It's a good rant, but I'm of two minds about it. On the one hand, of *course* get out from in front of the screen and have a comprehensive life---I think that's (1) important, (2) not new, and (3) not particularly confined to the young. (People have squandered their lives sitting in front of televisions (televisia?) for as long as there have been televisions, and it seems to me that a life squandered on the internet is unambiguously a step forward from that. Anyone who disagrees cannot possibly have understood how mind-numbingly horrible the sitcoms of the 1970s were.)
Originally Posted by DanielStone
But on the other hand...would it be safe to say we've all learned a bit from hanging around APUG? I certainly have---and some of it's led to GAS, for better or worse, but some of it has also led to "hey, I know how to make this photograph work!", to "I gotta get out and try that!", and to "Let's see what happens if I..."
I'm looking around the photos in my office, and of the ten that were actually my doing, six owe their existence to knowledge and/or GAS that came directly from APUG. This isn't true of everyone, but I think I do some of my best work while exploring tools; maybe thinking about the new toy gets my intellect out of the way and lets my right brain see the image without interference, or something like that, but whatever it is, it seems to work. So I'm not really inclined to write off GAS as intrinsically the enemy of productive photography.
Maybe photographers can be divided into "Miles" and "Coltrane" camps; one group tends to work narrow-and-deep, taking a specific set of tools and working them for everything they're worth, concentrating on well-defined ideas and meticulously matching the process to the idea, where the other group takes a sprawling, all-inclusive approach that embraces an enormous disorderly territory and spins off ideas in a vast carnival of productive chaos.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
Originally Posted by DanielStone
But I don't know who's who.
Originally Posted by ntenny
I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
- Garry Winogrand
I think of GAS, at least to me, as hand-on-history. Sort of like the american pickers go about and find new things that fill in the gaps of their interest in motorcycles and americana. They don't hang on it though. Or maybe they do and we just don't see that.
Simplifying is important. As someone also interested in Christianity, we're advised not to store up treasures that rust/mold, etc... No problem; I tend to collect things that are more likely junk than treasure, and I don't have multiple barns of it. Probably similarly meagerly effective is my interest in Thoreau; who had a very meaningful and enlightening time by not having much for possessions. Reminds me of college, but without the people and the city life.Things like making time for walks was good for his sanity.
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When I joined APUG about 10 years ago, I snickered at the folks who had GAS. I had only one 35mm camera and a 6x6 twin lens then. Now I have 12 35mm cameras including 1 Canon... and I'm eyeing another. I went from zero Canon lenses a month ago to 3 today. And then there are the Nikons.
GAS, who me? Yes.
On the bright side, I sold 3 consumer Nikon bodies (EL2, FT3, EL2) for 1 Canon lens. And then gave my daughter in law a Nikon and lens. I'm finally learning.
Haha! more cameras for me then! jk
I really liked jp's take on it, hands on history. Handling something really is very different than reading about it or seeing pictures of it. It brings your mind to that time period, and you think about all the other people who might have handled it in years past, or where it had been before it was in you hands.
Is that time you spent going through all those cameras really squandered away? I think a lot of the time its about the journey. plus you have educated yourself in the use of many different systems and formats, people pay good money for in schools to pick up the same skills.
Had I stuck to the same darkroom or cameras I had when I started would I be at the same level or higher than I am now? I doubt it, moving onto better equipment made my photography more enjoyable, work flow more streamlined, and increased the quality of it. Having the experience of using lower end stuff, makes you appreciate higher end gear that much more, when they come along. Having the experience of stripping a camera and fixing it also gives a sense of great satisfaction, to resurrect something from the trash bin.
I dont go overboard with gas, but I can think of many times where having interesting cameras out with me were great ice breakers. Something that you could share with a complete stranger and chat about in a park, on the train, or on a ferry. Cameras and the urge to photograph have brought me out to places and and experienced events I might not gone to as well.
Newly retired, 5 years ago, spent my life in R&D labs, helping produce better cars. Applied science and I always thought productive through efficiency. Also a motorcycle nut, bought, repaired and rode every motorcycle I ever desired, over 200, now I have 1.
Doing the same with film cameras, I buy, repair, use and wait for new users to show up. They will, they did with motorcycles. Cycles of life. Like many, I like machines, improving machines paid for my life, my fun, my 2 ex-wives...
And, I just had a very good evening in my darkroom, on the coldest Chicago day in 30 years.
Life is good, never look back, life is short. Take a picture it will last longer.
Originally Posted by Randy Moe