Nothing Should Stop You From Trying

Nothing should stop you from trying

At the age of 76 there are a lot of things I have come to love in my life, some things more than others. But if I was to pick just two, in order of what I love most, it would be my life partner, my wife, and second would be all aspects of photography and videography, or simply creative imaging.

In the same vein there are also a lot of things I have come to have great disdain for at this time of my life. But again, if I was to pick just two, not necessarily in any order as they are both pretty equal, one would be Donald Trump and family, and the other is chronic pain – everywhere.

So what does this have to do with anything? Actually quite a bit. Over the last 10 years or so I have been making great strides in learning to live with a minimum of photographic gear. At first the reasons for this was simply wanting to lighten the load that I was carrying into the field every time I went out to create images.

I have gone from weighty dSLR gear which at times could add up to a big backpack or shoulder bag with a load that could go anywhere from 15 pounds to 30 pounds, not including a tripod, to mirrorless cameras together with a variety of small lenses either in the Panasonic, Olympus and in the end Fuji. The mirrorless systems reduced the weight load to half of what I had been carrying.

My last “system” was the Fuji X pro 2 and three small prime lenses. The whole kit weighed about 7 pounds not including the camera bag. Finally I was a minimalist. But sadly while I loved my little Fuji outfit, it was not to be my forever gear.

Everyone I know and those I do not know all face creative challenges and many people overcome those challenges to become highly impactive image makers.

My personal challenge is chronic back pain and leg/feet pain which was brought on from getting spinal surgery to my lower back. It was failed surgery I did have a painful bad back prior to that surgery, and the surgery while many tried to dissuade me I went ahead. I suffered a great many problems because of the surgery such as kidney failure, peripheral neuropathy, and clots. I survived, but was left with a level of chronic pain that has stayed with me right up to this writing. And yes, I have tried just about every method of pain management to offset the pain, none of which has been successful.

Okay! Enough of all that. It really leads up to where I am at today.

No matter what it takes and what anyone has to endure being able to create images, art, your story, it is paramount to do just that.

Because of that and because I am forced to become even more minimal with to gear I have chosen another Fuji and it is called the X100f. It is a fixed lens camera, using the same sensor and modes of operation as my previous larger Fuji x pro 2. It was really a hard decision, but after going back and looking at a great many images I had shot with the X pro 2, it became obvious that most were produced at a focal length of 23mm 2.0 which is 35mm on a cropped APS-C sensor. The Fuji X100f has a very sharp 23mm 2.0 lens. The camera is incredibly light, small, and built like a tank.

In conjunction with the X100f I also have my iPhone Xr, and a very neat little device, the DJI Osmo Pocket gimbal camera. It fits in something as small as a shirt pocket and can take incredible 4k video, stills, panoramas, and so much more. It ways less than my phone even though it contains a 3 axis gimbal.

So now I can get out and about with one heck of a lot less weight to haul around while letting me get the images I so much want to create.

I still have challenges such as walking and bending, but with less gear to deal with I can get passed all that, and if you have challenges you too should figure out ways to overcome them if you can.

Good luck and good health.

Author: ELLIOT STERN

70 YEARS IN PHOTOGRAPHY - HAVE ALWAYS LOVED IT AND ALWAYS WILL.

One thought on “Nothing Should Stop You From Trying”

  1. Hi Elliot, Congrats on your decision to go light. Also for putting your life partner at the top of your list. 🙂
    I am so sorry about your chronic pain- this set up sounds perfect for your needs. I look forward to your images – your header image is tack sharp and a riot. Happy shooting!

    Like

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