I’ve got loads of guides on my blog to help you choose your first camera, lens and accessory combination but the truth is it’s not the kit that makes the photographer.

For this episode in my “Creative Christmas” series we’re going to take a look at how you can learn to use what you have rather than buying new photography gear.

The online photography world is one of those places that is dominated by what are commonly known as “pixel peepers”.

These are the kind of keyboard warriors who will look at the technical capabilities of a camera and judge how good a photographer it will make you.

These guys are the reason a lot of people, including myself, avoid forums on the subject of new gear, most of it is absolute rubbish and in real world situations nobody is going to zoom into your pictures at 400% (and if they do then you probably shouldn’t talk to them again).

A much better use of your time and your money is to really get to know your current kit – being aware of what it can and what it can’t do is a great skill to have. If you can instantly switch between settings on a shoot rather than standing there scrolling through hundreds of menus to find what you want, it’s going to impress people much more than having the latest camera.

This doesn’t mean having to sit at night and study your camera’s manual cover to cover and know every ridge on your lens, but the next time you find yourself drifting towards looking at some new kit, it may be worth just having a dig in the menus of your camera and seeing if there are any gems which you have scanned over before.

Tomorrow, we’re going to continue down the same path and discuss great ways to learn more about photography without having to break the bank.

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