Hot Air

Photograph of two hot air balloons is a white puffy cloud sky.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve given up on collecting camera gear. Not that I have a problem with being a collector, but more because I’ve come to the realization that collecting cameras and lenses isn’t really adding anything to my bottom line. I do try to keep a business sense about me, so anything sitting on a shelf that is usable but isn’t getting used, I more or less consider it a waste of time, space and money.

Now that mirrorless camera bodies have entrenched themselves into the photography gear market, I frequently analyze my photography kit and try to identify any holes or problems with my gear that could be improved upon and determine rather or not a new purchase will increase my productivity, quality of work, or profits from my photography sales. To this end, the only mirrorless body I’ve developed an interest for is the Canon EOS R7, and what I see in the R7 is a possible replacement for a Nikon D500 I sold a year ago.

On paper, the Canon R7 looks to be a solid replacement for the D500. More resolution, higher frame rates, better video capabilities, smaller and lighter package. I would use it primarily as a wildlife photography camera, as I did with the D500. So, as soon as I finally show interest in a mirrorless camera, Canon makes a bold move. They are now going after third party lens makers, effectively cutting off future lens offerings from any manufacturer but themselves. I don’t buy a lot of third party lenses, usually Tamron or Sigma when the offerings appear right, but I have to step back when a company tries to close their system. Canon has never had a problem with third party manufacturers in the past, so this looks to be nothing but money grubbing at the end users expense. Well, I don’t think I’ll be buying a Canon R7 now. I’m not investing my future in Canon until (if and when) they change their business practices. Sorry Canon, you’ve chased me off of switching to your mirrorless products. I’ll be fine.

Moving forward, (don’t you just love that clich√©), it reminds me of my days in the corporate world. Oh how I long for moving forward again.

I read the internet photography websites from time to time. Looking for something of interest, something well written, something pertinent to my photography life, something with deep intrinsic value to humanity. It doesn’t exist. More or less it’s mostly repetitive yammering, designed to peak your interest in giving somebody money without actually providing you with anything other than hot air to inflate you consumer balloon. There are always convenient links to a sale. I was a content contributor to F-Stoppers a few years back. What a waste of time that was. They never paid me for my first published article, so I quit writing for them. Junk press. DPReview has been owned by Amazon for some time now. It has some utility of you want to see what the different offerings are regarding camera equipment, but their shtick has grown a bit boring as well. They try to be something for everyone but I get the feeling that they are more concerned with glossing things over with glittering generalities and their use of video reviews is a total turn off. I don’t watch video reviews of camera gear. PetaPixel, big yawn. More of the same. Thom Hogan’s “By Thom” is a bit different. He’s a good writer and his sales pitches aren’t as severe as most of the other photography websites, but Thom has this horrible shtick of incessantly talking about the business side of the photography market. I have to take it in doses. Knowing how well Nikon or Sony is doing financially isn’t something I really give a hoot about when it comes to reading about photography. I’m looking for ideas, not promotions. But hey, everyone is trying to make a living. It is what it is.

Still moving forward.

I’ve been revisiting the idea of joining a photography club. The idea being I’d make some new acquaintances, maybe revisit some old acquaintances, maybe get a few fresh ideas and most importantly, get out of the house more often. I was in a few photography clubs about 10 years back. It was hit and miss for me though. I made new friends and it did get me out of the house at least once a month. Ultimately I realized it wasn’t fun though. Most of the clubs here in the Denver metro area were suffering from a lack of diversity and an overabundance of political division (just like social media.) It got to the point that there wasn’t a point to it, other than to massage egos and dealing with the insecurities of others. There’s one club near me I’ve been contemplating visiting. The problem is they aren’t meeting in person. The thing holding me back is that the monthly meetings are hosted on Zoom. Heck, I’m trying to get away from the computer and get back out with others doing what we love and sharing a little pleasant personal interaction. It’s not flipping my switch. I’ll just hang loose on that one for now.

The best times these days are when I do a photography trip with a friend or two or simply get out for a day with a buddy. Low stress, low maintenance, no logistical issues other than figuring out where to eat breakfast. That seems to be where I dwell at the moment. It’s a lazy approach to photography, but I’m not trying to become a commercial success or be a photography guru for others.

I’m still managing my Facebook photography group though. After about 9 years, it’s found a groove. It sorta fills the photography club niche. The people in the group are talented, polite and they aren’t pretentious about what they are doing. The best thing about it is there isn’t much hot air.