Why You Don’t Always Need the Latest Photography Gear

Why You Don't Always Need the Latest Photography Gear

If you’re anything like me, you spend half your time fighting for new business and the other half fighting your urge to spend the money you make from new business on gear. So, for a bit of fun, today I thought I’d share my own personal, self-directed pep talk whenever I feel the urge to splurge.

I see you sitting there. One window open to Fstoppers. Learning about the latest and greatest gear. A second window permanently parked on B&H. Maybe a third open to Amazon.

You must have spent half the morning so far pouring over options. You’ve looked at all the mirrorless cameras. You’ve read every review and memorized the specs. You’ve even spent more time than you’d care to admit reading the gearheads duke it out in the comment sections over everything from the importance of sensor size to whether or not having two card slots magically designates you a professional photographer.

You’ve imagined yourself walking onto set with all these new toys. Naturally, everything from the $2,500 lens to the round, metal dongle whose name you can’t recall but were told was an absolute necessity by your favorite vlogger is in your bag. And of course, you imagine you’ll use every single item in your new artillery, forgetting for a moment that you’ve been getting along just fine without any of it to this point.

As a matter of fact, if you were to take a moment to really think about it, you’d realize that anything deemed cutting edge technology can’t, by definition, be a necessity. Since photography has been around for well over a century, with amazing imagery being created long before you were born, it stands to reason that as much as you want that new LED panel, it would be hard to argue that you objectively need it.

Was Richard Avedon any less of a photographer because he didn’t shoot mirrorless? Did Alfred Hitchcock suck as a director simply because he didn’t have dual-pixel autofocus at his disposal? Of course not.

You don’t become a professional photographer by being able to buy the best equipment. You’re not being hired for your ability to use your credit card. You’re being hired for your ability to create art that no one else can create. You’re being hired for your unique voice. You’re being hired for your experience and because you’ve put in the hard work over the years to now make it all look so easy.

So, maybe all those hours you spent on Google this morning trying to get the definitive answer to whether full frame or APS-C is a superior format wasn’t the best use of your time. Maybe it would have been more useful to have spent the morning cold-calling clients for whom you can put your old equipment to use. Maybe instead of surfing the web, you should have been updating your own website. Maybe instead of having a Twitter duel over the merits of someone else’s work, you should be out creating work of your own.

Being a professional photographer is not about the tools you bring to set inside your designer case. It’s about the creativity and work ethic you have no matter what tool you hold in your hand.

So, next time you find yourself strolling down the digital shopping aisles in search of value, turn your attention instead to building the value of your own product. Instead of looking for a new camera, ask yourself if there’s a way to get more out of the one you already have. Instead of trying to convince yourself that you really need that upgraded lens, ask yourself if there’s a new way you can look at a familiar subject. And next time you subconsciously, maybe not so subconsciously, begin to think that you could really go to “the next level” if only you had better equipment, remind yourself that you can’t buy creativity. You can’t buy experience. You can only work for it.

[“source=TimeOFIndia”]

The Best Entertainment System Gear

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and Forbes may earn affiliate commissions.

A solid home entertainment system should have essential gear that seamlessly works together and enhances your viewing and listening experience. Here are a few of our favorite recommendations to get you started.

Vizio P-Series F1Rozette Rago

LCD/LED TV: Vizio P-Series F1

The Vizio P-Series F1 is our pick for the best LCD/LED TV, as it offers the best  HDR experience we’ve seen from Vizio. The P-Series F1 has a wide color gamut, full-array local dimming, and movies and shows were shown with high-quality backlighting and brightness during our testing. In comparison to competitor models we tested, it has more HDMI inputs, plus it supports Google Home and Alexa. The P-Series F1 also comes with Chromecast support which allows you to stream content from a phone or tablet. We like that it has a basic, easy-to-use interface and a game mode which lowers input lag.

Shop Now: $800

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TCL 65R617Photo Courtesy of Wirecutter

Budget 4K TV: TCL 65R617

For a great, inexpensive set that has all the features we expect in a modern 4K TV, we recommend the TCL 65R617. It’s equipped with HDR support and better image quality than many pricier competitors. During testing, we found that the 65R617 had far more local dimming zones than similar models in its price range and it offers contrast ratio, resolution, and brightness that make for a superior viewing experience. We like that its Wi-Fi remote has a built-in headphone jack for listening without disturbing others, and love that you don’t need to buy a separate Roku streaming stick. If your space calls for a 4K budget model that’s slightly smaller, we recommend the 55-inch version—the TCL 55R617.

Shop Now: $1,000

Definitive Technology W Studio MicroKyle Fitzgerald

Soundbar: Definitive Technology W Studio Micro

The Definitive Technology W Studio Micro is the perfect soundbar for most TVs because it has a simplistic design, an 8-inch subwoofer that offers impressive sound, and access to streaming services via DTS Play-Fi. During testing, our entire panel chose it as a favorite for listening to music but it also reproduces deep, textured bass which improves movie-watching experiences. It’s a breeze to set up and easy to use on a day-to-day basis, plus it has an array of connection options including two optical digital audio inputs. The W Studio Micro isn’t Bluetooth enabled, but can be controlled over Wi-Fi or with its intuitive IR remote. If you’re looking for a home theater speaker system that’s primarily for watching movies, and one that offers bigger, enveloping sound, we recommend the ELAC Debut 5.1 System.

