Images by John 'K'

Life as seen through my lens…

The freedom to soar comes at a price…



Red-tailed Hawk, originally uploaded by Images by John ‘K’.

Despite what others might think, and despite being in a position to actually make a little bit of money from it, photography is just my hobby. Like most hobbies that involve specialized equipment, once you start getting heavily into it you start to realize that it’s also very expensive if you want to see any sort of progression or want to further explore where your hobby can take you. Thanks to my job and my wonderfully understanding wife I already have a pretty good selection of tools to help me explore my hobby, but as always, the more you explore the more you want the freedom to go further and push that exploration as far as you can… and that freedom comes with an even bigger price-tag.

For me there are currently ‘just’ three big-ticket items left on the “wish list”, and because of the cost involved I’m going to have to spread these out over the next couple of years. One is a telephoto zoom lens with more range than the ones I have now. I had the opportunity to try one out at the weekend (this shot was taken with it) – it was 2-generations older than the model currently available, and was lacking some features that are important to me, but the current model has those, and so that one comes off the list this year.

The next is a good general-purpose “fast” lens for shooting in lower lights without the need to resort to either high ISO (some loss of quality) or use of flash (annoying for those in the area and can result in harsh lighting). There are a few offerings that are available that when looked at as a single purchase doesn’t appear to be too expensive, but when looked at with the purchase of the afore-mentioned telephoto lens is pushing the boundaries of budgetary “acceptability” for the year and so I am likely to defer this unless I get a pleasant surprise or two later during the year.

The last I am really debating, as it involves upgrading the camera body itself. I am pushing the technical limits of what can be done with a camera that does not have a full-frame 35mm sensor. The size and density of the camera’s image sensor makes an incredible difference to the technical quality of an image, which you’ll likely not see for “typical” shooting but makes one heck of a difference when doing some of the more technically challenging photography that I seem to be drawn to (just because it’s more challenging). Were I not in a position where I now have some commercial opportunities opening up for my photography I’d be looking to carry on with what I have, but in order to maximize my potential opportunity for earnings I need to move to a more “professional” camera to get the benefits of a full-frame sensor. Nikon are refreshing their whole pro-level range, and by the time I am ready to take that next step they will hopefully have worked out all of the initial post-launch kinks, so assuming things next year are still looking as they are now in terms of career and income, I’m contemplating moving to a full-frame camera from Nikon.

The current theory is that once these are off my list I’ll be happy for a while, but we all know how that goes, don’t we!! 🙂

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