What you want vs. what you need.

Creative Photography with a seasoning of Mindfulness.

What you want vs. what you need.

Don’t throw hard earned money away.

Wanting – desire VS needing.

Used to be, I would study the coming arrival of a new version of software I was using or perhaps a game I used to play.

With anticipation I read up on the new features and Desire took ever more control over my logical brain.
We are talking about Windows 3.11 and XP days here, and reading that the newest version of whatever didn’t run on my operating system stopped me at first, but as anticipation grew so did that desire.

Yeah for me you can guess what happened often; to run the new game or software I had to buy a newer operating system.

Once in awhile – after installing everything and learning that bullet speed is a PC that can’t deal with more modern software – I bought a new PC.
As I said at the beginning; used to be.

Until I got into Photography.

Desire / wanting vs. needing

Now, you have your camera and one or two lenses. You read about tripods, flashes, WLAN memory cards, camera bags, Software… The list goes on and on.

When you look for a new lens – or anything else – you will also notice that they are by no means inexpensive, even good memory cards are more expensive than normal cards.

Any- and everything to do with photography costs dearly.

This space will hopefully save you money by giving you my opinion of what you need and when.

The Basics.

Let me say that i am not advertising for any brand, however you could do worse and spend more money on other brands. These work for me.

When you notice you are truly interested in creating art instead of snapshots, consider picking up these essentials of digital photography;

  • A spare battery. Nothing is worse than visiting a new place, turning on your camera and seeing that your battery is blinking red.
  • A spare memory card. I learned the hard way that the best way to lose beautiful pictures and use up two packs of Kleenex at the same time is to use a huge memory card (64 GB). The card broke down after I had captured over 200 images and I just sat down and cried. Since then I only use 4 GB cards and always have spares with me.
  • A good camera bag with rain cover.
  • A basic cleaning kit (Lens-pen and special clothes)
  • Find a good – kindle – handbook for your camera.

Sometimes all i need is the air that i breath.

That’s really all you need to get above the beginners level.

Extra Handbook?
Yes, get a good handbook for your camera and every time you try to change a setting learn how to do it and then practice it in the field as often as you can!
You should not stand there watching geese flying towards you, knowing what settings you must change, but not knowing how.
By the time you’ve fumbled with the buttons, menus and wheels, the image has flown by.

Future advancements.

Now when do you need all the other (seemingly) 1000 things?

Actually, if you save money when purchasing, it will not cost you a fortune to advance your talent.
In no particular order – because only you know what you need next – here are a few items that can be sensible to have.

Camera bag

My 3 need cases.

Let me say it – like everyone you might read – there is no perfect singular carrying case for your gear.
I’ve broken it down to three after a little trial and error.
The small one in front can handle my camera with one lens and the extras I carry.
The middle bag takes two cameras, an extra lens and of course all the extras.
The Backpack takes everything and more. I use it when we are climbing hills and wandering. It’s always good to have your hands free.


My back-breaker tripod.

An image that is not in focus lands in the trash.

My wife and I love photography and even when we only visit a place for an afternoon we usually bring a couple of hundred images home. I’m the one who then gets to mark about 80 % for deletion.

Why do I delete images?

  • The number one reason is focus!
  • Composition.
  • Light range.

The subject can be fascinating; a deer running across a field followed by a clown followed by a fox, however if the subject is not in focus it’s not worth keeping.
There are many factors that influence getting your images sharp, avoiding camera movement being at the top of the list.
The best way to lock your camera into one position is to use a tripod.

I chose a relatively inexpensive tripod.
It’s heavy and too long for my camera bag but…It keeps my camera steady when I need it to and before it breaks I will not be spending good money on a lightweight, short tripod.
When you notice you need a tripod, study the web, decide how much you want to spend and do it.
If you get into still life or close up images made at home you will probably need a tripod.

Flash unit.

Flash needs 6 batteries and remote 4.

This too depends on the still life photography mentioned above as well as portrait photography.
We will also get into the topic of lighting this year but for now I would advise to only buy an external flash after you’ve read up on the subject and get excited about the possibilities.
As you can see with my gear, you also need to invest in quality batteries, and you may want a control unit so you can put the light source anywhere.

This image shows you what can happen when you place the flash behind the object.

Sweet or evil? You decide.


Personally, I only use these once a year. Well maybe 3 times, or 7.
My cleaning kit was in a package with them so I figured I was saving money and to be honest I am glad I have them.
Still, my advice here – as with any purchase – is to make sure you need them before you buy.


To begin with you will be fine with whatever software your operating system has to offer.
After you’ve gathered thousands of images and get into pimping tweaking or adjusting them on PC you will learn to appreciate a dedicated software.

In a future post I will show you ACDSee Photo Studio Professional 2019.
Yes I used to use a different product, but after they decided their users should pay an Abo instead of a one time cost, I decided not to go near that company again.

Alright my favorite reader, if this helped you save money I’ll be happy.

Comments always welcome!


No Comments

Add your comment