Owning less gear ISN'T morally superior - Discuss.

Shot earlier today with a Nikon 1 V1 and 10mm f/2.8 lens

Just thought I'd write a post about this mornings post. (??) There was a comment on Google+ about it which was well made, but not what I was saying or meant to imply. By stating that I was currently paring down my gear to a lot less than it was, doesn't mean that I in any way advocate, or think its a good idea to work with less gear (or more for that matter). Or in fact that it is in some way morally superior or makes you a better photographer. For example Rankin probably has more cameras, lenses and assorted equipment than your average branch of Calumet, but he's a great photographer both because of it and in spite of it. In other words the amount of gear you have, or the type of gear you use has absolutely nothing to do with how good you are, how committed to it or how enthusiastic you are about photography or the results that you produce. Because it never has been, never will be about what you use to produce pictures, its about what goes on between your eyes and your brain that fills the rectangles that you look at and / or show to other people.

I would never suggest that its a good idea that people use less equipment, or of course more equipment either, firstly because I have no right to suggest anything to another photographer and secondly as outlined above it has nothing to do with the images you produce. If you feel you only need one camera and one lens then I'm happy for you. As far as I'm concerned I need a bit more than that. Just because I'm currently working with two cameras that have a 'standard zoom' doesn't mean that I will continue to do so. It suits me at the moment, well actually until tomorrow since I've just ordered a Panasonic G6 + the new lightweight 14-140mm lens and a Metabones Speed Booster to use my Nikon lenses (which I've decided to keep) on that camera.

I've admired and respected photographers who use banks of expensive and cumbersome equipment just the same as those who walk around with a Leica and one lens. Its common sense surely to dissasociate the work from the means of production, but on the photographic internet the words sense and common rarely seem to combine in their correct fashion. Lots of people on forums talk a lot about GAS (Gear Aquisition Syndrome) again in a way that seems to imply its somehow irresponsible, shows a lack of moral fibre and is responsible for some kind of photographic confusion that turns your brain to jelly and prevents you from ever taking a decent photograph. You can probably guess what I think of that view by my tone. 

I have nothing against the person who posted the comment, I enjoyed reading it and as I said an opinion was expressed, which I'm all for. However I'm not happy that this mornings post was somewhat 'hijacked' to seemingly agree with an opinion that I don't share, and that I didn't intend or imply. However I would make it clear that this post is not just a reaction to that but this general tone that inhabits the photographic internet. You can't fail to notice that hardly a week goes by without someone sharing the news that they have decided to sell ther DSLR equipment and buy a Fuji/m43/NEX etc. Indeed, I have done that a few times myself. However I have always made it clear that is my personal preference and choice and I have never once even remotely written anything close to suggesting other people should copy that or even consider doing the same.

If you are reading this I assume that you have a degree of sophistication and some amount of disposable income that you are prepared to spend on photographic equipment. I neither care or have an opinion either way about what you buy, how much you spend, what amount of gear you choose to accumulate or what kind of cameras or lenses you buy. What I do care about and have a very strong opinion on is that people shouldn't tell other people what they should buy, what they should use or what they should think. Apart from anything else if we all only buy and use one camera and one lens the whole global economy goes into a deeper abyss than the one its in now. So lets be patriotic and get out there and spend, spend, spend! Only joking of course, but there is a serious point to be made here. It is that those of us who live in places that allow us a certain amount of freedom of expression should use that freedom to express ourselves. There is no right or wrong way to do that, and certainly no proscribed kind or amount of equipment that should be used. We are allowed to make our own choices, our own mistakes and enjoy our own successes and not be preached to as if we can't decide for ourselves what we need to own to achieve that.



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