Happy Lunar New Year: Save up to 65% on membership for a limited time! Upgrade now

I'm done buying stuff

Published July 12th, 2011

If I can't make good photos with what I have now, I'll never be able to make good photos. Early on I got caught up in the "buy gear, be a better photographer" hoopla. If I could start over, I'd have used that D50 with 50 1.8 until it didnt work anymore and focus on reading and looking at photographs and shooting, shooting, shooting. Im past that. I have some decent gear now and that's nice but I spent way to much money before I had any understanding of how to "make a photo". My gear was "taking photos" and I had no idea why some were good and some were bad.

It took a while but I learned, like plenty before me, that no amount of gear can make up for a gross lack of knowledge and some God given talent. My pledge is to not buy a new piece of equipment unless 1) It's a direct replacement for something lost, stolen or broken or 2) Some how I started making a little money doing this, and the money from it allows me to purchase something needed to make more money.

If that never happens, I'll be fine. I've found the learning to be a rewarding hobby and the creation of photos entirely fulfilling.

Login or sign up to comment.

Chris Edwards  over 6 years ago

Thanks for the comments. Ronnie I too have an exception....sort of. I'm going to post an entry again soon about it. The camera bag. I can't stop myself from looking at and loving dozens of camera bags. I have 4 currently. I know I'm not alone on this one and I would guess that with 4 bags I'm still a "casual user". More on that soon though. Thanks again all.

Dave Morris  over 6 years ago

Excellent post Chris, I agree with you. When I converted from film to digital everyone was on a hype of having as much as possible in one bag. I too followed like a sheep in those days and had to sell my equipment due to financial problems but when I managed to work myself up again I was a lot more selective on my gear and I chose exactly what I needed to achieve my photography style.
A very good photographer once gave me a 24mm prime to use, then said now go take photographs, I was a bit taken back and said what can I get here with a fixed focal lens, I cant zoom into things, and he said to me now I will learn to walk and get closer to the subject. That taught me a huge lesson in photography that I will never forget... and that is make your gear work for you no matter what you have, and of course the results have followed...

Ronnie Boehm  over 6 years ago

Generally I agree with your post. No need to pile up on lenses you'll never use, or buy pro-bodies if you stay in P on your D70 because it is already pushing your limits. There are exceptions though. I got a lightmeter a few weeks back and don't even head out without it anymore. It instantly improved my pictures. I didn't even know I wanted, let alone needed one until I messed around with a friend's.

Robert LeBlanc  over 6 years ago

I've only recently broken out of the mentality that newer gear will make better photographs. I think I'm going to adopt your pledge too. Great blog post - Cheers!