Thursday, October 29, 2009

the age of the laptop

It is something that I fight all the time. How in the world can my laptop truly be the center of my image editing and production business? All that is in me wants (notice the word choice) a desktop. I find a desktop aligns with my inner Tim the Tool-Man Taylor and my desire for MORE POWER! I even find myself thinking about how backup would be so much easier with a desktop. Two drives configured in a RAID array, external storage that I can take off site. Let me compare it to this:
You want a new car. Not just a car in general but a specific car. The new 2010 Camero. You love that car. You go online and configure your custom built dream machine. You start having debate sessions with your inner soul in the shower every morning ... possibly on the drive to work. Before you know it, the car has become something you need. You did an amazing job pitching it to yourself. But guess what? You already own a car. A really nice one. And no matter how cool the new Camero is... it is not a transformer... never will be.
I have been doing the same thing with desktops. Not because I need one, quite the opposite. I conveniently forget the fact that a year ago I sold my amazing desktop for the current laptop system I am using now.

This is sort of a follow up to yesterday's post. I love my laptop. In the past two weeks I have been plotting and scheming about building a premium desktop system. Just a quick thought - what lens could I buy instead of the desktop? What advertising could I invest in rather than create redundancy in my computer hardware? We all have a limited amount of financial resources - it is important to be strategic and focused around where we place those resources. There is a standard that each individual MUST determine. Where do you want to go? What do you want to accomplish? Now lets get there!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

why spend the money?

As a photographer one is bombarded with the ever-evolving digital market of hard drives, RAID systems, wireless flash systems with TTL, the latest calibrated LED flat panel, i7 Quad Core Processors ... the list goes on and on. How much time do we spend obsessing about the gear that we used? When you talk to fellow photographers where does the conversation linger? So let's talk about gear for a moment. I shoot with a Canon 20D. Yeah, I know what you are thinking. A 20D? That camera is pushing 7 years old! Indeed it is. Guess what... it still makes AMAZING images. The screen is sorta small and the ISO performance isn't as great as some of the newer Canon cameras. So ask me - when are you replacing the thing? When it breaks or fails to consistently deliver the results I demand. Last year I attended an amazing masters class that completely revolutionized my photography style and perspective. I could have spend the money on a camera - but I would argue that I got more out of the class than I would have gotten out of a new camera. If you are looking at a new camera or new flash system - stop and ask yourself if that is the best place to spend your money as it relates to your craft. Don't get me wrong. I am all for spending money. I am focusing on investing in glass because the lenses I have at my disposal directly affect the quality and style of my images. Changing camera bodies won't really accomplish that. I would encourage you to pick up a photography book. Everyone knows that I am a HUGE fan of Scot Kelby's digital photography book series (it is a 3 volume set now).

We should all take a deep look into our camera bag and figure out what tools we just lust after and what tools would actually make our craft better. Your camera bag is made up of MUCH MUCH MORE than just what is physically in your camera bag. All your knowledge, software, tools, lenses, flashes, cameras, etc make up your camera bag. So why are you spending money? Are you chasing the next cool thing or are you out there to enhance your craft?