Hardware and Heartware

You can purchase photographic hardware. You can’t purchase photographic heartware.

Hardware is the machine part. Heartware is the man part.

Hardware is ubiquitous. Heartware is a much rarer commodity and treasure.

Hardware is something you turn off and on.

Heartware is something the lives constantly in you and is always on.

Hardware is a simple choice of wallet and coin.

Heartware is a simple choice of will and perception.

Hardware is mechanical. Heartware is emotional.

Hardware has to do with the hands and fingers.

Heartware has to do with the head and heart.

The photographer with extraordinary heartware skills, and just ordinary hardware, is going to do far better than the photographer with ordinary heartware skills and extraordinary hardware.

Vision always trumps gear.

Heartware always trumps hardware

I would, almost across the board, rather shoot “perfect” photographs, on the “imperfect” settings, than the “imperfect” photographs on “perfect settings”. Following me?

What a photograph says is far more important than how it was created.

If buying photographic creativity was a matter of commerce, many would own it, in great quantities.

Buy the latest and greatest gear, if you must, but never lose sight of the fact that it’s your heartware that will, eventually and ultimately, turn your mundane photos into magical ones.

Photographic creativity, apart from the obvious and not-so-obvious gifts of nature we were born into this world with, is a matter of determination, experimentation, observation, inspection, and tireless examination of what works and what doesn’t. Rinse and repeat. Often. Everyday. Where life takes you.

Again, at the end of the day, creativity is ultimately a matter of heartware, not hardware.

If I were starting my career, in photography, all over again, I would spend less time on making camera and accessory purchases, and more time on learning to see. Period.

Hardware needs to be repaired and fixed. Heartware needs to be fed and fueled.



Jack Hollingsworth