Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I've Got GAS!

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No, I didn't eat a big bowl of beans. The GAS I'm referring to is an acronym. You've probably heard it: Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). Even I, the "keep it simple" guy, the guy who often reminds himself and others that new gear doesn't necessarily equate to better photography, occasionally gets GAS. It's a malady that effects all photographers, i.e, serious photographers. You know, photographers who pursue increasing their skills and the quality of their photographs... seriously.

Every once in a while, I have a GAS attack. I don't know what precipitates it. Is there some psychological equivalent to eating a bowl of beans?  Something my brain ingests, abstractly or metaphorically, that culminates in a GAS attack? I have no clue. But at times, it sure seems like there is!

Fortunately, I'm something of a man of means by no means as the old song says. That is, I can't afford to indulge my GAS attacks too often or too wantonly in spite of the fact that I have credit cards and a PayPal "Bill me Later" account with a decent balance. Somehow, even when my GAS attacks bend me over with psychological cramps, I manage to get through them. Usually.

Last year, I had a GAS attack that didn't end until I purchased a Fuji X100 that I didn't need. Did I really need another camera? Nope. Not even a little bit. Why did I buy it? GAS. (And that PayPal Bill Me Later option.) How often have I used my GAS driven Fuji? Not often.  In fact, "rarely" is a word that better describes my use of that camera over the past year, it being a very cool camera with lots of capabilities for producing terrific images notwithstanding

A number of years ago when I still had my studio I also had regular GAS attacks. Back then, my GAS attacks were generally focused on grip and lighting, especially grip. I nearly became a gripaholic. I ended up with all kinds of stands, clamps, arms, booms, and more. I also purchased lots of what's called "expendables" and kept purchasing more even though I hadn't come close to expending the expendables I already expended too much money on.

Currently, I'm in the throes of another GAS attack, a glass GAS attack. (A glass attack?) Do I truly need more glass? Well, although there's some truth to the notion that a photographer can never have too much glass, there really isn't any glass I absolutely need. I've got glass covering all focal ranges from 28mm to 200mm. Do I really need any longer or wider glass to perform the sort of work I most often shoot? No. Do I need faster (and more expensive) glass to cover the focal ranges I already have covered? Not really. It would be nice for my Canon 70-200 f/4 to be replaced by a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 or my Canon 85mm f/1.8 replaced with a Canon 85mm f/1.2, plus all that goes with that magnificent lens beyond it being faster. But do I really need the wider stops and more? Again, no.

In recent days, I've had to work hard to resist the GAS urge to buy, of all things, a tilt-shift lens I have no real use for. I mean, come on! What do I need a tilt-shift lens for? Could I make some cool pics with one? I think so. I think I could even make some cool pretty girl pics with one. Will those cool pics do much of anything for my photography career? I doubt it. In fact, I'm almost completely sure it would not. Yet, I still find myself checking out a variety of (expensive) tilt-shift lenses I don't need.

Not to worry though. I'm pretty sure I will pull through this latest GAS attack without a tilt-shift lens suddenly finding itself in my camera bag and me being either broker or further in debt. And if I suddenly have an irresistible urge to shoot some stilt-shift pics? I'll probably rent a tilt-shift lens to satisfy it.

Still though, the GAS persists and I'm having to call on all my abilities of exerting reason on myself to avoid buying an expensive tilt-shift lens that I have no practical use for.

The pretty girl with puckered lips at the top is Jayme. It's a graphic I put together from a snapshot picked from a set I shot with her. I'm using the graphic as one of the many pics that will be included in my upcoming new ebook, Guerrilla Glamour 2.   If you didn't know, the concept of Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS) extends beyond how you shoot your images to include what you shoot your images with.

1 comment:

Jim Photoman said...

I saw (what I consider) a great price on a Nikon D3200. I don't need a Nikon D3200, but I wanted it! I've resisted for over a day, but sale lasts until June 30th. Will I be able to hold out????