

Raymond Hatfield:

They're still waiting to buy their first camera, but they've watched enough videos. Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

lot of, the, I think that it's the, uh, it's the fear of failing in some way, or which is probably the whole thing of apologizing for your gear is like, I'm sorry, my gear is the, not up to snuff because that's why I failed. and it's, you have to be willing to. for it not to work because that's how you learn. and that's why I am a big proponent of practice, practice, practice. Then when you have the gig, You better understand your gear and what you can do with it, uh, when that rolls around and you don't have the time to sit and go, what will happen if I adjust the power this way and, you know, I used to sit in my apartment with my flashes and just take pictures of myself and I hate having my picture taken. but just like using, like, to see what the different power settings at different distances. Is. How it affected and, you know, I still hate trying to explain the inverse square law and how like light dissipates over, distances and whatever, and like what the power settings need to be the farther and further away as the subject is. But if you can mentally wrap your head around the fact that like you, you, why you need more power. The further something is away from the light source and that the light gets the bigger, the light source, the softer, the light, which is why we use things like diffusers and soft boxes and umbrellas and things like that is to create a bigger, softer light than just like, here's the, you know, the bare bulb head of my flash. once you start to get a sense of those things, it doesn't seem as daunting

Raymond Hatfield:

Right.

Casey Fatchett:

anymore. not a matter of somebody handing you the keys to your motorcycle. That is way overpowered for you. just saying like, well, this is what I learned out, or this is what I use now that I've been here. I'm 25 years into this and now this is what I ride. Go ahead and try that out. cause that's basically what handing over the keys. camera settings and like flash settings, whatever is like, Oh, I used to, I used one 500th power on my whatever. It was like, okay, well again, it doesn't, unless you have some sort of background knowledge of, what the lighting was like and why they chose those settings, it's really kind of pointless.

Raymond Hatfield:

Yeah.

Casey Fatchett:

hands on.

Raymond Hatfield:

I love it. I love I love all this, uh, this fun stuff and even kind of exploring these wild topics. But Casey, I want to say thank you so much for coming on today. Before I let you go. Listeners are here that that beautiful velvety voice of yours. And they want to hear more. So, let us know where, we can do that.

Casey Fatchett:

You can find me on all of the socials at the nerdy photo. All one word. No dots, underscores or dashes. at the nerdy photo, uh, tiktok, instagram, reddit, formerly known as twitter, threads, et cetera. and you can find the nerdy photographer podcast on all major podcast platforms. Uh, come give it a listen. It's fun.