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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Gear Acquisition Syndrome on 08/04/2013 02:07:31 MDT Print View

applies to anything ... is this you?

;)

more at link

I never made anything serious

It’s good to have all that gear, IF you do something serious with it. That was not the case in my story. I shot two rolls of film with the Fuji 6×9 and sold it with 19 rolls of Ilford HP5. The large format? About 7 shots. All that lighting gear? I even had a 90-inch umbrella! I barely made a few shots with them.

I barely have anything substantial with all my other cameras. All the personal devices? I was still not as productive as I fantasized. You see, throughout my entire professional camera owning career, I stagnated when it came to photography. I was never focused on what I could do right now but always what I could do later, when I got yet another camera or lens.

The lie

We lie best to ourselves, because we believe ourselves. I didn’t need all these cameras but bought them anyway. I had reasons, I told myself, to buy them. I had GOOD reasons too, I told myself, to sell them.

The line that always got me was “It’s an investment” — all my cameras were investments in my mind. But investments are worth nothing without commitment. Buying that 4×5 was “an investment” in my landscape photography.

Nevermind that I never really actually took landscape seriously. The only “landscape” I got out of that camera was a scene of an empty school yard at nautical twilight. That shot is still in the Readyload sheet. So is my two rolls of 120 film, a bunch of 35mm cans and all of my 110 film canisters.

I somehow believed the recurring lie that somehow my photography would be unleashed with a new camera or lens, how much better how I would be. I would think that while being oblivious to the fact that I never advanced in my photography because I was too busy to get cameras to learn anything or too shoot anything. What an idiot. I could have been 3 times the photographer I am today if I didn’t have G.A.S. So much time wasted.

Beware of making excuses to buy another camera, you will always find one. Heck, speaking of excuses some dude sued his own parents because of how bad he turned out!

Buying more and more as insecurity

I then realized what was happening, I was insecure in my photography so I was finding it in cameras. When you get a new camera you feel like you can take on Eugene Smith or something. But after the high, I needed my next fix to hide my insecurities.

That’s why I could never have enough cameras, I needed more and more stuff to hide behind, to validate myself. I needed to look at a camera and say “Don’t worry man, you’re a photographer, you have a camera, you’re a photographer.” It was of course rooted in my insecurities.

Now I am secure in my own photography because I know my intent and work towards it. I’m getting better every day. I don’t need a camera to feel secure, because I now trust myself to actually deliver.

Food for thought

The big gleaning from my past addiction, I think, is that photography and gear operate on the basis of the inverse square law. The more you invest in gear the less interest in photography. The more you invest in photography the less interest in gear.


http://petapixel.com/2013/07/12/confessions-of-an-ex-gear-addict-how-buying-cameras-and-lenses-made-me-miserable-and-lose-thousands/

Edited by bearbreeder on 08/04/2013 02:47:15 MDT.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
gear on 08/04/2013 07:12:38 MDT Print View

Less is more.

Simple is elegant.

The more you have, the more you have to take care of.

Edited by livingontheroad on 08/04/2013 07:22:37 MDT.

Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Front Range CO
Re: Gear Acquisition Syndrome on 08/04/2013 07:15:38 MDT Print View

"The more you invest in gear the less interest in photography. The more you invest in photography the less interest in gear."

So true. It took me a while to realize that the gear truly isn't that important; I'm allowed to go outside with a base weight over 10 pounds without violating some imaginary contract I signed when I got a BPL membership.

My brother works as a wildland firefighter, and most every day that he isn't working, he's out hunting or fishing or hiking. He uses extremely heavy hunting stuff, huge leather boots, big freestanding tent, etc. And he couldn't be happier. I've shared BPL info with him, gotten him to lighten up considerably, but his base weight is still through the roof. And he gets out at least 3 times as much as I do right now...

Richard May
(richardmay)

Locale: Costa Rica
the more you, know the less you need on 08/04/2013 07:47:15 MDT Print View

At one point I wanted tons of gear. Every lens and doodad. I had a studio and it was going to be the coolest, best stocked place in town. Thank goodness I could never have afforded that.

I didn't know better. Just like backpacking, I wanted to be prepared for every scenario all the time.

Now I grin when other 'togs look at my kit and say: "Wow. I'm jealous of how little you carry around."

It's true. The more you know, the less you need.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Gear Acquisition Syndrome on 08/04/2013 08:55:51 MDT Print View

I think there is some evolutionary imperative to this. We are hunter-gatherers at our core and advertising hooks right into that. There is a thrill to the "hunt" and I'll be there is some crazy endorphin-like response to acquiring stuff that gets addictive.

I've been the photography route for sure. It would be interesting to get blood pressure and respiration vitals when I walk into a camera store. I bet my pupils change and my hands get moist too.

There was a story by someone who went photographing with Imogene Cunningham and all she used was a beat up old Rolliflex and a trained eye.

