It’s no secret I haven’t been doing too much on the photography front for the last several months, partially brought about from a succession of health issues, covid lockdowns and a general apathy towards photography.
I’m over all the manufacturing hype about the latest and greatest tech as well, I’ve been down that rabbit hole and to be perfectly honest it wasn’t really worth the money or time. Perhaps for the professional photographer new tech may solve some issues but for the rest of us mere mortals’ budget/entry level gear is probably all we really need, and with smartphones now being smarter than ever they are the new Swiss Army knife of basic photography.
Then there’s the “Covid Effect”. This has been disastrous on so many fronts. From a photography point of view, it made what were already expensive bits of kit almost out of the reach of the average hobbyist photographer. Even the pre-owned camera market is showing this trend with older 600D’s with a lens selling for upwards of 10% more than they did 6 months ago. I have been tracking price trends in the used camera market for over 12 months now and there has been a steady upward trend in the prices. Add to this that there has been and still is, supply chain problems and by the time a product you are interested has arrived in store it’s been subject to further price increases as the cost of importation rises. None of this appears to be stopping anytime soon sadly.
To add insult to injury, for a good many of us, the cost of running a car is getting to the point where you need to take out a loan to run it. I’m not joking here either, the local news services are constantly bringing stories to light of families having to decide between having food in the cupboard or having fuel in the tank to get the kids to school or a doctor’s visit, or simply so they can go to work.
The last time I saw things this grim was after the stock market crashes of 1987 and 2008, the latter costing me my business and most of my retirement funds. This time I venture to think that the long-term effects of Covid are going to be more severe than anyone has anticipated. The worst of this most likely being the sociological repercussions which we are only seeing some of the problems this has brought about. Even our current government and I note other governments, really have little idea of just how devastating the Covid Pandemic has been. The old saying “We live in interesting times” couldn’t be truer.
Added to this mix is the ongoing war in the Ukraine. In the last two days we have seen it potentially take an incredibly dangerous turn with the wayward missiles that struck an area in Poland. Fortunately, this time cool heads prevailed but it wouldn’t take too much to push things in a direction no one wants.
All of this impacts our photography hobby even if we aren’t always aware of it. Wonder why the price of fuel has gone up, it’s a direct result of the necessity of Europe needing to import more from markets that we draw from, and up goes the price of diesel, petrol and oil for shipping and freight. Who’s going to pay? Why you of course. Even if you are buying locally made goods, the latest inflation rate appears to be stuck at 7.3% and you can double that when it comes to pricing as retailers have to offset this to remain in business and continue trading.
If you are like us and have a fixed income (retired) or are a low to median income earner, then going anywhere other than the shops or the doctors is now an expensive undertaking. For those of us who live in a more remote rural location (As I do), we try to avoid going anywhere if we don’t have to. This isn’t because we don’t want to but rather it’s a case of needing to. Photographically this becomes very limiting, and while I live in an interesting rural area, just how many photos of cows do I need? Socially it takes a toll as well as I enjoy the company of other people with similar interests.
On the flip side I have been re-exploring a lot of music that I haven’t really had the opportunity to listen to in some time. Last year I invested in a new Turntable & Amp to go with my latest speaker build. I will be documenting that process here in the coming days and expanding the music side of the blog, as I take a rest from photography. It is my hope that as the weather gets a little better with the arrival of summer that we may be able to add a couple of day trips around the local areas and see what we can see with our cameras. I really do need a good Fish & Chip lunch at the Raglan wharf.