Do you drive with one foot hovering over the brake pedal – not quite sure whether to stop and take that photo on the side of the road? Do you tell your family that you are just going out quickly to take a photo, but return home hours later? Do you find yourself constantly studying weather forecasts, sunrise and sunset times, moon phases and tides? Well, this all pretty well sums up me.

I just love taking photos. There is rarely a moment when I am not thinking about my next photographic journey. It really is something that becomes an addiction – something that drives you to capture a magic moment in time, an evocative moment, a moment that is timeless.

I can still visualise the stern look on my wife’s face as the family waits in the car during one of our vacations while I just take one more photo on the side of the road. One more family portrait. One more “smile for the camera.” Sound familiar?

Last weekend the unthinkable happened. While reaching into my camera bag to swap lenses I heard a loud crash. Upon turning around, I was shattered to see that my camera and tripod had toppled over a rock I thought was stable. To cut a long and unbearable story short, I am currently camera-less as it has been shipped off for what might be some expensive repairs.

So what now? The past few days have been filled with some monster storms. A photographer’s dream for creating mood in landscape photos. It is like a hunter without a gun or a fisherman without a fishing rod. Frustration is a word that comes to mind.

One thing I have come to realise during this unbearable hiatus from taking the next best photo anybody has ever seen is that it doesn’t matter one bit about how expensive your camer is or how many megapixels it contains. If you don’t have a camera, zilch is the amount of photos you will take.

The fact of the matter is that it is all about the thrill of capturing a scene that strikes emotion in you or those who see your photos. Yes, expensive cameras generally do produce better quality images, but if the composition and design of your photos isn’t there no amount of money or expensive gadgetry will give a photo that wow factor.

Many people dream about buying the best photographic equipment money can buy in an effort to produce stunning images. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. However, what I am getting at is would we still get up at the unsightly hours we do, hike vast distances and put up with whatever elements mother nature throws at us if we only had a basic camera? I believe we would.

Cameras don’t drive us to get out of bed while everybody is sleeping, especially when it is freezing outside. Cameras don’t motivate us to take an evocative landscape image. The “photoholic” in us is what drives us to learn more and take better pictures.

Just remember that next time you think that your images would be better if you had a more expensive camera. Or the next time you foolishly don’t take the time to make sure your camera and tripod are fully secure before walking away.

A lesson well learnt.

Enjoy being a photoholic.