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back alley's In The Bag Joe's quest for the ultimate Camera Bag! So many bags .. so little time ...

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why do i do this?
Old 09-29-2016   #1
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why do i do this?

do what?

why do i think so much about gear and less much about photography. why do i think so much about any of this stuff?

a big part recently is that i have a lot of time available for thinking. so even if i were to quit the photo thinking there would still be lots of time for thinking about other things.
also, i recently tore a calf muscle and walking is very painful...actually i pulled it 3 times over 3 weeks...damn it hurts. it also makes me favour my other side which is already painful from an arthritic hip. nothing but losing...

anyway...today i was thinking about all the gear i have owned and if i were to redo the adventure what might i wind up with?

for film...a canon f1 plus a t90 body...and a few lenses.
also for film...2 mamiya 6 bodies and all 3 lenses from their kit.
for digital...i do like the fuji gear so i think that would remain the same...i would have kept 2 rd1 bodies and every damn lens i ever bought for them!!
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Old 09-29-2016   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
do what?

why do i think so much about gear and less much about photography. why do i think so much about any of this stuff?

a big part recently is that i have a lot of time available for thinking. so even if i were to quit the photo thinking there would still be lots of time for thinking about other things.
also, i recently tore a calf muscle and walking is very painful...actually i pulled it 3 times over 3 weeks...damn it hurts. it also makes me favour my other side which is already painful from an arthritic hip. nothing but losing...

anyway...today i was thinking about all the gear i have owned and if i were to redo the adventure what might i wind up with?

for film...a canon f1 plus a t90 body...and a few lenses.
also for film...2 mamiya 6 bodies and all 3 lenses from their kit.
for digital...i do like the fuji gear so i think that would remain the same...i would have kept 2 rd1 bodies and every damn lens i ever bought for them!!
you can never go wrong with a mamiya 6
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Old 09-29-2016   #3
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well Joe you are not alone. I have developed arthritic wrists, so I have to keep it light. Small Fuji's, Old Leica's. The old Nikons sit in their bags for now. Taking turmeric seems to help. About all that old gear I have loved but don't own anymore.....well what's gone is gone, I guess.
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Old 09-29-2016   #4
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You let the perfect be the enemy of the good. This entire section of the forum is a monument to the perfect being the enemy of the good, in fact.

I'm sure you've been told this before (hell, I'm pretty sure I told you this before nearly a decade ago)- just pick one camera that is capable of producing a good image and operates intuitively for you, one lens that is capable of producing a good image, one tripod and cable release, a set of filters, one type of slow film (if applicable) and one type of fast film (if applicable). Get rid of everything else. Even bags. Just buy a Billingham and be done with it. Put everything else in terms of gear out of your mind. If you find yourself with some money burning a hole in your wallet, buy books with it instead of gear, or spend it on workshops/classes. If you find yourself navel gazing about gear, pick up one of those books and study some great images, or work on darkroom techniques if you are working with film, or work on being better at post processing if you are working digitally. I remember going through every image in your flickr gallery back years ago, and while I haven't looked to see whether or not you have improved since the second GW Bush administration, I could definitely tell that your work was better before you started obsessing overmuch about what camera and what lens you used for any given shot.

And I'm serious about just one camera and just one lens. Will you miss a shot here and there? Sure. You won't care, though, because you'll grow to be much happier with your results overall. Whatever you pick, the key is to stick with it. I'm talking two or three years with just the same one camera and just the same one lens, at least. Hell, it could even be a zoom lens, since it's hard to be quite as mobile with an injured leg. Sorry to hear about that, by the way, torn muscles suck unbelievably. The point is to break the addiction, to quit chasing the dragon that is the idea that the next camera might make your images better than the one you are using. That kind of thinking is a huge trap. These days, pretty much any camera you pick up is capable of making a great image, but it can't do it for you. It's also a trap because once you start thinking that you need this camera or that camera, or this lens AND this lens AND this lens AND this lens just in case you see x, y, or z, you get to the point where you need to find a way to schlep all of that stuff around with you, and once you find something that is decent at carrying the first five things, you get rid of those things and get different things, just to find that your carrying solution doesnt work as well for the new five things as it did for the old five things. At that point, everything collapses. You started off thinking 'I need to be prepared for any eventuality,' but by the end you aren't really ready at any given moment for anything, because you're tired from carrying a camera store on your shoulder, and you start second guessing yourself as to which lens you should have on the camera at any given time, and you miss way more opportunities than you would ever miss because you only had a 50mm lens. The out of focus rendition doesn't matter. The flattened or widened perspective doesn't matter. The size of the film or sensor doesn't matter. All that matters is that the machine is physically capable of producing a quality image, and you are capable of operating that machine well.

