I received in the mail the other day the equipment catalog for Really Right Stuff. RRS makes everything from quick release plates to tripods to ball heads to every kind of photography related gadget you can possibly imagine. And in my case, far more than I can imagine. There is gear in that catalog- 100 pages long!- that I have no idea how or why I would use it.

Don’t get me wrong, it is all beautifully made and I am sure highly functional but, if truth be told, it scares me! As I page through the catalog I can’t help to feel a combination of inadequate and intimidated. How could I possibly take 30 years of photos without all this gear? And how can I still be taking pictures knowing that all this, I assume, helpful gear is available and I’m not using it?

Well, the answer is RRS gear is magnificent and essential but only if you like that kind of photography. It is not essential if you don’t like a lot of gear and gadgets and complications. You can still take magnificent photos without a bit RRS gear. Some of it will make your photography easier but most of it is non-essential to 99% of photography.

So don’t be intimidated if parts of photography are a complete mystery to you. Let it go. And while you are at it, go out and take more pictures. It is the best thing you can do.