The Cost Of Enthusiasm


I have to stop myself from doing it. Totting up what photography has cost me over the years, I mean. No one wants to hear how much was spent and I don’t want to admit to being a profligate.

It did not start out like a leak in Scrooge McDuck’s money vault…I wanted to shoot pictures on 35mm film and a family trip through Hong Kong provided me with a new Pentax Sv camera. It was my pride and joy and got used extensively for years…racking up negatives and slides and burning up a few dollars. Had I been content it would have been cheap enough. But no photo enthusiast is content when the advertisers want to show more equipment.

As with many of the readers, the years flowed by in a sequence of new lenses and accessories, and cameras acquired as novelties or specialist devices for possible uses…uses that mostly never came. Some were high points and should never have been sold on, and some were low points and never should have been bought in. No photo earnings ever supplied more money back than went out – at least until I took up a position as a sales assistant in a camera shop and was able to assuage my desire for novelty by playing with toys in the shop for free.

There have been enough good, fun images over the years to reconcile me to some of the expense, but there has also been an insidious effect – that of addiction to new vs old. It calls for more money than retirement offers, and like all addictions will be painful to resist. But fortunately wisdom in the form of science and experimentation does show how minor the improvements are with the newer offerings and endorses a more cautious approach to the game. I am still encountering people in highly paid employment who buy as I did, so there has been a good chance to sell the unused portions of the inventory at a decent price.

I do hope that they stay at work and do not read this post. It is no good scaring off the game.



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