Your most important equipment

As a photographer, I learned a very valuable lesson.  Creativity does not come from a piece of equipment, it comes from inside.

Growing up in a middleclass family of six kids, we didn’t exactly have a lot of money to get anything we wanted. For my tenth birthday my dad bought me a cheap camera that used a flash cube, and the film came in a cartridge that you just popped in.(not the Rolls Royce of cameras)  It was the most basic of point and shoot cameras, but I loved it just as much as any camera I had after.  I quickly fell to using it all the time, and started coming up with tricks to compensate for its lack of versatility.

More recently, I faced a request to take someone’s picture, quickly.  First, I didn’t have a background to match what he needed, and second, I didn’t have the 300 dollars to buy one.  I am not the type to refuse a request for photography, so I looked at the background choices, and decided I could match it with a preliminary photo of a pine tree, blurred out .  Then I did a little digital touchup on Adobe Photoshop 7, and removed the color (it was a black and white picture).  Within 5 minutes I had a background that looked every bit like the 300 dollar version, but all it cost me was a few minutes of time, and there was no shipping delays.

After the background work, all I had to do was take his picture against a solid color, put the two photos together and remove the solid color.  The time, from the request to the print, was three days.  My subject made the deadline with a photograph that everyone loved.  Yes, I used tools to accomplish the photograph, but I could have used any photographic equipment.  The true key was the creativity to use what was available.

I said all this to make a point.  Regardless of what art you are into, you don’t need expensive equipment, or the latest gadget to be creative, you just need your creativity, and an open mind to see the possibilities of everything around you.

Challenge: Look at an ongoing project that you haven’t been able to finish because you couldn’t afford the equipment.  Now, look around and see what you can use to help, you may find you already have what you need.


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9 Responses to “Your most important equipment”

  1. Brian O'Rourke Says:


    Great post, and I couldn’t agree more. I almost think when you’re limited by a budget or equipment that it’s actually a plus–it forces you to solve problems in creative ways.

    Keep the posts coming,


    • apb148 Says:

      Brian, thank you for your comment, that is a very true statement. I think this economy may show more people that.

  2. PS Gifford Says:

    Interesting. My major in college was English lit- but I minored in photography.

    Everyone assumed i was going to become a photo journalist!


    • apb148 Says:

      Thank you for the comment Paul. I always figured writing and photography went together like peas and carrots.

  3. PS Gifford Says:

    And music…

  4. cruizen4u (Cindy) Says:

    This is when you really find out what you are made of. To be able to pull this off without putting out so much as a dime must have made you proud.

    You learn a lot about yourself when you put your best foot forward for someone else! Kudos mister.

    • apb148 Says:

      Not having much money to begin with helped, but it involved two things I thrive on. Helping others, and photography.

  5. Archery Finger Protection - Important Equipment for the Archer | Joint Specialist Says:

    […] Your most important equipment […]

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