In defense of simple gear

Yesterday Jessica and I visited Portsmouth, our favorite New Hampshire town. Often we need our civilization fix, to feel a little bit anonymous, window shop a bit, relax with a pint and share a meal. We were chatting over drinks when a girl nearby (I was already aware of her presence. She had a new Canon Rebel in her hand and was fiddling with it) politely asked me about my own camera over my shoulder. I had my EOS 50D with me. She asked about the vertical grip…what it was and what one used it for. After my short explanation, her boyfriend asked me what sort of bag I kept my camera in. I told him that I don’t often bring a bag with me, …entirely true if all I’m carrying is one camera with one lens…my favorite way to walk around. He seemed a little perplexed…a camera bag was to be their next purchase to go with the new camera. They were sold on a particular bag that photojournalists have favored in the past, canvas bags that are actually quite stylish especially when well broken-in. We talked a bit more and we agreed that the purchase of a DSLR is often just the gateway to an entire system of parts…lenses, flashes, etc…but I propose that the best way to maximize enjoyment of photography is a stripped down rig…one lens (preferably a prime), one body, maybe a strobe. Use a good camera strap, no bag needed. Leave everything else at home, or at least in the car. Forget the filters. Leave the monopod/tripod behind. There are similar uses for all your tools, even in simplified photography. I’d like to write on these in near future but for now my advice is one body-one lens…and be there.

Andover, NH

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