photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Gear Exhaustion Syndrome

Lord won’t you buy me…

in General Rants , Monday, November 25, 2013

In my opinion, “Réponses Photo” is one of the most consistently good general interest photographic magazines on the market. While it covers gear and technique - how could it not, and remain in business - the core material is really dedicated to photography and photographers. But every 12 months, it bows to market pressures and publishes its annual “Spécial Matériel”, a comprehensive buyers guide to what is now the digital camera market only.  I guess they might follow up with a short film / analogue section in next month’s issue.

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I have to confess, in years past I was probably as guilty of fantasising over the hundred or so pages of technological temptation as anyone else other male photographer with a pulse. But nowadays I’m left pretty much cold by it all. What does get my pulse racing in this issue is the article by Sylvie Hughes about the Aeolian Islands volcanos. This is one of my favourite locations, and while I’m not exactly daydreaming about the latest insignificant iteration of Canikon’s DXYZ1234-X-PRO-Turbo, I am constantly thinking about places I want to visit and revisit, discover and get to know, and maybe even photograph.  Spend all the working week chained to a desk, and most of the weekend recovering from it, I don’t even find time to visit the fantastic locations I have close by, except for a snatched couple of hours every month or so.

I guess for some Gear Acquisition Syndrome is partly a mechanism to dull the frustration of not being able to get out there and photograph. But it doesn’t work for me anymore.  There are some cameras I still kind of fantasise about, but they’re either out of reach, like the Linhof 612 (and also more or less out of time, in that case), _way_ out of reach, like the Pentax 645D, or they don’t exist (a rugged DSLR with swivel scree that takes Tilt/Shift lenses - which, anyway, would be out of reach!).

But frankly I’d swap all of that for an extra 4, or even 2 weeks of vacation every year, so that I can use and enjoy the ridiculous amount of stuff I’ve already got. And for that matter, enjoy the world.