Downsizing Technically

February 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Do you ever just get into something and buy everything you think you need, only to find out you don't need half of everything you have? What's worse is, by having all that stuff you disable yourself to be creative, because it's such a bind to haul it everywhere, plus if it's electrical gear, you'll want to make sure everything is charged and ready to go before you venture out on whatever it is you were planning on doing.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is, I have too much stuff and it's pulling me back. I'm just not sure how to deal with it, other than to get rid of most of it on eBay and the like.

If I list the stuff I have, I can honestly justify why I have it, but if I'm being honest with myself, the argument for "Just in case" doesn't cut it anymore. That's the mantra of a hoarder, and in the photography business, there's plenty of us about.

I had this awesome drone, it did everything I wanted/needed it to do, but I was always worried it would get damaged when we traveled about in the Motorhome, especially when we had some many kids staying in it on our travels. So I bought a massive case so that I could put all my gear into it comfortably. When I say massive, I mean you could bury someone in the thing (with the aid of a saw, but I digress). I was pleased as punch with the case, everything was safe and protected as intended, but then it was a pain in the ass to take with us, it just got in the way, so I stopped taking it, and there it sat, in the studio, in its big ass case, not flying.

Then I got a great HD Camcorder for interviewing people, but one wasn't enough, not if you want to be able to film the interviewer too (i.e. me), so I bought a duplicate of the same camera, for consistency of course! Then I wanted to be able to record the subject from a different angle at the same time, so I bought a 3rd. I went out and bought a wide angle lens for one of them, more tripods, more microphones, then more lighting, and a bag to fit all this stuff in... I think I've done 3 interviews with it in the last 2 years. I mostly talk to a camera myself now (new project coming soon), so I really don't have a need for all these cameras.

I've another 3 sports cameras, those GoPro's you've probably seen on TV, just to give you a multi-angle view of the same activity, those I'm keeping cause they're awesome, and the size of them is just so convenient.

Obviously, if you're getting this email there's a good chance you've seen me working a wedding or something, so you know I've two cameras for that, and for a very good reason, speed and resilience should one die for some strange reason. Those babies aren't going anywhere, but the rest of the stuff, do I really need it anymore?

You should see the camera bags I have! I've even got a full belt system going on, which I used for a couple of times. It was supposed to be more practical for me but it ended up being just another hindrance I didn't need, I felt like fecking batman wearing it, so now it sits in the attic with 20+ photography books, user manuals and the boxes most of this kit came in.

Having a Motorhome helped with keeping all this 'tech' together, but we got rid of that last June, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I didn't miss it, cause I really do, but the time isn't right for us to have one, as the children really don't like going away in it. So we went back to a tent for the odd weekend away, which has been one weekend away, and again, the kids weren't too fussed on that either, even though the Missus and I loved it.

Over the months, that urge to just shoot off to the beach and chill wouldn't go away, so we bought a Bongo.

Mazda Bongo1995, Diesel Mazda BongoThe Mazda Bongo on the beach in Benone, County Londonderry in Northern Ireland.

Most people have never heard of a Bongo, but they're simply awesome. I think they started building them in the early 90's in Japan, right up until 2005 when unfortunately their factory burnt to the ground. Fortunately for the UK buyer, they're right-hand drive and are what's called 'Grey Imports', so require little in the way of re-registration for the UK roads. You can sleep 4 in the uncoverted ones, as the seats all fold down into a big double bed, and the roof pops up where a further 2 can sleep. You can convert them easily (for a cost) into full campers, but for now, we're happy to have it as is.

Now, this is where having something a lot smaller plays into downsizing the tech I really need to make videos and photographs. The normal [stills] camera still comes with me, but having sold the big drone and buying something smaller (see previous blogs), plus downsizing to just one video camera and the sports cams, it means that I essentially have everything I need for a weekend away in the Bongo. The plan, however, is to change the video camera to something more stabilised instead, like the camera below...

Cool right?

I have everything I need to fully utilise this camera system, now I just have to find a way to fund its purchase, which is why I'm having a sell-off. I have even got the most practical bag to carry everything I need in the Bongo, with nothing getting damaged, and easily accessed.

So this year's plan is to get this all into place, remove what I don't need, focus on what I do have, and push the creativity to the forefront of what it is I'm passionate about, and that's making videos and taking pictures again. I guess you can only fully realise what it is you need, once you've learned fully what it is you don't. I'm trying hard to get that into my children, that making mistakes is the first steps to achieving success, and not to worry about when you get things wrong, just so long as you learn from it and move on.

What's your passion? Are you getting out there and indulging in it? What's holding you back?


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