Jun 18th


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CategoryPosted in: Freelance and Business, GEAR, Pep Talks, Travel

Buy The Tickets.

A door in Jodhpur, photographed on my first trip to India. Images from that trip benefited me more than the best lens I could have bought or the newest camera, never mind the experience and life-long memories themselves.


I ran across a great article this morning on the Adventure Journal. Simply the premise was, “You don’t need all the latest gear. Oh, and by the way, the money you spent on that expensive piece of gear could have purchased a plane ticket.”

The article also quoted Let My People Surf by Patagonia founder Yves Chouinard, a book I finished recently: “Don’t spend money on gear. Spend it on plane tickets.”

Got me to thinking, especially on the heels of three podcasts interviews I did last week, all of them giving freedom to rant about gear-lust and our addiction to the toys. And that thinking led me to the B&H Photo site. I only visit on Saturdays now, because the ordering mechanism is closed for the Sabbath, giving my wallet a sabbatical as well. And then I went to Here’s my math. ( Update:  I used Canon in these example because, while I choose Nikon, I am still much more familiar with Canon’s line-up. Nikon has its equivalents.)

Scenario #1 I Need The Best Stuff Out There

Canon 1Ds Mk III – $6,995
EF 70-200/2.8L IS II – $2,449
EF 16-35/2.8L II – $1,699
EF 85/1.2L II – $2.079

Total – $13,222

Scenario #2 I’d Rather Have Money Left Over to Photograph the WORLD

Canon 5D Mk II – $2,499.95
EF 70-200/4.0L – $669.00
EF 17-40/4.oL – $839.00
EF 85/1.8 – $419.00

Total – $4,426

The Difference? $8,796

And then I went to and priced out a Round The World ticket. From San Francisco to Paris to Nairobi to Mumbai to Bangkok to Melbourne to Tokyo and back to San Francisco.

Total with Taxes – $5,823

Still Left Over – $2,973. Almost $3000. Handy for hostels, taxis, food.

And the kicker? In no time that gear will be obsolete. Your memories and the photographs taken on 4 continents will last as long as you do. Experiences never get stolen, or go obsolete. And if you got a Canon 7D and settled for non-L-series lenses, you’d have at least another couple thousand to spend on your adventure.

I’m on a tear lately about gear, and you pros out there aren’t exempt either. Spending money on new work and personal projects will generally benefit your bottom line much more significantly, without the depreciation on gear, than the latest lens will.

Forget the shiny stuff, it gets tarnished fast. Put your camera into the bag and book a flight instead. Go make memories and photographs. Live. Buy the tickets.

Yesterday I posted a quick giveaway for a very limited – there is only one – Artist’s Print of Twilight I, Tahoe. Leave a comment on this post and one randomly-chosen reader has it signed and shipped to them, anywhere in the world. Just a comment with your name and email addy so I can notify you if you win. That post is HERE.


Feb 15th


Comments Comments 83
CategoryPosted in: GEAR, Pep Talks, Rants and Sermons

Since the Switch

Shooting portraits in the desert on the shores of Lake Turkana, Northern Kenya with a Nikon D3s, 300/2.8 VR II, and Gitzo Ocean Traveler. Photo Credit: Corwin Hiebert. As many of you already know, my transition to Nikon happened much faster than I anticipated. I got a lot of curious emails and tweets about The […]

Dec 23rd


Comments Comments 45
CategoryPosted in: GEAR, News & Stuff, Travel

New Zealand

Nikon D3s, Sigma 24-70/2.8EX, 1/80 @ f/18, ISO 800 Before I send you off for the holidays and abandon you for Jamaica, I wanted to tell you about the New Zealand trip while it’s fresh in my mind. I went to New Zealand with a hodge podge of impressions garnered from various sources: photographs, stories, […]