Why Adventures Are More Important Than Gear When It Comes to Improving Your Photography

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.

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3 Comments

Duane Klipping's picture

I look to buy refurb or used bodies that were bought in haste. The money saved lets me drive and explore looking for things to photograph. I too have been in the state Heaton talks about in the video this past Winter. Very difficult rut to escape and am not out of it yet. Buying gear with this mindset should be avoided.

Good advice. I'm waiting for my sister to sell her full-frame camera that she has never used. Or my son to sell his mirrorless. People buy gear because they are told that it's necessary for their type of photography and then never learn how to use it right, and after awhile, discard it.

i find it strange that there are tons of videos and articles like these out there but every single one of them are written or produced by people who use high end gear. in this case thomas heaton uses a 5d4 and L series glass. why? why use professional grade gear if it doesn't matter? if it was really the case then why not use a rebel body and a kit lens? he shoots at f8-f11 and on a tripod anyways so why not use a cheap lens? anyways, he isn't the only one, i've seen plenty of other youtubers do it as well. i think it's stupid so use the best gear and then make a video to say it's not necessary.