How to Use New Gear

January 15, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

If you are like any enthusiast, hobbyist, or professional photographer you likely purchased or received new gear over the holidays.  I am not going to get into the argument of new gear vs use what you have - that can become a heated debate and not what I am after here.  Instead, you can apply this blog for new or existing equipment.  Getting something new, however, tends to get my willingness to try new things easier to come by.  Maybe it is the new shiny object or prestige of having product X that drives you.   But how often does that energy wain after a few short months or weeks?

I personally do have new gear.  One was expected and one was not.  I am older and my wife and I pretty much pick our own gifts for Christmas.  We do some small surprises, but we enjoy our way.  It is us and you can be you.  So, my gift of choice was the GoPro Hero 9 bundle.  My unexpected gift was from my son and his wife:  a gimble.  The gimble is a smart gimble for smartphones, but my GoPro sits on it nicely as well. Gopro on GimbleGoPro and GimbleGopro on Gimble

So, enough of the upfront chatter and on with the purpose of this blog.  How to go about using your new or existing equipment to energize or open the creative side of your photography.

This is how I go about learning my new or existing gear.

1. Look all around the gear.  I mean turn it over, read the labels, push some buttons, try to make it function, and be curious.  This lets me understand what is intuitive (to me) before I look at any instructions.

2. Look at Youtube for reviews - this will often point out the good features and the bad features.  Realize that the reviews are just opinions and don't take them as 100% spot on.  What someone thinks is a problem could be something you like.  So, watch and listen and then make your own judgments when you try the same features.

3. Try all the features.  Even if you don't plan on using them you will benefit by trying out most if not all options.

4. Don't be afraid to try things.  Failures are just as important as successes.  In fact, I don't call them failures as much as discoveries while learning new techniques.  The only failure in my eyes is a failure to try.

In the spirit of my blog here, I took my GoPro and Gimble out to try a timewarp.  You can check it out here: HVL Trail TimeWarp.

Don't limit yourself to just new gear, but also apply this to existing gear.  In this photo gallery of soap bubbles, I followed a project from this YouTube video.  I haven't blogged on how I did this and may make it a future blog.

Another example where I applied this to existing gear is before I upgraded my camera body, I took time to learn all the features of my existing camera body and got another year of use before I was ready for the upgrade.


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I am glad you found my blog.  I am a photographer with a passion for awesome shots.  I go to great lengths to capture many of my photos.  I will re-visit a location over and over knowing there is a spectacular photo just waiting to be had if I am there at the right time.   I also enjoy finding how to do some abstract projects (check out my time-lapse post) and will be writing about them.

Send me a note via my contact page for some projects you would like to see me try and write about.  I am not afraid to try almost any project.  Doing the obscure forces me to do things that I don't do with the typical photo shoot and helps me learn even more.