We are pretty close to the end of 2017 and as it is every year’s end we hope that there is no unfinished business and are already planning our goals for 2018.
I have to admit that over the years a lot of the goals I set for myself I did not quite accomplish but there was one that I made about 4 years ago that I did get done and because of that I am a happier and less stressed photographer.
That goal was to become a photography gear minimalist. Like many people I know who are passionately involved with creating images, I owned a lot of expensive cameras and lenses as well as tonnage in accessories. The sad part is that most of it was acquired because of a mental disorder called “gear acquisition syndrome.” It is better known simply by the abbreviation “GAS.”
The syndrome comes about when photographers cannot help but always buy the latest and greatest cameras and lenses and of course accessories. The ability to have self control in these purchasing matters is non-existent and ultimately each and every time once the unnecessary purchase has been made the words forming on our lips which represent justification for buying what was not needed are followed by physical actions of hiding the purchase in a car trunk until it can be brought into to abode and closeted.
There was a time when I had 4 bodies, 12 lenses, 4 wireless flash units, and accessories beyond what a smart camera store would ever keep in stock for long. And camera bags. Oh those camera bags. At one time I had close to 50.
Today I own 1 camera body, 3 prime lenses, 2 wireless flashes, a small amount of accessories and 5 bags. When I go out for the day I have the majority of my gear in a Cosyspeeded Outdoor Camslinger waist pack which fits of course around my waist. It can also be worn as a small sling bag as well. It holds my Fuji X pro 2 with a lens mounted along with 2 other small primes, 2 extra memory cards, 3 extra batteries, cables release and some cleaning stuff. If I think I am going to need flash, which is not often I attach a small bag with a small flash to the bag. That is it.
I have written blogs, shared my feelings, attempted to influence others to go minimal with mirrorless cameras and small lenses but in my heart I know that many of my readers are still backpacking with a full load weighing in at about 20 pounds or worse and even though they have not mastered the gear they own, are going to stand in line to purchase the next great thing. It is hard to change. And people won’t change because they have the fear that if they do not have everything they own with them they will miss the shot of a lifetime. If they do not make that purchase they know that the person standing next to them probably did make that purchase and their images are going to be better than your images. Of course that is a bunch of BS.😉
Therefore, if you are reading this blog and you are going to make some resolutions then here are a few to think about:
- 1-Master the gear you have now
- 2-Determine what kind of pictures you like to create and adjust your camera gear to be ready to take those kinds of images. As an example, I have a friend who own a zoom with long focal lengths, a 600mm 4.0 both for shooting wildlife and he has not shot wildlife in about 6 years. Not only should he not pack these lenses with his go to gear, but probably should sell or trade them.
- 3-Lighten your loads so that you will enjoy a day of shooting a lot more. Carrying excess gear which translates to too much weight can make for a miserable day out.
- 4-Leave the backpack or large camera bag in the car and head out with a small bag with a minimal amount of gear.
- 5-Come to an understanding that your modern camera bodies are capable of making near perfect images in JPEG format, and easily processed images in raw format. That all translates to you not parking your butt in front of a computer screen and spending hours that will more than likely cause you to over process and make ugly the really good images that came out of the camera. If you want to do weird stuff then use your cell phone camera combined with some way out apps to really make ugly state of the art.
Finally I am sure you already have software that you love. After more than a year of testing about a dozen software packages either having subscription options, or buying to own packages ranging from $20.00 to about $250.00. Most are okay and if you do not have a software package you like, or if you have not mastered a software package then there is a lot to consider. They are all pretty darn good. If you want to check in with me at IPADPRO.ELLIOT@GMAIL.COM perhaps I can answer questions about what software I think will do great things with your great images.