I recently heard a story told by Nick Saban, the head football coach at the University of Alabama. Coach Saban said that when he was a kid back in West Virginia that he used to go fishing with an older gentleman. He said that he never caught a fish, but when he went with this man, the guy would catch fish every time. He would catch all kinds of fish, but he would throw back the big ones and keep the little ones.
Saban said that he wasn’t catching anything, so he finally asked him why he was throwing back the big ones and keeping the little ones. The man replied, “Well, my frying pan is only 9 inches wide.”
Saban said when he heard that story that he purposed that no matter what happened in life, work, or play that he would always have a frying pan the size of the moon. He went on to explain that he liked telling the story to his players, because it is a great example of self-limitation. You can’t exceed the limits you place on yourself.
How many times do we as photographers, base our success on the size of our frying pan, or what type of equipment we might have. If you are fortunate enough to own a frying pan the size of the moon then I’m proud for you. However, for those of us who aren’t, maybe we can begin cutting the fish to fit the one that we do have. I’m certainly not saying that we shouldn’t buy new equipment. In fact I’m currently in the market for a new lens. However, my point is that whenever we do find ourselves limited by our equipment, to use our creativity and think of another way to make it happen.