A Money Hole?

Don’t worry, this blog isn’t dead after three posts.  I’ve already justified it to myself.

My friends and online posts indicated that photography may be an expensive hobby.  Now I have expensive hobbies, and I didn’t see how photography was one of them.  I didn’t need to buy film, and didn’t need to develop it.  Digital storage is relatively cheap.  I theoretically only need one good quality camera.   Computers, printers, who doesn’t have these?  What about bodies, lenses, peripherals?  Let’s just say I was conveniently ignoring these at the time.  A single decent point and shoot or  a basic DSLR with a good zoom has many of the things one would need.  I would never buy anything more…


I didn’t last too long…

Of course,  I do have more equipment now.  But this is how I view it.  Optics, both lenses and filters I think will make up the bulk of my equipment expenditures.  But these are assets and not expenses.  As long as they are taken care of, they should retain a majority of the value.   I can sell or upgrade these in the future.  The other big purchase is the body, which for a decent one starts at around $500 and goes above $6K for a Canon or Nikon.  These do lose value, but the entry price point  of these cameras are coming down with each generation, especially in the prosumer range.  I doubt I’ll be shelling out this cash level every time.  Also I can buy good ones used and not be at the forefront of technology.

Traveling to take photos of course can be expensive.  Airfare, transportation, sleeping accommodations, eating out all add up very quickly.  But I do I like to take photos when I travel now.  It’s a combination of the my desire to take cool landscapes and see  brand new things.  I get more bang traveling with a camera  than shooting at home.   However, I like to travel, and so I shouldn’t view this as the expense of the hobby.  It’s something I would do anyway.  Travel and photography really go hand in hand like apple pie and ice cream.  Also traveling can be done on the cheap.  Living in Northern California, their are thousands of acres I haven’t even touched yet and are easily accessible.  Road Trips?

The real expense I see is that I only have a limited amount of time for vacation travel I have.  Everything is an opportunity cost.  Do I take a trip for the photographic opportunities or for other reasons?  Where should I go?  For how long?  Will my wife be happy with my time spent behind a camera?  To be fair, my wife is the one who is encouraging me to write this blog.  But she has little interest in photography and would rather me be in moments rather than observing them.

I tell her though that hopefully when we’re wheelchair bound years from now, we can look at these images and share them with the nursing home staff.  Maybe this blog will have survived to share as well?  (Okay, I’m getting way ahead of myself, I’m on post 3 with 10 likes)

So in my mind, it’s not a money hole, but a time hole.

What do you guys think?

Photo:  Monks in Trongsa, Bhutan

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  1. M Sanchez January 20, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Time = Money, that is what most would say. However if the result are pics like this and the memories associated with them, then full steam ahead. Good for you Steve!

    • stephentlim January 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      Thanks buddy. Hope to see you soon!

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