Upgrading lessons

Upgrading lessons


If you grew up hearing a song about a poor old woman who swallowed a fly, read on. If not take a look here for some additional context.

I recently had an opportunity to update my camera body at an amazing price. This is a good thing  but it also came with a reminder of a life lesson I want to share.

You are never updating one thing. Always look for the connections to avoid surprises.

Every time I have updated something, it set off a chain of other updates. When I switched to a digital SLR I had to work through and replace lenses to get the full benefits. I had to buy a new flash to take advantage of features like TTL. My darkroom had to be replaced with Adobe Lightroom. (Honestly, I miss the experience of printing but not the fumes, chemicals or the long nights and failures)

This lesson applies to seemingly small changes too. I was not expecting any compatibility issues with the new camera body and this has been the case with the lenses and flash. What I did not consider was software. I’m still on Lightroom 4 which apparently does not recognise the RAW files from the new camera. This is more of an annoyance as I was able to workaround the limitation but I will need to update to Lightroom 5. That also means buying some new books to learn all the new tweaks and tricks.

Another change I had planned for was storage. Doubling the megapixels on a sensor comes at a price of larger files.  I cleaned up my internal drive to make room for images but in the longer term, that drive will need to be replaced with a larger one. The computer itself will eventually need to be replaced too and no doubt that will trigger other changes.

This lesson applies to other aspects of life too. New educational qualifications open up new opportunities. So does moving to a new town.

It can apply to your creativity as well.  I want to take that same piece of advice above and reframe it.

In photography, you are never learning one thing. Always look for the connections and enjoy the surprises.

Think about that for a minute.

When I photograph someone, I’m not just refining or applying technique, hopefully, I’m engaging with that sitter and learning about them or perhaps I may learn something new about myself and how I relate to people. When I go somewhere and make images I learn about the area, it’s history, flora, fauna and where to get a good coffee afterwards.

Accept change, understand and manage risks and keep moving forward toward the next challenge.

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