Late last year, one of Fstoppers’ favorite landscape photographers started exploring a topic that was completely new to his channel: buying a new camera. Four months later, an important lesson was learned: adventures are much more important than gear when it comes to improving your photography.
I’m a huge advocate of adventures, spending a lot of the year traveling very cheaply and going to weird and wonderful places. Would any of those adventures have been different if I’d had a bigger, better, shinier camera? When you take into consideration that I wouldn’t have been able to afford those adventures had I decided to invest my money in gear instead, definitely not. As Thomas Heaton notes, starting the year with a ton of images of which he is incredibly proud is of far greater value than any camera. And this isn’t just about the images; instead, it’s about the amazing locations, the stories, and the people he shared them with. Fundamentally, experiences shape our happiness, not material possessions.
Of course, having a camera is a fundamental part of being a photographer, but Heaton’s video is a good reminder that gear is just a tiny part of what it takes to produce great images. If you’ve ever held off a purchase and bought a flight instead, please share your tales in the comments below.