All About the Gear

I always find it amusing when quite unexpectedly I come across something from another field of activity or interest where something makes a brilliant and general insight obvious.

Browsing YouTube recently I came across and watched a brief video on air rifle shooting, as I’m in the UK, it wouldn’t be the latest AR derivative would it ? A manufacturer/distributor had sent the UK based presenter four different models at different price points for him to revue.

This video was him quickly going through the parcels he had been sent to see what he had, he would make the actual reviews later. This certainly wasn’t one of those pretentious “unboxing revues” of something which I loath, he literally undid each parcel to see what gun was in each box and once ascertained it was put to one side without it of box contents being examined in any great detail.

Light Bulb Moment

However there was something that he said which struck a light bulb and made me think, yes you are so right there ! There was one gun that was something like £1,200 and another much simpler one for £400 and he described them in an interesting way. Of the expensive one he said that there was lots of fine tuning that could be done with it and it would appeal to those for whom the “gun is the hobby” whereas with the cheaper and simpler one, this is for those for whom “shooting is the hobby”.

He wasn’t being judgemental but just making the point as with any hobby I would guess, that different people have different priorities. The reason I smile is that photography is my hobby and it is quite noticeable that at something like an airshow where lots of people will be carrying cameras, there will people that come up to you wanting to talk about what camera or lens you are using. I am always polite but frankly not interested, because I just want to take pictures.

In fact and thinking about it, I have never taken brand new kit to a one off event like an airshow because that would be a disaster if you wanted to come away with decent photographs, you need to be able to forget about the hardware and be completely at ease with it.

Know Your Kit

I can remember at a visit to Duxford on one of their flying days, loads of WWII fighters and so on, I was standing behind someone on the flight line who had all too obviously come with a brand new and rather large Nikon telephoto lens that he wasn’t familiar with. This was all the more obvious as he was standing with his back to the runway where groups of Spitfires and Hurricanes were taking off trying to read an instruction leaflet.

It was this chain of events/memories that this morning triggered a conscious appreciation and sense of gratitude on my part about how lucky I am to have the camera kit that I have. Oh none of it is ‘leading edge’ and all a bit ‘the model before yesterday’ I suppose but it is more than good enough for a photographer of my skill level. Each camera brings something different to the party, each has its own strengths and weaknesses but as I consciously rotate using each one, I am always familiar with each and the various body/lens combos on offer.

I suspect that by switching so often between the 4 main cameras I use on a daily basis, I always have that “new camera” feeling on most days and although I often shoot the same things/places, as each renders the results differently, it’s always fun.