David duChemin’s reminder: What’s best for you

After years of getting photographer David duChemin’s newsletters, but never getting around to reading them because they require more than 10 seconds to scan, I’ve started making the time to read them. It turns out they are often among the best things in my email box and often provide a life lesson in the guise of a photography topic.

Today’s newsletter is one of those. He asks the same question I ask when people are looking for recommendations for a camera, tripod, travel destination, hotel, restaurant or any number of other objects and experiences. “Best for what?”

I’m always shocked by the number of people who just buy or do what others say is best without thinking about what is best for them personally. It might be gear, but it could be anything else. As an example, someone on a travel forum was looking for websites that just had itineraries without a bunch of “blah, blah, blah.” Another blogger (one who, like me, has a lot of what I guessed counted as “blah, blah, blah”) asked what it was. And yes, it was websites that told you about destinations instead of just listing where to go and what to see. The woman asking the question made it very clear that she didn’t care about all that other stuff, she just wanted a list telling her where she should go, for how long, and what she should do. She didn’t want to have to go to the trouble of deciding what might actually interest her — it was much easier to just do what someone else recommended. Of course, the opposite also happens, when someone knows exactly what they want, and everyone else tells them they are wrong because that isn’t the “best” option.

Anyway, whether you are just interested in getting whatever some “expert” says is best or really think through your needs and preferences (or are somewhere in the middle, as we all are at various times), David’s piece is well worth the three minutes it will take you to read it.