You Can Have A Question, An Answer, Or An Argument

You Can Have A Question, An Answer, Or An Argument

It all depends on what you want.

If the questioner is one of your family, or a friend or client, and they ask you what’s the point of getting some particular piece of equipment or doing some especial procedure…well the best answer of all is to actually show them.

If you’ve got a new lens that renders macro portraits of the moon at wide-angle while you are at the motor racing circuit…and you want to incorporate these at your wife’s next wedding…well, show her how good things will look by taking some shots right there and then and Blurtooth them over to the widescreen television over the top of the Eurovision grand final. You’ll have their attention.

Or show them the reviews. At any one time there are a minimum of fifteen forums, media releases, blogs, bogs, and yellow dogs that cover any particular product. They cover the full spectrum from apotheosis to anathema, so you might have to review them before you present them as justification for maxing out the credit card, but a little creative praise always goes a long way. Try to select the sites that write in English.

Or point out how restricted your photography was in the days of Verichrome Pan and keeping your back to the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00PM. If that was yesterday, you might need to brush up a little on your digital skills before you ask for enough money to buy a Nikon D5, but rest assured the shop assistants are on your side. They stay at your side in case there is any recoil or exhaust blowback as you fire off your first digital camera.

Okay, all joking aside, every purchase you make has a purpose. It can be to make your photography better, or make it easier, or make it more fun. It can assure you of professional success or hide your lack of skill. It can make you feel smarter, more artistic, more sophisticated, or more challenged. If you pay up promptly, it can make us feel good as well.

What I’m trying to say is there really doesn’t need to be a lot of justification in photographic purchases:

a. We’ve all bought stuff on a whim. Some of us have bought stuff when we were three sheets to the wind, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that we bought a bad thing. I saw someone purchase the world’s best rangefinder camera and lens in that condition and could only reflect that when they woke up in the morning they wouldn’t have to regret it.

b. We’ve all bought something on a friend’s recommendation. If it worked, they’re the wisest person in the world. If not…well, I often wondered if friendships have ever foundered over poor lens choices.

c. We’ve all bought something based on an advertisement. That’s why we write ’em, Honey. The business of presenting items for sale in print or with a video is just that – a business. Don’t be saddened by this – the business can serve the buyer as well as the seller. I didn’t know about ( Mystery Lens A ) until I saw it in an advert and then after using it for a month I thought it the best thing next to sliced bread. I got a job shooting in a bakery…

d. We’ve all bought something secondhand.

Okay. I’ve bought a lot of things secondhand. At any one time fully half of anything photographic that I own has been owned by someone else before. The fact that they turned it in and I got it worked well to my advantage. Perhaps they did not need it – perhaps they did not appreciate it. Whatever – if it came through the shop it was guaranteed to work because the technical workshop had inspected it long before it got to the sales floor. I might have had to pay more than if I’d bought it on Gumtree or eBay, but  I know it would work or be fixed.

Secondhand is no sin. It lets you work harder and more economically. It lets you have a go at things that vanished before you were ready for them. Sometimes you find the perfect piece.

e. We’ve all bought something that was too expensive. That might get the hackles up, but it’s true. You look at the year’s expenditures and wonder at the peak. Well, that peak is there to challenge you. If you spent that much you need to get it to do a lot more than your whim said. Time to go out and make it pay for itself.

f. We’ve all bought something that was too cheap. And here it is, in bits on the floor. That’ll teach us, if we are wise enough to be taught. Buy well, buy once, and buy at the price that it costs.

 

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