New to photography, I recently picked up a new digital SLR camera (Nikon D3200) while studying at the National University of Singapore. In search for beginner resources, I stumbled on the personal homepage of photography guru, Ken Rockwell, who says something incredibly insightful:

You finally realize that the right gear you’ve spent so much time accumulating just makes it easier to get your
sound or your look or your moves, but that you could get them, albeit with a little more effort, on the same garbage with which you started. You realize the most important thing for the gear to do is just get out of your way. You then also realize that if you had spent all the time you wasted worrying about acquiring better gear woodshedding, making photos or catching more rides that you would have gotten where you wanted to be much sooner.

Consider, for a moment, that even the most basic digital cameras today is significantly better than the ones our photography legends used, guys like Ansel Adams. Yet even he managed to tease out landmark pieces of art.

Interestingly, this applies to almost every endeavour. To guitarists wanting the latest Taylor or Martin guitar. To cyclists envying over the latest Cervelo or Bianchi. To coders wanting the latest MacBook Pro with Retina Display. These are all tools that will help to varying degrees. At the end of the day, it isn’t about whether to make an investment or not, but rather where one makes the investment. Do we spend it on equipment, or do we invest it in improving our skills?