One of the most under rated, but very active discussions in the creative community is about the cost and effectiveness of the so called "support" equipment that is vital in any professionals kit. The gear hounds love to talk about the latest glass/camera bodies/lighting gear, and people seam all too happy to hand over gobs of cash to have the latest and greatest stuff but somewhere along the line folks seam to have forgotten about the importance (and expense) of support gear. For me, the largest expense that I didn't consider when I was first starting out, were the cost of bags and cases to house all of the expensive and fragile gear that I was acquiring. I added up that I have spend over $2000 in protective gear in the last two years. Now, if you are a casual photographer, you will probably be just fine with asingle high quality back or pack, but if you intend to use additional lighting gear, be prepared to at least double, but most likely triple the amount of gear that you will lug around.
Other things that you will eventually realize that you need: expensive software, hard drives, card readers, clamps, stands, mounts, cords, adapters, soft boxes, sand bags, booms, and tons of other stuff.
I guess I really started thinking about this after reading an article on Ken rockwell's site about shooting RAW vs. Jpegs. His argument was that you should only shoot jpegs because of the increased need for storage and specialized software needed to process and store the large proprietary files. All the points that Ken makes are valid, but in my opinion he is missing the point. The camera and lens are not the complete system used for making digital images, but only part of it.
I was happy to see that kelbytv.com has recently posted some short videos describing and explaining how to use various pieces of grip gear. Hopefully this will help folks understand better the value of such gear.
- Posted from my iPad