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Help Me Spend My Money!

Money Whenever I earn money from something photography related I put in a special high-interest bank account (or at least as high-interest an account as a bank account can be at the moment) which I named, imaginatively, PhotoMoney. Photography is by my no means my main source of income (if it was I’d be in serious trouble!) so rather than spend the money I earn from photography, I save it and then when I feel like I have enough I spend it on something photography related.

With spring arriving and the little voice in my head encouraging me to grab my camera and get outside I think it’s time to break open that bank account again and have a new piece of equipment to welcome the sun back into my life. However I have two problems; firstly it hasn’t been long since I used most of the money in that account for a roadtrip (which I didn’t consider cheating because the main aim of the trip was to get out on the back roads of the East Coast and photograph to my heart’s content). So I have about $300 left to spend for welcoming the warmer weather.

Secondly, I do not know what to spend this money on. There are some things I probably need in order to improve my photography and there are lots of things I want which may improve my photography or may just be fun to play with. So I’m hoping you can help me out, below is a wish list of some of the things I think I need or that just look really cool.

1. A photo quality printer. I have a printer but it is no where near photo quality. The reason I have my serviceable but unimpressive printer is because it was free! I am reluctant to buy a decent photo printer because for the past 5 years I have moved house at least once a year, often to an entirely new country so I try not to collect bulky pieces of equipment. I usually give clients digital negatives anyway, but still I would love to be able to print my own photos in decent quality.

2. A fish eye lens. Because they look like so much fun to play with!

3. Photoshop. I don’t mean the CS3 upgrade, I mean the program. I don’t have any edition of Photoshop. Partly this is because I hate spending money on software, I’m not sure why but I find it offensive to spend hundreds of dollars on a computer program. I think I get by pretty well using Fireworks and Inkscape but maybe I’m wrong, maybe having Photoshop would improve my finished photographs?

4. A compact camera. I love my Canon 350D but it is bulky and I can’t take it everywhere. I find I am increasingly having moments, generally when I am doing everyday ordinary things like commuting to school, of frustration because I see what I think would be a great shot but I don’t have my camera. I think a small and light compact camera could be the answer to this daily frustration.

5. A backpack like this one. Because rigging up a combination of my small camera bags and my hiking backpacks is annoying and always leaves me with the nagging worry that something will get broken. Plus nothing is as easily accessible as I would like it to be.

So there’s a few things on my wish list. As I said I have around $300 (although I could set my sights on something more expensive and keep saving). I’m mostly a travel and outdoor photographer but I also photograph children. Use the comments section to tell me what you think I should buy or give me some suggestions of things that should be on my wish list (tell me why too)! What equipment do you want to buy right now? So start typing and help me spend my money…

Ray Davis

  • Zak

    I vote for the fish eye lens – they are great fun and you’d probably have enough money to also buy the backpack.

    I love the idea of saving photography earned money for photography based purchases – I wish I had that much restraint with my money!

  • Hi Ray,
    I say go for the lens. you’ll get more from your camera. all others are welcomed satellites that are helpful but are more of convenience then necessity (assuming, indeed you can edit with no photoshop, you can try the gimp. it rocks.
    udi

  • A lens – definitely. But not sure about it being a fish eye.

    I was considering buying one but thought that for half the cost, I could get my hands a very-near fish eye lens… So I opted for the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 and I gotta say, I’m loving the results (review here http://www.bythom.com/sigma10to20.htm)!

  • You won’t buy much for these Polish bank notes ;)

    I’d go for a Sigma DP-1 compact :D

  • Michael

    Funny, but your wish list almost duplicates mine. I’ve put the compact camera at the top of my list. I also frequently come across photo opportunities when I don’t have my DSLR with me. It would be nice to have a smaller camera to carry about. They are quite good quality nowadays also.

  • The compact camera. Nothing worse than a missed chance. I have a Canon Ixus 860IS, which I’d heartily recommend. Most of all, don’t buy software if there is a good free alternative. Gimp has by now become a very, very good alternative. Free of couse. Oh, and Raw Therapee is a great raw convertor, also free. The fish eye lense, well, I agree that it’s fun, but will you really use it very often?

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