Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys? / by Josh Trudell


I'm convinced every photographer becomes Batman if they shoot long enough.

They swoop about, capturing images before the flighty light has a chance to escape, with the help of a trusty utility bag.

Let’s face it – you’re looking at a Batman. (Or a Batgirl – but if you’re making that distinction, you’re probably deep enough into Batman: Arkham Asylum to understand that Oracle is a better character for this story.)

What makes Batman cool? Other than the movies and the costumes? It’s the gear – the gadgets and gizmos that help him be the World’s Greatest Detective.

Most photographers live and die with their gear bags. Lenses, camera bodies, filters, tripods, tape, batteries, cables, notebooks, flashes – you name it, it’s in there.

So, in my quest to be the World’s Greatest Photographer – what? It’s a dream… - I’m looking at buying some new camera gear.

This is a tricky stage. There are brand choices. Cost choices. Types of gear: Macro lens? Zoom? Lights? Flashes? A new camera body? It’s easy to spend Bruce Wayne’s millions on camera gear, by the time you sort through all the add-ons and should-haves.

Now, I’ve seen the guys who have it all. New cameras, lenses, filters, tripods – all shiny and bright, with price stickers still on them. Usually, I see them on eBay, selling this gear they haven’t touched in two years.

I’d like that to not be me, but it is tempting to splurge, especially after Superwife goes into her study and whips up some mathematical alchemy that shows a tax refund in the offing.

A chunk of money and Wolf Camera’s website? Verrrrrrry dangerous.

But – and this is relative to anything you enjoy devoting time to, I think - it’s not just the gear. It’s the time. It’s the patience. It’s learning and knowing. And it’s being smart with purchases – buying gear that I know I will use, not just things that look cool – so it doesn’t become a money pit of a hobby.

On that note – Alfred, let’s go shopping.