G.A.S. and all that jazz!

too many toys….

I recently re-watched a documentary about Harold Feinstein, I’d seen it before some time back, but long enough ago for it to be reasonably fresh to me. If you don’t know his work, can I suggest spending half an hour on the net, would be time well spent.  I find his photography to be wonderful. However, in a funny way, that’s not why I mention it. A few hours later I realized that I was left with three main thoughts. 1) Half a dozen, key, wonderful images. 2) A fun quote (and I love those!) his alleged reply to one of his students concerned with the intricacies of exposure – “just put the needle in the middle!” and 3) I have no idea what equipment he used or indeed care, and that is the point of this post.

More recently, I seem to have started to mass equipment. In fact let’s stop right there, and be honest. I’ve been buying more and more cameras, because I can, I like them, and they remind me of when I was younger! This is the truth of the situation!  I’ve developed G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). I knew this already, but the fact hit home to me when I discovered I could no longer contain all my gear in the bags and boxes that I use for use/storage.

 I recently read an article by Johnny Martyr, with regards to G.A.S. and getting a twin, all of which made perfect sense to me. USING cameras to make photographs is ultimately what I am interested in, I just like cameras to!  My understanding of his point is that amassing cameras for the sake of it, is basically camera collecting and has little to do with making photographs. I know this to be true. I personally know a man who has owned way more cameras than I, but I don’t ever recall seeing a photograph he’s made!

I think I’ve been true to both camps, taken the middle path, I have two Spotmatics, for example, the trouble is, I also have two Nikons, two Canon EOS, two Pentax K’s, four Olympus compacts and so much more. So even to try to argue the case that some of them are different tools for different jobs, or a “back up” for the lenses, in case of “body failure” would, these days, be difficult.

I wish I was the sort of person who could just have two cameras, loads of film, and make photographs (Full Stop). I know that’s never going to be the case, but at the same time I have to seriously slim down my tool kit, buy more film, and get out and DO photography. I intend to make an attempt at it, at the very least… I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Part of this self-analysis, has come about because I’ve had a rotten cold this last week – I’m getting much better now, but while I was feeling sorry for myself, I watched some documentaries and read much more online. This has led me to the conclusion I need a “kick up the ****” and get out and about more and buy less cameras and more film!!

6 thoughts on “G.A.S. and all that jazz!

  1. I too have too many cameras. I do try to make use of them all, but it would be much easier to do this if I had fewer of them. I also think that I would get better results if I stuck to cameras I knew inside out and could use intuitively whenever I picked them up, as opposed to trying to figure out where the buttons and levers are because I’ve not used it for a while. I’ve got a few cameras that I use pretty frequently that have become “standards” for me, my Yashicamat 124G being a good example, but some of them don’t see use for longer than I’d like.

    I think that I also use the “backup camera” reason as an excuse for this. With a digital camera I know that I could get a new one (even if the though of the expenditure would be troublesome), but no-one is making new film cameras outside a few niche (or very expensive) manufacturers, so having a couple (or more) spare 35mm SLRs kinda feels safe.

    As much as cameas are lovely machines, and I can understand why someone would want to collect them, it’s always the photographs they allow me to make that is the best part.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, my thoughts exactly! I’ll be slimming down, still keeping a selection, but hopefully using each more. That’s the plan anyway. I’m off on holiday again in a few weeks and I plan to take my two Nikon’s with me, OR maybe two Spotmatics – we’ll see, but a working pair, and that’s it! If one goes down I’ll still have the other, and I can use my lenses on either/both. For me, it’s the way forward! Cheers for now – Andy

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! 🙂 I’ve already sent out a couple of emails, and given one camera away – there’s no hurry, I’ll invest any return in some day’s out and film!! All best wishes – Andy

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m right there with you. I have more cameras than I ever expected. My problem is that when I began, I planned to sell off a few as I a bought more. I have yet to sell any, but I have given away two. Meanwhile, I’ve realized that I have cameras for specific uses, and so I am using them more than ever. I’ve started a “For Sale” box; hopefully that gets me going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jerome, much the same – I never intended to own so many – they breed!! I will keep a decent selection but I have more than I can use regularly, and apart from the familiarity question in use, I think mechanical shutters especially, like to be kept ticking over! I’ll gradually reduce and re-invest in more film! Cheers and best wishes Andy


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