The Two-Step Cure for G.A.S

Nikon D7100 + 35mm f/1.8 DX Lens

With photography, it’s very, very easy to fall into the trap of wanting the latest and greatest tool that comes out. The best body. The top of the line glass. Superior lighting. This can be especially true for new photographers. We want to get into the thick of it and the desire to be well equipped can quickly outweigh financial discretion.

The easiest way to avoid such a pitfall is two step process. The first is knowledge. YouTube tutorials that fit with the type of photography you’re trying to achieve, pay attention to sites that cover the topic in depth, use Medium, use Flipboard, whatever resource you have. Understanding the fundamentals of how the elements of photography work by themselves and how they intertwine is a boon. The pursuit of knowledge should also apply to your current equipment as well. Know your lenses, know your camera body, what it’s capable of, know it’s limits. Be familiar enough with what you have to know what combination to use, when, without hesitation.

Nikon D7100 + Sigma 17–50mm f/2.8 + Nikon SB-700

The other part of the equation is experience. Creating projects and scenarios where you have to push yourself with lighting and angles and being creative. Want to understand how f-stop and ISO work together in hard to shoot situations? Get out and shoot in dark areas. Shoot in natural light. Shoot in an office space if you can find one, around the house if you can’t. Once you hit the limit of your current equipment, that’s when you begin to rent out and purchase gear, slowly building out, repeating the process over again. Not only does this provide a more sensible road-map for getting the gear you need and not just want, it’ll make you a more knowledgeable and versatile photographer in the long run.

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