Stop Buying Camera Gear to Improve Your Landscape Photos

Despite many (many) articles and advice videos and IG posts on the subject, many beginners still believe that the best thing they can do for their landscape photography is buy a better camera or lens. So here’s another reminder from photographer Mark Denney about why this is not the case.

For more advanced shooters and many of our readers, this piece of advice is so obvious that it feels cliché, and yet Denney says that the most common questions he gets are still about upgrading gear. Questions like:

  • “Should I upgrade my crop sensor camera for a full-frame sensor camera?”
  • “What are the best focal lengths for landscape photography? Should I invest in a 16-35, or should I invest in a 24-70mm lens?”
  • “Are prime lenses better than zoom lenses?”

Denney believes that all of these questions get at the same thing: how do I improve my landscape photography? But there is a much better way than buying new gear or choosing the right lens or buying primes instead of zooms.

From that point on, Denney takes an interesting tack: he explains how he would recommend someone spend a budget $2,000 if they were looking to achieve the most substantial improvement in their landscape photography.

His suggestions, which you can hear in detail in the full video up top, fall into three categories:

  1. Online Tutorials – Two grand will go a very long way in purchasing great, professional tutorial series from some of your photography idols.
  2. Workshops – More expensive than online tutorials, but far more effective. It’s hard to understate the value of hands-on, in-the-field training.
  3. Travel – Better to take your current gear somewhere amazing than buy new gear to shoot the same landscapes you’ve been shooting for months.

Denney is a landscape photographer, so he’s speaking directly to this audience, but the advice above applies to many different genres. While certain genres—sports, action, and wildlife, for instance—are more gear-dependent, all types of photographers can benefit from prioritizing education, travel, or both above gear.

Check out the full video up top to hear Denney expound on each of these points with plenty of examples and sample images and additional advice. And if you like his style, you can find many more helpful videos—especially applicable to landscape photography—on his YouTube channel.

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