You've asked a question that you already know (justifiably) the answer to. You've struck the mother lode (APUG) of photographic geekdom!
Originally Posted by Ghostman
Actually, I think that the average APUGer's obsession with gear rather is rather low when compared to other forums. Yes, we talk a lot about gear and techniques, and sometimes very fanatically so, but have you been to other (digital) photography forums recently? I joined a certain forum recently where the main focus lies on rangefinder cameras (), and the expensive-gear-talk-versus-good-photographs-posted ratio is just staggering.
Originally Posted by ROL
As for myself, I let others do the testing, then profit from their results to pick out the things I need. Thank you, geeks of the earth!
And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"
How much is just geekery and does it really matter?
Certain bits of gear are beneficial under certain situations. If you want to do Macro, then you will greatly benefit from macro gear. Want to do long exposure?, then a camera with no Bulb setting, and a slowest shutter speed of 1 sec, is probably not the one you want.
Unless you are into gear for the sake of gear, then buy a decent all around cam, find your vision, and then get what you need to achieve that.
Yes, I have. It's all relative – different strokes for different folks. The OP's observation (question?) is one that I have avoided on these forums since joining in 2005. I don't know the reasons for his voicing it, but for some people (the silent minority?), all the gear talk, as opposed to the actual making of photographs, can be overwhelming, oppressive, and pointless. The digital forums are fundamentally, and perhaps even necessarily, about gear and technology. As far as I can tell, the way one improves one's digital image making is through the constant acquisition of newer, better, more mega-pixeled gear for the taking, processing, and printing of images. Being APUG, one assumes, perhaps incorrectly as it turns out, that the photographic goal might be the creation of a hand made print.
Originally Posted by waltereegho
And I resent the implication that I either don't know my way around the internet, or am too much of a Luddite to appreciate the charms of digital photography.
Early on, there's an essay that had the fortitude of speaking to me with respect to geekery:
What's important, to paraphrase Hegel, is to look at things according to their concept. There's more than one way to be involved with photography, but the confusion of genres is perhaps the paramount mistake to avoid.
I don't think having a genuine interest in photography as an art form is mutually exclusive with a fascination for the technology behind it. Yes, I fondle my Contax IIa every once in a while. But I never fondle my prints and shoved them under people's face just because they were shot with a Zeiss lens. If the picture was crap, it stayed in the garbage can. I never refrained from printing a good picture just because it was made with an "inferior" film/camera/lens/developer/etc.
I also happen to have an academic interest in photography, and then again, it's a different angle of approach that sometimes condemn, sometimes elevate a certain form of geekery for facts or ideas.
I have always found that the great virtue of APUGers is that, even when they experiment with obscure concoctions and tools, they still aim at making an image. Other forums just push people at buying more gear to take yet one more cat/girlfriend/coffee cup/street scene photo.
So, yes, it's fine to give in to geekery. Even the "Great Photographers (tm)" had an obsession with something, whether it's their cameras, their subjects, or their papers. But it will never work as a substitute for another form of interest you may have for it.
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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Originally Posted by Michel Hardy-Vallée
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size." Albert Einstein
I'd like to thank you all for contributing to this thread. You have all said interesting things and have left me with a lot to think about, inspired and somewhat enamored with APUG.
I'll write again in more detail once I have formulated my thoughts.
You have to have your piano tuned, practice your scales, but always play music for this preparation. Otherwise you're just a technician.
"Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
You will also need a magic target. Say, a unicorn.
Originally Posted by eddie