Shop Now: $900

Photo courtesy of WirecutterSony VPL-HW45ES

1080p Projector: Sony VPL-HW45ES

A good projector can take your home entertainment setup to the next level and the Sony VPL-HW45ES is the best 1080p projector for a dedicated home theater. It’s a great option if you don’t need to stream 4K video and its color accuracy, contrast, and image quality is top-notch. It runs quiet and its lens is flexible which makes it easy to install. Professional calibration isn’t an absolute must as it comes with a built-in image reference preset straight out of the box. Although the VPL-HW45ES lacks an Ethernet port and analog video inputs, its provided features come at a decent price and of all the projectors we tested, it has one of the lowest lag rates.

Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald

Shop Now: $2,000

AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI CableKyle Fitzgerald

HDMI cable: AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable

While an entertainment system is usually jam packed with speakers, a TV, and similar gear, simple additions will come in handy when completing your setup. The AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable is sturdy, reliable, and inexpensive. It’s also compatible with all video sources and any UHD 4K TV. We think that a 3-foot cord is long enough to connect your gear to a soundbar, TV, or receiver, but if you need a longer option, it’s available in lengths of 6, 10, 15 and 25 feet.

Shop Now: $6

These picks may have been updated. Click through to see the current recommendations or availability updates for the best gear for building your home theater, the best 4K TV on a budget, the best soundbar, the best LCD/LED TV,  the best projectors, and great, cheap HDMI cables.

Wirecutter is a list of the best gear and gadgets for people who want to save the time and stress of figuring out what to buy. Our recommendations are made through vigorous reporting, interviewing, and testing by teams of veteran journalists, scientists, and researchers.

[“source=TimeOFIndia”]

Creative’s Super X-Fi Amp heads to the US

Story image for CREATIVE from CNET

Those living in the US can finally try out Creative’s SXFI Amp — and it will cost just $150.

The dongle can be used with any USB Type-C Android phone, or consoles such as the PlayStation 4, and dramatically expands the sound on your headphones such that they sound like it’s coming from speakers around you.

Retailing online on Nov. 1, the SXFI Amp delivers sound to your ears based on its ear shape and works incredibly well. Check out our hands-on for more information. The online launch in the US takes place after a soft launch in the company’s home market of Singapore, though US customers will not be able to get a custom ear fitting like in Singapore.

Lastly. Apple iPhone users who want to try out the magic will have to wait for the release of its Bluetooth SXFI Air headset, when it arrives, though Creative did not say when that’s launching.

Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens.

Fight the Power: Take a look at who’s transforming the way we think about energy.

[“source=cnet”]

The cofounder of Chairish talks about what’s hot in vintage decor

Anna Brockway, cofounder of online marketplace Chairish and a former vice president at Levi Strauss, is known for her taste-making style and loves flea markets, Delft blue and white planters and Vladimir Kagan mohair sofas. She knows a lot about what vintage and antique pieces are in demand by what people are buying and selling on her site.

Brockway joined staff writer Jura Koncius last week on The Washington Post’s Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt.

Q: What’s trending in art? Is the gallery wall over?

A: Right now, we are seeing lots of interest in Pop art. (Think large-scale, bright colors and ironic takes on commercial themes.)

As for your second question: Long live the gallery wall! We have seen piqued interest in a new take on it, though – more like a tile look where pieces by the same artist in a similar theme, shape and frame are used in large grid configurations. It’s a more sophisticated, and maybe a little calmer, take on the gallery wall approach.

Q: We live in a mid-century home and own almost exclusively pre-1970 furniture/decor. Our family room sofa has seen better days, and we’d like to replace it with a washable slip cover with a mid-century modern look. Do you have any suggestions?

A: I would recommend a simple Lawson (or square) arm sofa with a tailored slipcover. Look for a low profile to match the rest of your design.

Q: I’ve just started antique hunting for my home. What are some vintage home decor items I should look out for?

A: I would recommend starting with vintage rugs, lighting (like table lamps) and occasional pieces (ottomans and small side tables). These will add personal style to your space as you start to develop your own vintage aesthetic and usually aren’t big financial and space commitments.

Q: I love the sturdiness and quality of older furniture. How do I make these pieces more transitional? I see ” just slap some white paint on it” all over Pinterest, but there must be another way to respect the piece and give it a new home.

A: Making traditional brown furniture relevant is all about context. Two tips: I like it when a traditional piece is used in a highly edited room with lots of negative space around the piece. In other words, get rid of the clutter! This allows the beauty, solidity and character of the traditional piece to really be appreciated.

Secondly, surround the piece with a light color. The main thing that you want to avoid is the heavy, all-dark look, and that can be accomplished through the thoughtful use of color.

