Why I Treat My $5000 Camera Like Crap
If it means getting the shot, you better believe I’ll risk covering my camera in mud.
There it was… standing in the dramatic backdrop of Monument Valley in Utah, I saw a mud puddle that was begging for my attention. I knew almost instinctively that I wanted to photograph of my Jeep Wrangler ripping through the muddy puddle at high speed. There are a lot of different ways to approach shooting a scene like that. Looking at the scene, I knew I wanted to shoot it low and super-wide. Meaning I’d be within a few feet of the Jeep, and my camera would be within inches of the puddle. This shot meant I’d briefly treat my $5000 camera like crap.
Camera’s aren’t cheap, but is your expensive gear getting in the way of you creating?
I visualized a photo in my head that I wanted to create. My photograph involved a fast shutter speed, a Jeep Wrangler, and a lot of mud. I also knew that meant I was probably going to soak my camera with mud flying in all directions. Hailey and I paid for all our gear, no Sony sponsors here, and gear is unreasonably expensive. My camera body $3999, lens $1000, multiplied by two, but we didn’t even hesitate. I gave my buddy the signal, and he drove the Jeep through the water at about 50 km/h from about 2 meters in front of us.
We got the shot. But both of our cameras were absolutely soaked and covered in mud. The thing is, creativity and vision is more important than anything else. Cameras are tools and it’s your job to find a tool that can keep up with your creativity. If your equipment is holding you back and you’re not creating your vision because you’re too afraid to scuff up your camera body, or get mud on your lens, then you’re going about it backwards.
This isn’t an invitation to be wreck-less
I’m not saying to throw your camera off of a cliff with complete disregard. I think you can be a responsible camera owner but also prioritize creativity at the same time. First of all, use the cameras that can keep up with you and your shooting needs. Secondly, insuring your gear will give you a little bit more peace of mind if the worst possible outcome happens.
Re-think what you think you know about your equipment’s limitations.
There’s a general misconception with camera gear and the photography community and that’s that camera’s are sensitive and fragile. Some are more than others, but at the end of the day, these cameras are tools. Start using cameras like the tools that they were designed to be. A lot of camera owners would be surprised to discover their equipment is so much tougher than they think. Tons of professional cameras are weather sealed. That means outdoor elements, such as salt water spray, sand, dust, snow, and sun hardly stand a chance.
Are you willing to go the extra mile to create your shot, even if it means spending a few hours cleaning some dirt and grime off of your gear?
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