I've called UL hiking "hyper materialism." The game is not only getting a list of items to use, but finding the lightest, most high performance items, taking the acquisition thing to new levels. I'm on the new-item-in, old-item-out plan which is helping.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
put your money where your time is on 08/04/2013 10:00:35 MDT Print View

I think the trade-off is different for someone that spends a total of a week or two on the trail per year vs. someone who spends a lot more time outdoors. I'm sanguine with my "full of gear" cupboards because I've used my gear collection quite a lot, and hope to do more of the same.

It's also an issue if you hike in different seasons and in other various types of "conditions". You add things like ice axe and microspikes. Warmer and colder clothing and sleeping bag and other gear variants that add to the collection. Some of this can be minimized (especially with planning), but it's a lot nicer to have a more flexible collection of gear to be able to pick the item that best fits a particular trip.

None of the above is intended to detract from the original point, which is certainly true (!). Just pointing out that having a fair bit of gear doesn't necessarily mean that your friends need to stage an intervention and enroll you in a 12-step self-help program for gear addicts.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Gear Acquisition Syndrome on 08/04/2013 12:14:37 MDT Print View

I don't want a lot of gear, just one each. That's UL, right? ;-)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Gear Acquisition Syndrome on 08/04/2013 12:19:10 MDT Print View

You can wind up like some of these folks


http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=58051

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Gear Acquisition Syndrome on 08/04/2013 12:26:17 MDT Print View

Acquisition is just a part of the process. Sometimes you have to see it to get a good feel for what it does and sometimes you have to use it a couple of times to find out if it works for you or not.

That often leads to Gear Retention Syndrome - the inability to sell what isn't working, isn't going to Ever get used (even by the kids/grandkids), will just sit there, "But if I try to sell it I won't get what it's worth".

So suck it up and clear things out...

Gear Swap
BSA
B&G Club
etc.

Do It.

Edited by greg23 on 08/04/2013 12:29:37 MDT.

Richard May
(richardmay)

Locale: Costa Rica
GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 12:57:29 MDT Print View

if it collects dust for more than a year, it gets sold!

I'm clearing out my stuff. Lots from scouts. Two heavy bags (how did I ever carry them?) Whatever I get will go towards upgrading my current kit.

I must agree, GAS is part of the learning process. And arguably an important one, how else is one to gain experience?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 13:33:49 MDT Print View

I must agree, GAS is part of the learning process. And arguably an important one, how else is one to gain experience?

by going out and DOING it regardless of gear ... grandmas gained "experience" decades ago without all this fancy gear ...

on something that is very non-technical like walking around trails ... gear is irrelevant to REAL experience

ask yourself if you are just seeking new stuff, which people confuse with experience

from the article again ...

Self talk: New is good

I don’t know about you, I like new things. Doesn’t have to be a new product but a new thing for me. I was addicted to it. Part of the G.A.S self talk was “Hey Olivier, you’re going to get some NEW stuff, imagine how it’s going to be like holding that new camera, it’s going to change the game, but you need to get it first”.

The turning point came when I asked myself WHEN will there be nothing new. The answer: Never. There will ALWAYS be something new to buy, some new camera, some new gizmo. If I didn’t stop it it would suck my life dry. “There will always be a better camera than yours, deal with it”, I told myself.

So what if another camera is better than mine? Does it mean that mine cease taking great pictures? No. So why even get a new one? I had to stop fantasizing on what I could have and start appreciating what I had. The whole premise behind my free GRD IV ebook is to help folks enjoy their camera more. And, after a few email exchanges, I believe it hit the spot.


;)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 13:37:16 MDT Print View

eric, you said -
"by going out and DOING it regardless of gear"

So how am I to know if a 'mid will work for me if I don't have a 'mid?

Richard May
(richardmay)

Locale: Costa Rica
Re: Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 13:48:31 MDT Print View

I agree that the 'fasteER, brighteER, lighteER, shinieER, newER' attracts those who don't know bettER. It takes some experience to recognize the ERrors of ones ways.

;-)

Edited by richardmay on 08/04/2013 13:49:13 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 13:56:59 MDT Print View

So how am I to know if a 'mid will work for me if I don't have a 'mid?

in that case you buy the mid and deal with it ... or better yet borrow one

but it doesnt mean you need to buy every new variation of the mid when a new one comes out ... i mean solo, duo, speed, trailstar, cricket, hexamid ... till you find the "perfect" one, until the next "perfect" goes trendy on BPL

do people really need to "experience" every new jacket, shoes, etc ... what are YOU really doing with it

i bet that no matter where you or i go ... theres plenty of people doing the exact same thing with whatever gear they have just fine

you dont NEED that mid ...

;)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 14:15:51 MDT Print View

"you dont NEED that mid ..."


I don't NEED to be warm, dry, bug-free, efficient, or light.
I Could cope if I had to.

