Who says you need the latest and greatest gear to take a good photo?
In recent years, I've acquired the Canon ROS R5 and a rather vast assortment of RF lenses, a Nikon Z7ii and a Z5, my trusty old Nikon D850 and the newer low-light beast, the Nikon D780 and a list of Nikkor lenses too long to list. But this shot here of Mount Begbie's landmark peak in a breaking storm was shot handheld on an old Nikon D5200 with the F mount 70-300mm lens at 110mm. Which just goes to show you that even an older, mid-grade APS-C camera is more than capable of capturing magic in the right hands in the right place at the right time.
I was lucky enough to snap this while walking my double-espresso-enhanced Jack Russell Terrier while she attempted to pull my arm off with her harness and leash. I looked up and caught the first waves of a storm crashing over the triple-crowned peak while the rest of the Columbia River basin was still bathed in sunlight. I never take the pricier bodies out with my lovely lunatic dog - I'd be afraid to drop them in those many sudden moments where the dog sees a squirrel, or a raven, or frankly nothing at all, and just surges forward like a bull to a red flag. The D5200 though? We've got a lot of good memories, that old camera and I, but her shutter count is getting up there, and if I dropped her when the dog went wild for no reason... well, I would be sad, but not a world-ending event.
The moral of the story is: you don't need to bring out your crown-jewel gear to get a royal shot. Always carry something. Be ready for those rarest of moments - they can happen in a blink; there and gone again like a wind in the grass. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, and you don't want to be forever haunted by the shot you didn't get.
Incidentally, that D5200 is still clicking!
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor