I don’t always practice what I preach, so believe me when I say I can relate to your gear issues. I’ll give you an example. As you may know, my first passion was the guitar, and when I’m not out shooting photos, editing photos or writing about photography, one of the things I love to do is play music, write songs and and record myself.
Over the years, I’ve collected a hearty stockpile of 6-strings, as well as as enough audio gear to track, mix and produce an entire catalog of albums. However, I really don’t have that many finished songs done. I’ve got lots of ideas, but relatively few of them have made it all the way to the end of the tunnel.
Even though I have all of this stuff, instead of sitting down and actually being creative, I often find myself obsessing over the next piece of gear that I need. There always seems to be “one new thing” which would make all the difference in my sound or my songwriting ability. It might be a new pedal, a software plugin, a microphone, a preamp, a recording app for the iPad, sometimes even a brand new guitar.
Of course, is this REALLY going to make me a better musician? Hardly. Is this REALLY going to make me produce better music? No. Is it going to make me magically get over my own internal creative barriers? Not a chance.
What’s going to make the biggest difference in my songwriting is if I sit my ass down and start playing, coming with new ideas and laying down tracks, even if they’re not perfect. In other words, I need to practice and get comfortable experimenting and making use of the gear I already have.
I wholeheartedly buy into the notion that limitation enhances creativity. When you whittle down your choices to just a few essential items, whether they be cameras, lenses, guitars or mixing plugins, you’re inherently forced to make due with what you have. Less brain power is expended on trying to make choices about your gear, which leaves more that can be used for creativity and execution.
While I’m not nearly as prone to this with photography as I am with music, I still get caught up in the excitement of technology and I sometimes have to remind myself to focus less on the hardware and focus more on the process.
I know that I talk a lot about photography gear on this site, but my honest guess is that no matter what camera gear you own, whether it’s made by Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica or Fuji, you already have the right equipment to make great photos. You just need to get outside and put it to use. Nothing will make you a better photographer than spending time sketching with your camera, practicing with the settings and experimenting with composition.
Gear doesn’t make you better. Practice does.
That said, gear is definitely fun, and if you decide you do need more of it, please consider shopping through the links here on the site. That helps me out and it doesn’t cost you anything extra.
Thanks for reading. Now get out there and start shooting!