Looking back through the memories that pop up on my Facebook timeline from time to time I came across a photo I had taken back in 2017 with some new gear I’d just bought.
The first thing I noticed was what a great photograph it was. It was a simple portrait photo of my Wife and Daughter but the quality of it was pretty darned good.
Then I looked at the date and realised it was only four years ago I took that photo. Since seeing that photo I’ve sat here trying to work out just how many cameras, lenses and system changes I’ve made and bought.
And to be honest I’m a bit embarrassed at the fact I can’t actually remember all the different bits of gear I’ve bought and sold! I’m actually not embarrassed as much as horrified.
Horrified for the reasoning that the quality of my photography hasn’t improved, indeed I doubt it’s changed that much since I really got interested in photography all those years ago.
Horrified that each time I choose to buy/change a camera I think it’s going to turn me into a God of photography. And of course, it doesn’t which leads me to the next thought process for how to make me better.
Some gear I’ve bought as I’ve convinced myself there’s a real reason for needing to, yeah right. Some gear from a purely ‘want’ perspective.
I’ve actually recently just made another gear acquisition in the form of a Fujifilm X-H1 and 16-55mm lens.
I’ve bought it on the premise that I can use it for a bit of casual landscape photography & car meets I like to go to. Meetings and genres I don’t really think the Leica M10-P suits. I also picked up the body for a very good competitive price, so my reasoning – at least for myself was sound.
The truth though, is it won’t make me any better at taking photographs of trees or cars – it won’t make my photographs better than they would be with the M10-P, or even possibly the old lump of an X-Pro1 I’ve had for quite some time now. I guess buyers remorse is beginning to kick in!
I come across posts and stories on my internet travels of photographers who are celebrating their 10, 20 even 30 year anniversaries with their camera gear and in truth it does make me feel quite the imposter. I’d love to be one of those people who buy once until there is a real need to buy again and concentrate on the art and not the gear.
Once again, I need to make the resolution (and stick to it this time) that gear does not maketh the man and that I need to step away from internet websites tempting me with the latest and greatest otherwise I’ll never become a better photographer.
All of the camera gear I have should last me for the next 10 years, issues of wear and breakages not withstanding. Of course I may need (or want) to buy certain bits of gear, but on the whole the quality of the equipment I have should easily surpass that or indeed the quality of what I become as a Photographer.
Let’s see, eh?!