I was talking to a friend yesterday when the conversation reminded me of something I heard long ago. When I took over at the magazine I used to edit, the previous editor spent several days training me and explaining his vision of the magazine. One of the things he said—I am by necessity paraphrasing, since I can seldom remember exact wordings—"The three things a reader really needs in order to participate fully in the life of this magazine are a spot meter, a densitometer, and a sheet film camera."
Of course, he left out a fourth necessity—"a darkroom"—probably because he was taking that for granted. It was a darkroom magazine, after all.
I'm guessing not many people reading these words would consider those three things to be essential to their photography! (But does anybody?)
Thinking of the same question, I started wondering what three things a reader most needs to fully participate in photography the way I most enjoy it. Without much thought, and I guess somewhat flippantly, I blurted out, "an internet connection, a pigment inkjet printer, and a bookcase." (Leaving out a fourth because I take it for granted—some way to create original photographic images in digitized form, whether that's a digital camera or a film camera and a scanner.)
Trouble is, it's been 24 hours, and I haven't improved on that list.
So my open-ended question (this is not a quiz, and there will be no test): What three things do you most need to enjoy or participate in photography the way you practice it?
I can stand some few flippant or humorous answers (I'm pretty sure I won't have a choice about that!) but I'm anxious to hear a few serious answers too because I'm actually sincerely curious....