I am a gear junkie. I mean gear in general, not just fly fishing paraphernalia. The periodical urge of getting a new rod isn’t uncommon, for that reason I quitted browsing catalogs compulsively long ago. But that drive is rather manageable now, after all I already have a lot of sticks, and I am old enough to know that any new addition to that department won’t make me any better at catching fish, nor significantly improve my casting skills. For the price of any top of the range rod, you can get a good number of casting classes that will have a real effect in your abilities.
But photo gear… That seems to ring a different bell inside, and the fact that I own a number of cameras and lenses collected along the last twenty-odd years doesn’t seem to ease that inner itch.
Maybe the explanation for the different strength between those two Visa-burning tendencies is purely rational: rod are just plastic tubes and the differences among them aren’t as radical as we like to think. On the other hand photo camera technology is advancing apparently every month.
Just a bad excuse, I know; a new camera -and the Sony a7S is being particularly tempting in the latest months- as it happens with a new rod, won’t make me any better in the picture making pursuit.
When temptation arises I remind myself of an article about camera/lens choosing I read years ago. One statement by its author remained fixed in my mind:
Before buying new gear you should answer honestly to this simple question: will the limitations I find in my pictures be solved by any of the features of my dreamed camera? Or are those limitations due to lack of technique or artistic prowess?
If you are sincere to yourself you’ll find that most of the time it is the latter, not the first.
So to ease the itch I have found specially useful to browse hard drives and unearth some picture that pleases me. It happens that the following photo is my favourite regarding action shots. And it also happens that it was taken with my first underwater camera -a feature that, at the time, was relatively new in the market- a small point-and-shoot of rather bad image quality.
This shows me, again, that to shoot something appealing you don’t need any particularly expensive or big equipment, just awareness, a good knowledge of how your tool works, and being quick in recognizing and grasping fleeting opportunities. Pure luck doesn’t do any harm either.
So no, Santa, I don’t want that Sage X nor that Sony a7s! Yet!