The Weak End of Summer…

There were no 100 degree days this summer.

I’m not saying global warming is wrong, but back in the 90’s I recall consecutive summers in Baltimore and Georgia where the thermometer read 100 degrees or above.

The current/past summer was muggy yes. Hot? Not really to me.

I switched companies that I shoot sports for. (If you want to know to whom I switched check my Facebook page or something) Shooting sports is fun but the money is drying up pretty quickly. Fewer and fewer parents are willing to buy prints of their kid once he or she (the parent) leaves an event, and those photo tents you see at tournaments aren’t as lucrative as they once may have been. Couple that with newspapers and magazines dying slowly, and there really isn’t a major demand for sports photos. I see parents and high school students with semi-pro gear on the sidelines now all the time. They may not have the passion and skill to produce high level sports compositions, but that camera and lens they now hold represents the money they would have spent on professional photos perhaps…..

Sports are in full swing though. I’m booked to shoot every weekday afternoon (after my main job) up till probably the first week of November. I’m also shooting models now until kingdom come, and will probably miss many Sundays in front of the tube watching the Redzone channel because of it. Sundays are great to shoot models for that reason however. It’s a dead day in the city for foot traffic and that’s a perfect environment to shoot in….

MICROSTRUGGLER is nearly a year old. I mainly like to shoot women and that’s what this blog will be about moving forward: photos and women…..


Model on Instagram is @myrlanis_

She only accepts followers who follow me first….

My IG is @rickyray73

Tee shirt available here.

The Bad Rap on G.A.S

Canon 70D held by a beautiful stranger…


Gear Acquisition Syndrome….

GAS is the impulse many of us have that compels us to want new tech all the time. The reason I said “us” generically and not “shooters” specifically is because GAS is not confined to digital photography. Computer builders have it too, as do digital DJ’s, music producers, graphic architects… basically anyone who uses modern tech in their profession or hobby. There have been many articles written about overcoming GAS. I will not add to that list of articles. I don’t see any problem with GAS. Actually, I think GAS can help to enlighten you as to what you like and don’t like, and is directly analogous to money that might be spent on formal schooling or paid personal instruction.

What do you mean, “GAS can enlighten you?”

To be clear, a newer, better camera won’t automatically enable you to take better photos. It MIGHT enable you to take good photos more easily however, and for many professionals this makes upgrading their gear worth it. There is a LOT of gear out there, including but not limited to half a dozen popular camera and lens brands and an uncountable number of accessories. Some gear can actually have an immediate impact on the quality of your photos. I used to shoot field sports with a 135 2.0 L Canon lens. It’s a great lens and is tack sharp when shot correctly, but it’s a prime, and thus, I missed a lot of shots as the action got closer to the sidelines. Recently I hocked the 135L and got a 70-200 2.8 IS II. The sharpness of the new lens is roughly equivalent to the 135L across the full focal range and the new lens zooms, so I’m able to get many of the sideline shots I used to miss before. Also, I have more reach.

Nothing makes manufacturers more giddy than seeing moms with GAS. Especially when that GAS relates directly to a mother’s children….

I understand that unchecked consumerism is unseemly. We feel used and exploited when we pay insane prices for new gear. Still, how else are you going to learn what you like and don’t like? Renting lenses? Who does that long term? How else can you learn how to execute what is required by you for the shoot at hand? Different gigs require different combinations and calibers of gear. If you stick with a Canon Rebel t3i and refuse to upgrade after reading this Eric Kim article, how can you ever compete with the wedding shooters in your area who are willing to invest more money in their photography than you do? There are some shots that are only achievable if you have a fast expensive prime, or a fast zoom, or a tilt-shift lens, or a camera with an extremely fast burst rate. This hipster, millennial-inspired rebellion against the evolution of your gear kit is not only counterproductive, but it ruins the challenge one feels to continually justify the buying of expensive lenses and bodies in your photography kit. How do you justify these purchases? By shooting the fuck out of whatever you are assigned to shoot and balling out, that’s how.

And yes…bikers can have  GAS too. I’ve already changed my pies…

GAS isn’t all bad. Don’t let these people make you block from your browser. If you are thinking of upgrading your favorite portrait lens, there’s nothing wrong with either choice. Keep it or sell it. It’s your prerogative, your career and your thrill when that big ass box arrives via UPS. After you get that gear set up, take your new fancy shit out there and fire off some shots. When you’re out there don’t stop. Stay low and keep shooting!

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