The purge.

Two years into the pandemic and not being able to shoot. Not being able to connect with fellow creatives left me woefully uninspired. My camera sat, untouched for well over a year. I thought maybe it was time to get rid of it all and if I decided to get back into it, I'd just upgrade my gear then.

So I did. Sold my cameras, my lenses, my accessories. All the lighting equipment and other little things that help make things easier when you shoot. What I couldn't sell, I gave away. Before I knew it, the only camera I had was my iPhone. Didn't need much more than that to capture memories of my dogs. Oh, and the kids too.

About 6 months ago I received a message on Facebook that I didn't expect. Before I get to that question, I need to mention that a few months prior to that, I purged all of my camera gear (big dummy move) because I wasn't shooting anymore and wasn't feeling all that inspired. Well, if you couldn't already tell where this story was going, I was asked to shoot an event in June for UFC Legend Randy Couture's, Xtreme Couture GI foundation. My response? Absolutely. Followed by an 'oh shit, I need to find a new camera'.

So that's what I did.

I kicked myself in the ass and spent the next few weeks poking around the web trying to decide if I wanted to fork over the cash for a brand new camera or try my luck with used. The other question was if I was going to stick with a DSLR or go mirrorless. I knew I definitely wanted a full-frame sensor. I ended up going for a used mirrorless and found a mint Canon EOS R on OfferUp. A solid camera that had some bugginess when it launched. It came with a new bag and a Sigma 35mm ART lens. The previous owner said they were selling it because they never used it and the last two owners said the same thing. Huh. Hopefully, that was the truth and not due to the weird design.

After getting used to the 5DMKIII, that EOS R was really foreign. No thumbwheel. No joystick; you used the touch screen instead when your eye is up the digital viewfinder. The eye-tracking autofocus was pretty damn slick though. Tack sharp.

Before the event date, I tried to practice shooting occasionally, but taking pictures in no-stress environments didn't do much good. Oh, and I quickly realized I was going to need some new glass as well as that prime lens would not be flexible enough for event shooting. I needed some zoom capabilities.

A week before the event I coughed up the dough and got a new RF 24-105mm lens. Love it. Reminded me of the EF 24-105 I had with the 5DMKIII. I was slowly but surely building my kit back up and was mostly ready for the big shoot.

That day was a long one. It started going full speed when my alarm went off at 3 am and didn't end till I hit the pillow at 10 pm that night. Everything turned out great and I made a lot of good contacts. I also had a pretty good time. Looking forward to doing it again next year.

This time I'll keep my gear though.