Read this if you suffer from G.A.S.

No, not that kind of gas.  I’m talking about Gear Acquisition Syndrome, that malady that affects many, many photographers, who are drawn to the myriad of websites that review, compare, sell and discuss every new camera and accessory.  And are eager to trade up at the slightest suggestion of a new feature or better image quality.

I’ve been generally resistant to G.A.S. but have had a few bouts from time to time.

So I thought I’d share this post from, which can serve as a very good inoculation, should you need one.




Photo © Allen Mowery

He is one of the most iconic American photographers, an innovator in his time responsible for aiding in the awareness that led to the preservation of some of our most spectacular natural treasures. He has left millions awestruck by the imagery he captured and inspired millions more to aspire to follow in his steps. His skills were commissioned by government agencies, and the value of his original prints stretches well into the millions. He is Ansel Adams, and his camera was an outdated, antiquated piece of rubbish.

I am certain most, if not all, photographers have experienced it at one time or another: the feeling that you and your skills are made inferior by the equipment you are using, a condition commonly known as camera shame. We shrink back into the shadows around other photographers with “more-pro” gear than us, we avoid conversations with photographers who are knowledgeable about equipment, we miss or turn down opportunities out of embarrassment, and we find ourselves tripping over ourselves in the pursuit of “the next great thing” in hopes of being able to hold our heads high in public.

Heck, we all experience it at some point or another throughout our lives, whether it was that Trapper Keeper we couldn’t afford in third grade or the beatermobile we had to drive in high school (or those of us still driving a 20-year-old domestic whip) or the house we live in that doesn’t have the perfect landscaping and new hot tub like our friends down the street. But, one lesson that comes with age and wisdom is that none of that changes who you truly are or, in any way, alters your skills, talents, and abilities.



About Ed Spadoni "Thoughts and opinions, resources and experiences… for emerging photographers everywhere."
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4 Responses to Read this if you suffer from G.A.S.

  1. Thanks, Ed, I needed this. I’ve been on this road lately and you hit the nail on the head for me! Hope all is well with you.

  2. Prentis says:

    Interesting that you referenced my “Featured Photographer” post for this article. I suppose it is this quote:
    “Nikon has continued to offer “upgrades” for the D90 but I still consider it to be a design “sweet spot” that for a crop sensor body hasn’t significantly been improved upon. Generally it is a better camera than I am a photographer. So until I bump into limitations of the camera I will continue using it and I may wear it out before that happens.”
    Since that post I can safely say that the D90 is still a better camera than I. It has continued to perform flawlessly.
    A note about pixel count…a big push in the marketing machine is for more and more megapixels. The D90 and my Fuji X100 are in the 12 megapixel range and I have never found that to be a limitation. Heck, my wife’s D40 with 5 megapixels takes beautiful shots blown up to 8X10.

    • Ed Spadoni says:

      Thanks for the comment Prentis. Interestingly, WordPress selects, (magically I presume), the other posts to reference when we post something new. So that was a coincidence, but your comments re: the D90 are very relevant and true. There are times when I miss my D90… It’s still a very capable camera. Also true about pixel counts. Unless you going to start printing billboards, 12 is plenty. Best, Ed

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