Recently I watched a video about some wonderful magnetic neutral-density filters. I thought: “I have neutral density filters, but do I ever use them?” The answer is “no”. I have all sorts of gear in fact, and most of it stays home all the time even after switching to the Canon DSLR which doesn’t have all the built-in capacity of the Nikon bridge. Hmm. Let’s think about this.
I have often read one of my favourite professional photographers writing about how he went to a gig and brought these four cameras and those six lenses – and ended up using two of each if not less. He’s not alone in that either. How often do you schlep around a bag full of kit and never take it out? Let’s be honest, for all the fun specialized gear is it’s simply easier to just shoot with a basic set up and get what you can out of it. This is why we are often happiest with the point-and-shoot pictures we grab when “playing” with simple cameras rather than agonizing over getting just the right camera-lens-filter-settings combo – and then going mad in post-processing trying to decide over +1 or -1 variations of brightness/contrast/colours.
In truth I only ever take out the special gear when I have a specific idea in mind, such as shooting in infrared. Otherwise I have favourite camera/lens combinations and take one or maybe two and whatever happens for pictures happens. Whatever doesn’t, doesn’t. No sense getting all worked up over it, eh? One of my often-used sayings is: “If only things were different they wouldn’t be the way they are”. You’d be surprised how often that is true. Or maybe you wouldn’t.
So here’s to serendipity, kismet, chance, and fate. The artist should embrace them as friends, not view them as enemies.
Oh yes, and as an engineer that goes entirely against the grain!