Out For Delivery

When I enter the tracking number of my pending camera shipment, the status is “out for delivery”

Words I love to read but these out for delivery days are long days.

Those of you who know me know that I don’t run out and buy the latest greatest camera when one is released. My methodology for acquiring camera gear is to invest in the best of the discontinued models. That means, most often, that I purchase my cameras used, or near the end of the market life cycle so as to get the best deals.

I also tend to hang on to my cameras for quite a while. I’ve always operated on the theory that the primary purpose of a business is to make a profit. Constantly updating camera gear can cut in to the profit margins.

I normally update the kit during the Winter months. Last year I picked up a Nikon D7200 in early January. At that time the D7200 was near the end of its market life cycle and discounts were available. I could have got a D500 but why? An additional $1000 for a camera with known problems and less resolution than the about to be discontinued D7200. It’s a no brainer to me. My photography is about the quality of the photograph, not the specs of the camera. The D7200 will produce images of superior quality to the D500. 3 more frames per second just gives me more lower quality images to sift through.

My newest kit addition is a used Nikon D810, recently obsoleted by the release of the Nikon D850. I’d love a D850, but I’m not throwing $3400 at something I can get for half that price just by waiting a while. In the meantime, there is nothing wrong with the D810, even if it’s used in excellent condition. It will make a nice pair with my D750, a body I did purchase new a couple of years back. A very competent pair.

My thinking is this. Any high end DSLR produced since 2014 is going to produce images that are as good as anything on the market today. The main progress in that time is the introduction of 4k video, higher frame rates and extra bells & whistles for computer/tablet connectivity and gps. Oh, and mirrorless. I’m not convinced that mirrorless is a viable option at the moment for my type of work.

Maybe later.

In two years, the D850 may be an attractive option. It will be closer to the end of its life cycle and the used price will eventually drop below $2,000. That’s when I’ll pounce. In the meantime, I’ll settle for the D810/D750 kit for another couple of seasons.

8:00 AM, I checked again, it’s still out for delivery.

This is going to be a long, slow day.

A Moose Story

Moose Photography by Gary Gray
Northern Colorado

Since it is “Moose Monday” I thought I’d tell a brief moose photography tale.

In the above photo, I’m standing in 2 inches of water in the middle of this huge field of willows.

I spotted this moose in the field and decided to hike out into the willows to get a better angle on him as he leisurely munched on the plants. He was at least two hundred meters from me and I wanted that mountain in the background. I figured he would ignore me being that far away.

He became aware of me moving in to the field behind him almost immediately and though he didn’t show any concern, he simply pointed his butt at me and continued munching his way through the willows as he walked away from me.

I continued to follow him through the soaking wet scrub for another hundred meters or so and ultimately decided that what I have is what I’m going to get. He wasn’t going to allow me to get closer than one hundred meters and I was paying a price for my enthusiasm, as it was not all that warm and I was not all that dry by this point.

I stopped, watched, waited for about 5 more minutes. He never looked up, he never turned to the side, he just kept his position. I went back to the road and moved out ahead of him and I had to settle for this shot instead.
Moose Photography by Gary GrayThe experience was quite memorable, even though the photograph didn’t turn out to be the one I was seeking.

Some moose are better than others.

Adventures in Stock Photography

Raven Photo by Gary Gray
Raven in Utah

Today’s post is about life in the stock photography world.

This photograph of a raven was taken on my last trip to Moab, mostly on a whim. These birds have always frequented this particular area and they are totally unafraid of humans. I have seen them climb in cars and look around for food and stuff.

This happens frequently.

Without mentioning names, one of the stock agencies I used rejected this image as they felt it had “no commercial value or appeal”

Okay, fine. It’s not a work of art. The other agencies I submitted it to all approved the image.

Today, I sold the first copy of this image on one of my stock agencies and it was not just a simple 35 cent sale. It actually made me a few dollars and I’d bet it sells again.

The lesson I suppose is; any photo not earning income is worthless.

Even a photograph someone deemed worthless has value. Never take it personal when you get rejected and never believe a photo is worthless based on one person’s opinion.