Time for a change - A decision of sorts


Sometimes what is right in front of us is the hardest to see. The realisation that it doesn't matter in the slightest what camera I use, how many or how few of them I have and whether I keep it / them for two days or two years, may be blindingly obvious to many, but it came as a revelation to me. My "carefully considered" decision as to what gear to keep is that I'm making no decision. I will in fact be regarding them all as "temporary" and just tools to enable me to take the best pictures I can.

I guess it proves, as if proof were needed, that (some) professional photographers have as little insight into their own behaviour as anybody else! We are not immune from obsessing about gear, thinking that to improve our photography we need a new camera and that a better camera will make us better photographers. 

Personally I'm not sure why I have this desire to get things down to one system and stick with it. Guilt? An overdose of Protestant ethic? Who knows. However I've decided that I don't care any more. These time for a change pieces have had a positive effect, in that I've changed the important stuff. I'm shooting a much wider variety of images, I'm shooting less and I'm enjoying the process more, And that is what is REALLY important. Now anyone who has read or reads the Mike Kobal or Kirk Tuck blogs will realise that I am not alone changing gear as often as I do. And despite all my attempts to force myself to adopt a common-sense planned approach, that is doomed to failure. 

I enjoy using new gear, I find it stimulating, exciting and creative. It makes me try new things, it makes me want to get out and shoot pictures and there is nothing wrong with either of those things. I often write about how "lucky" I am to be able to afford to do this. However thats going to stop. "Luck" doesn't have anything to do with it and I'm going to stop "apologising" for being good at what I do and having the capacity to work hard at it. I'm going to stop apologising for buying and selling stuff on a whim, selling something and then buying it again and making decisions based on instinct rather than rational thought.

If we leave any legacy as photographers then its the pictures we create, not our camera collections. Many photographers I admire have used the same system for many years, however there are just as many who chop and change as much as I do, if not more. And ultimately who cares? Its just not that important. This blog in recent times is very heavily picture drven and thats just the way that it should be. At the moment I am much more inlined to post images I have taken with them rather than the cameras themselves, but then I'm not going to worry about that either. 

When I started this whole change thing off, I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know what. Essentially it seems to have been a desire to liberate myself from self-imposed constraints. Once I realised that everything else becomes clear. And what is clear to me is that my creative process(se) can't be regulated, can't be organised. They are messy, they are unpredictable and they change on a daily basis. But at least they are there.

So, finally, in answer to my Time for a Change - things I don't like list:-

1. I hate the tedium of editing, uploading, captioning and keywording and sitting in front of this damn screen hour after hour and day after day. Its really getting me down.
I either have to put up with this or go do something else. Its a part of what I do and there's not a lot of point in complaining about it.
2. I hate the fact that when I think about what gear I use, what I think I SHOULD use ALWAYS wins out over what I really want to use.
I am now going to use what I want to use. Its what I've always done anyway. I'm just going to stop feeling guilty about doing it.
3. I don't like that I'm constantly buying and selling cameras trying to find "The One" that will keep me happy.
See above.
4. I find it frustrating that I know I'll probably never find that.
So, what else is new?
5. I'm unhappy that I'm so locked in to shooting generic, sanitised images that I can sell as royalty-free, that I often ignore what are potentially more interesting pictures.
In the process of changing.
6. I've got too many cameras, too many lenses, which I actually don't enjoy. I don't have Gear aquisition syndrome (GAS) I have Terrified of not having the right piece of gear when that once in a lifetime masterpiece comes along syndrome (TONHTRPOGWTOIALMCAS?)
In the process of changing.
7. All of the above makes everything so complicated. Different systems, duplication, too much money tied up in equipment that doesn't get used.
In the process of changing. 

8. As a result of this, my blog, which is supposed about my experiences as a photographer is becoming a review site. And thats not what I want.
In the process of changing. 

9. Editing and uploading pictures has become a chore, and my photographic experience has become over-complicated. 
In the process of changing. 

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
All original material on this blog is © Soundimageplus
For comment and discussion - join me over at Google+
about soundimageplus - soundimageplus website
soundimageplus on flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/45203414@N06/
soundimageplus blog readers pictures group - http://www.flickr.com/groups/1705334@N24/
soundimageplus on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/soundimageplus
soundimageplus on Vimeo - http://vimeo.com/user1050904/video