• Dan Medley

Things I bought that I shouldn't have bought...

Sometimes you end up a few whiskey drinks into an evening and find yourself online shopping. Sometimes an ad sparks your questionable interest in this state of mind. Sometimes you convince yourself this thing is going to take your photography to the next level. Sometimes you wake up the next morning with a shipping notification that the dumb item you bought shipped...

I've done that once.... or twice... So here I am, with a few too many things collecting dust that I should not have wasted my hard earned dollars on. Hopefully I can help you not repeat my past mistakes and we can all learn from them. But then again, maybe I'm wrong and these things will help you become the photographer of your dreams... Probably not, though....

A Cheap Tripod

We all hate the idea of spending all of our hard earned money on something that just holds our dang camera. I regret nothing more in my photography journey than wasting money on multiple tripods that I would not wish on my mortal enemy. Suck it up, spend the money once, cry once, save crap that will just end up in a landfill in a short period of time. Research, research, research, and bite the bullet. You won't regret it after the initial pain of seeing your money disappear... But if you can only afford a cheap one, this basic one works well enough...

Inexpensive Filter Packs

One of my first stupid purchases was one of the multi packs of lens filters for my 50mm lens. I went with the cheapest price and the most filters in one listing. You know where these filters are currently? No, I'm really asking... I have no idea. I tried them once or twice, saw no real gain, did a little research, and finally realized I'm putting crappy glass in front of a nice lens. They must be in the bottom of a drawer in my studio...

The Cheapest Bag.

This is quite like the old tripod argument. Why spend so much on something that just holds my camera? That's what I told myself for the first few bag purchases. Think about a camera bag like you think about shoes, or a mattress. You're going to most likely spend a lot of time wearing this bag, why force yourself to be uncomfortable while taking photographs to save a few Benjamin's? Not worth it. Bite the bullet on this one and buy it once and move on.

A Cheap Plastic Velcro Flash Diffuser.

Like this stupid thing. I popped it on my flash once and threw it in the drawer with my filters and never looked back. Just bounce your flash off a wall and call it a day. No need to add more crap to your bag or to the local landfill. Spend the money smarter.

Off Brand Batteries.

WHY DO CANON BATTERIES COST SO DAMN MUCH?! I can't count the amount of times I've thought that exact thing over the years. I've tried a few off brand camera batteries over the years as a way to skirt past having to spend so much on them. Waste of time and money. They work, sure. But do you really want to rely on some off brand crap when you're on a gig? I sure as hell don't and regret that one time my backup died within 10 minutes of using it... NEVER. AGAIN.

And a very debated thing: Buying Lightroom Presets

While it does seem so easy and so quick to get results, presets are almost a waste of money. I say almost because there are two reasons I'd consider buying any. I'll save those for another article. But in short, no two images are the same. Just because one preset looks great when they're showing them off does not mean they will look good on your images. You'll end up tweaking them to make them your own anyway, why not just force yourself to learn and create your own sooner into your photography journey?

I'm certain there are more things. Let me know if you think I'm missing any!


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