Q: What’s the trend in vintage metals? Is brass still hot? Is vintage moving to a postmodern phase? Are the 1990s back? What’s your favorite mix of periods, textures and colors?

A: For metals, we’ve seen a sustained interest in brass. But I will say that I love it when folks fearlessly mix metal types for a more eclectic look! It’s tricky, though, and sort of “advanced decorating.” The safest move would be to pick a lane and stay there.

Regarding postmodern, we do see a growing following for Memphis inspired design. I happen to love postmodern accents and think they are especially chic when partnered with traditional French pieces. It is a very sophisticated juxtaposition.

Q: It seems that antique and vintage oak furniture is “out.” Have you seen this trend and if so, why do you think that is? Are there any types of oak antique furniture that are in demand?

A: I grew up in California where for a long time oak furniture was popular. You are right that in its original form, oak is not super happening right now. However, we do see designers using cerused finishes to update these pieces. The finish takes the yellow out and puts an emphasis on the texture of the oak.

Q: I’ve been seeing lots of lacquered furniture and vintage Chinoiserie used by designers for the past six years or so. Do you see this lasting?

A: I do. Lacquered pieces are a surefire way to bring color and sparkle into a space. And chinoiserie is just a chic classic that pairs well with so many styles. I love it mixed with midcentury modern styles especially.

Q: I am trying to sell some of my parents’ Danish contemporary rosewood furniture. Someone from a local mid-century modern store is interested in the dining room chairs, but not the table. Am I going to have trouble selling the table without the matching chairs?

A: I would sell the chairs. The trend is toward mixing tables and chairs types for an eclectic look.

Q: What fashion trends are you seeing translate into the home?

A: Animal prints have been all over the catwalk, sidewalk and are now really a staple in home decorating. You can see animal prints in seating, pillows, rugs (my favorite) and lampshades. Patterned and pleated lampshades are a whole other trend we are digging!

Q: What do you see as the glaring trends on the West Coast vs. the East Coast? Is it boho on the West and industrial on the East, as I suspect?

A: One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing local differences in style and taste.

My experience is that it’s not really a regional difference but actually varies city by city, or even neighborhood by neighborhood! For example in Los Angeles (especially in neighborhoods, like Silver Lake) you can see more of a boho vibe, but I also see lots of Santa Barbara-style Andalusian looks in Pasadena, modern farmhouse in the Palisades, Art Deco glam in parts of Beverly Hills and unabashed, sleek mid-century modern style in the Hollywood Hills.

Texas also intrigues me. Houston homes often feature lots of smashing French antiques while Dallas embraces contemporary art and midcentury modern. More generally though, if pushed I would say the East Coast runs more traditional (and loves a window treatment) while the West Coast leans toward a more casual vibe.

Q: Rattan, bamboo and wicker seem to be popular in interiors now. Is it OK to use it in places other than a porch or sunroom?

A: Yes please! We see wicker, bamboo and rattan appearing indoors regularly and we love the whimsy, lightness and freshness it brings to a space. It’s chic!

Q: I am new to having anything other than a dorm to decorate, so please bear with me. But I see all this talk about trends – what’s in, out, etc. – in home design but I don’t understand how people decorating their own houses are supposed to respond to that. Are people actually expected to redecorate their houses continuously to reflect what’s “in”?

A: Ha! This is a fun question. Like any style-related category, trends come and go but good, classic basics remain (like Levis). Most folks today think of their home as an expression of their personal style – much like their clothes – and want to change things up regularly. My recommendation is to start with seating and table pieces that you love (I’ll call these “commitment pieces”) and look to art, lighting, rugs and occasional tables and chairs for freshness. How often the refreshing happens is up to you. I will admit to being a serial re-decorator (hence, why I started Chairish) but that’s me!

Q: Are bar carts too overdone? If so, what would you have instead?

A: I happen to find bar carts really useful for entertaining. They have gotten a lot of attention lately, but I remain a fan. That said, nothing is prettier for a party than a gorgeously abundant bar laid out atop a buffet or console table. A classic, good look and equally practical.

Q: What’s your favorite item in your home?

A: I have a massive, clear Murano chandelier in my oval dining room that was a wedding gift from my mom and stepdad (they purchased it while traveling in Venice). It’s never going for sale on Chairish!

Q: While I don’t like the idea of a formal dining room, my husband is threatening to put a Ping Pong table in there. Help! What to do?

A: Formal dining rooms are often underused, so I appreciate your question. I am not sure you will want to tell your husband this, but I have seen ping-pong tables that transform into dining tables. (Just sayin’ . . .)

Because most dining rooms are adjacent to the kitchen, modern families often repurpose their dining rooms into family rooms while perhaps including a smaller table for intimate dining. It’s a practical choice that presents a host of fun decorating options!

Q: I’m 25 and just setting up my first apartment. What’s the one thing I should splurge on?

A: Because you likely have a few moves ahead of you, I would recommend you invest in art you love! It’s easy to transport to a new space and your ability to incorporate these pieces in future homes won’t be constrained by floor plans.

[“source=businessinsider”]