But if it takes only a few iterations to be warm, dry, bug-free, efficient, and light, it's worth the effort - for me.

If you like being cold, wet, chewed, and carry 35# instead of #25, that's OK too.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 14:22:23 MDT Print View

well thats your call and your money

im sure theres plenty of people who are "warm, dry, bug-free, efficient, and light" using the marginally older/heavier gear you just rejected, or plenty of other iterations of different gear as well

and theres plenty of people who are cold, wet, chewed even at 25 pounds ... if the "wont hike in serious rain" threads are anything to go by here

;)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 14:46:25 MDT Print View

"im sure theres plenty of people who are "warm, dry, bug-free, efficient, and light" using the marginally older/heavier gear you just rejected,"

Exactly!

And that is why the rest of us iterate...to optimize their kit into the best experience for us, versus following the crowd on what is "the best" or what to "tolerate".

Edited by greg23 on 08/04/2013 14:47:07 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 14:55:02 MDT Print View

ahhh ... but ask yourself if "optimizing" your gear is optimizing what you are doing ...

theres never truly any "optimal" ... there is ALWAYS something shinier, marginally better, marginally lighter, "revolutionary" ...

the REAL question is ... are you wasting time "optimizing" your gear rather than going out and just doing it?

some people have so much money it doesnt matter ... time on the other hand ...

but again from the article

My painful list of cameras

I can’t really remember how many cameras I owned. All that I know is that I didn’t need them at all, but just the basics. I had a Nikon D80; then it was too big. I got a Samsung NX; then I wanted a retro camera. Got the Olympus PEN; then missed viewfinder. Got a Pentax K20D. Tried a Pentax Limited lens, loved it so much I bought another one.

Then I had some fantasies in my head about being a film photographer. I got an Olympus XA, Pentax 110 and Pentax Optio i10 then I was like, “I want the best image quality.” Got a Fuji 6×9 with loads of film.

Then I had another fantasy of being like Ansel Adams, I had a custom made large format 4×5 camera with Graflex Back, Fuji Readyload loader and Polaroid loader, plus loads of film. Then I felt everything was too big and got one GXR, then another, then another, then another.

I had a Alienbee Ringlash and 2 Sunpak 120js, a bunch of flashes, reflectors, Vagabond battery pack, etc. That’s the abridged version, by the way — I had other cameras like the Sigma DP1 and others. I just don’t remember the rationalization behind them.

I wasn’t rich

Woah, you must think I was LOADED right? No, it was just a matter of selling what I had to buy some new stuff. I always lost money in selling in addition to the eBay and Paypal fees. In total — and I don’t want to even know if you want to know the truth — I lost thousands of dollars. That could have gone to savings, down payment on a house or a college fund.

I’m a royal idiot. Don’t follow that route. I remember when my wife’s family members asked if i was rich because I had all of these cameras. I felt very uneasy, but as an addict I rationalized it and said that they couldn’t possibly understand what a photographer really needs. Truth is, you don’t need much gear to create great work.



;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 08/04/2013 14:55:33 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 15:45:43 MDT Print View

"...there's never truly any "optimal"..."

Of course there is! Perfection on the other hand, is hard to achieve.

But "optimal" - no problem. MY optimal is a balance of many things. I know full well that not all will be 100% perfect for my situation. But I am willing to accept 85% of perfect, knowing that some things could be improved, but are not worth the effort.

And I would not know that had I not gone through a few iterations for each piece of gear.




"...the REAL question is ... are you wasting time "optimizing" your gear rather than going out and just doing it?"

That's easy - Nope. I Can go out and do it with grace and ease simply because I've taken the time to put a good kit together.




"... there is ALWAYS something shinier, marginally better, marginally lighter, "revolutionary" ...

Well, yes. And if you are truly a Compulsive Shopper you've got a problem.



"but again from the article..."

"....I can’t really remember how many cameras I owned."


I'm glad this guy has seen something he didn't like and is making an effort to change. But I don't think he represents even 5% of the demographic on this forum.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: GAS -> GRS -> Sold! on 08/04/2013 16:10:44 MDT Print View

i think its more than 5% ... if you look at gear swap .. and the "how many packs/tents/bags etc ... you have" threads

again from the article ...

G.A.S. Trigger

A trigger is of course something that triggers the pattern. In case of G.A.S my triggers were forums and gear websites. But it can be anything like friends talking about cameras to simply seeing the gear in the wild.

I would be on my merry way looking at gear blogs (the blog that claim to be about photography but they’re mainly about gear) or forums when it would hit me. A lens porn thread, or a camera porn thread. Forget it if these cameras had some dressing up involved, like with leather cases! Never mind if no great pictures taken with the camera were posted, I had a kick from looking at the camera alone.


there ALOT of "trigger" threads of people going off and buying off "group think" here over the years ...

;)