Toys, Toys, Toys
Richard Lautens, Staff Photographer
Photographers love stuff. We love cool little gadgets, convertible pants and all manner of electronic whiz-bangs.
Frankly, we are just kids with expensive toys.
There are those who get into photography just for the toys and those who are into photography for the images. Many years ago I did some house and babysitting for CBC radio talk show host Andy Barrie. He knew I was interested in the photography world as was he.
One day he offered to sell me a bunch of photo equipment after he came to the conclusion he had become more interested in the equipment than the pictures. He had decided to pick up a Polaroid camera and just concentrate on the pictures. He found it very freeing to stop worrying if he had the right lens or camera. He decided to just worry about the scene beyond the camera and not the camera itself.
23 years later I still think back to his decision and how much it makes sense. Too many of us lust after the latest camera/lens/flash etc… instead of just getting very proficient with the equipment we already have. Here at the Star we have lenses that cost over $10,000 and lenses that cost $100. Either can be great or useless depending on the picture you are chasing.
What I am saying is that the fancy cameras that abound these days are the equivalent of a wrench to a plumber-they make sure they get one that will be robust enough for day to day use but also that it is the proper size for the job at hand. The wrench can only do what the plumber asks of it and nothing more, just as a camera only works if you point it in the right direction at just the right moment.
Of course I still love the toys however, particularly when the company pays for them.
Just for the drool factor, here is my daily carry at the Beijing Olympics with everything from Satellite phones to portable hard drives to computer locks to cameras and lenses. No wonder my chiropractor likes my job.!
Richard Lautens/Toronto Star