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 DIYPhotography.net, which can serve as a very good inoculation, should you need one.
FACING THE DEMONS OF CAMERA SHAME
by 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 He is Ansel Adams, and his camera was an outdated, antiquated piece of rubbish.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.