Quote Originally Posted by DanielStone View Post
This commercial(below) pretty much sums up the really screwed up life I see many young people living now. They live their lives looking at a screen, rather than engaging others and sharing experiences(or just living themselves). Is travel cheap? No, not really. But taking 1 trip a year(even for a long weekend) can solve a lot of issues, even if you don't take a single picture. Just get out, stop chasing gear, stop chasing those "magic bullets" that we HOPE will make us a better photographer. Use what we have available to us, and if we still cannot find ourselves able to cut it, and the only variable to reaching that pinnacle we want IS the equipment, THEN search for another tool to achieve that goal.
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.)

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.