A photo enthusiast's thanksgiving list

Tomorrow over Thanksgiving dinner, many of us will express our gratitude for the significant blessings we experience. I will likely do the same thing.

Before that day, however, I'm going to give thanks for the everyday things -- all the things that make my life as a photographer just a little more enjoyable. Here, in no particular order, is my photographer's thanksgiving list.

Digital cameras

Once upon a time, we would go out to shoot with only 24 or 36 exposures and make them last for the entire day. We had to make every shot count. We couldn't spray away 36 frames on one scene just to be sure we got it all.

We had to do this thing called bracketing. We would shoot one shot at the exposure our meters read, then we would overexpose by one stop and underexpose by one stop. We couldn't see what we were capturing, so we had to cover our bases. Photographers still do the same kind of thing for HDR photography, but back then we didn't do it to be artsy. It was a CYA move.

Speaking of exposure. When you chose ISO 200 on your way out the door, it was a commitment. There was no changing the ISO with every new lighting condition. How did we ever survive?

Camera rentals

I shot with far more gear than I would have ever purchased this year, thanks to online camera rental companies. How cool is it that you can rent lenses worth thousands of dollars for just the specific time you need them ... and sometimes spend less than $100. Next time you want to try gear that you don't really need to own, consider renting.


Photography used to be a solo sport. Not anymore. If you love to shoot and want to find others who share the same passion, go to meetup.com, enter "photography" and your zip code. Voila! Photography enthusiasts groups for just about every interest and genre. That's how I got started on this journey. I just wanted a few photography friends. I got a new career and a community of like minds. Priceless.

Me and my new friends on our very first Shutterbug Excursions Meetup in August 2008. (Photo by Steve Rosenbach)

Camera phones

You know the old adage, the best camera is the one you have on you. Now thanks to my iPhone, I know a camera is always within my grasp. Go ahead and do something silly or interesting within eye shot. It will be on Instagram and out to the rest of the world in moments. Is that a blessing or curse?


I love talking photography, and I consider it such a blessing that you have chosen to share and learn with me. I treasure your interest, attention, and friendship.

What about you? What's on your photography thanksgiving list? Share them with me in the comments.