I don't say all of this to be a jerk. I didn't pull any punches though, either. It seems like it needed to be said. I really do wish you the best of luck, and I really do hope your leg gets better soon.
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been there got that
Old 09-29-2016   #5
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been there got that

Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
do what?

why do i think so much about gear and less much about photography. why do i think so much about any of this stuff?

a big part recently is that i have a lot of time available for thinking. so even if i were to quit the photo thinking there would still be lots of time for thinking about other things.
also, i recently tore a calf muscle and walking is very painful...actually i pulled it 3 times over 3 weeks...damn it hurts. it also makes me favour my other side which is already painful from an arthritic hip. nothing but losing...

anyway...today i was thinking about all the gear i have owned and if i were to redo the adventure what might i wind up with?

for film...a canon f1 plus a t90 body...and a few lenses.
also for film...2 mamiya 6 bodies and all 3 lenses from their kit.
for digital...i do like the fuji gear so i think that would remain the same...i would have kept 2 rd1 bodies and every damn lens i ever bought for them!!
Watch the leg Joe.
I pulled a calf muscle playing Tennis and two weeks of rest wasn't
enough .I jumped off the diving board and got the muscle hot-flash. which sent me to bed right from the pool for three days and a scolding from the Doc about possible phlebitis?(Blood Clot)and a Hospital stay.

I have a nice T90 Kit,and your old Rd1,Which you are not getting back
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Old 09-29-2016   #6
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Quote:
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you can never go wrong with a mamiya 6
I totally agree with you!
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Old 09-29-2016   #7
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I don't know about others, but ...

I generally obsess on equipment when I'm in the midst of getting settled into a new paradigm. Once I know where I'm going and what works, I acquire it and my equipment obsession tends to disappear. Same thing for cars, motorcycles, cameras, paint brushes, computers, and so on. It's a life-long pattern.

I'm outfitting a new car right now and find myself entranced with the details of its engine, transmission, stereo system, brakes, wheels and tires, etc etc ad nauseam. But I'm almost done setting it up, after which I'll forget all these research pursuits and spend most of my time just driving it and enjoying it.

Such it is.

G

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Old 09-30-2016   #8
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It's partly displacement activity (speaking from personal experience -- don't know if this addresses your case). When you have a mountain to climb it's easier to think obsessively about the gear needed for the climb. And thinking/tweaking your gear is actually quite pleasant. One can dream a bit about all the wonderful stuff one will do with this or that piece of gear, then chat a bit about all that with friends in the forum. Going out and doing genuinely interesting stuff with the new gear is more challenging. It requires effort, physical and emotional. After a while it all feels like...work. To compound matters, it seems males are hardwired to tweak and tinker. It's an evolutionary trait from a time when choosing/refining the right sling and stone meant kill or die. Since then our clothes got better but a lot of other stuff lingers.

.
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Old 09-30-2016   #9
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We are in the material world to have a physical experience. Everything is as it should be. Worrying about it is where we should look for a problem. I too have a Mamiya 6, a Rollei 2.8c, a Fuji G 690, a Hasselblad 201f, a Fuji g645, and that's just medium format. I just bought a SWC/M for a great price. I love making images with all of them. I can't afford any of this, but I also can't afford to miss any of it, so I find a way to sustain an obcession with gear that sustains my obcession with making images. It's not an either/or thing for me and I feel guilt free about it.
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why do i do this?
Old 09-30-2016   #10
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why do i do this?

Normal desire for challenge and the acquisition of knowledge, and a degree of certainty. Very often culminates in a major purchase ($ or change in direction), or a prolonged interest.
Some call these interests hobbies. They keep us sane


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Old 09-30-2016   #11
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Quote:
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e...i would have kept 2 rd1 bodies and every damn lens i ever bought for them!!
That camera suited you well. Some of your pictures that are more memorable to me are from that time.
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Old 10-06-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I don't know about others, but ...

I generally obsess on equipment when I'm in the midst of getting settled into a new paradigm. Once I know where I'm going and what works, I acquire it and my equipment obsession tends to disappear. Same thing for cars, motorcycles, cameras, paint brushes, computers, and so on. It's a life-long pattern.

I'm outfitting a new car right now and find myself entranced with the details of its engine, transmission, stereo system, brakes, wheels and tires, etc etc ad nauseam. But I'm almost done setting it up, after which I'll forget all these research pursuits and spend most of my time just driving it and enjoying it.

Such it is.



G

I have been obsessing over a new car but I went for this bonkers thing The diesel gives millage figures up at Prius levels.

Having Fybromyalgia I have been forced to consider weight of gear and am delighted with the mirror free offerings from various makers offering me lighter weight over comparable DSLR designs. It also made me consider what I carry and really use so I carry a lot less than I used to now it tends to be an A7 with basic zoom and the 55mm or the zoom replaced with a Nex6 with 50mm OSS. It certainly weighs a lot less than a Fuji S3 with 2.8 zoom though I did love the Fuji colours and files to play with. Like most here and on other forums I spend a lot of time thinking about gear, like wise I waste time thinking about audio designs (DIY) and potential Hackintosh's etc. Thing is I get more excited discovering new music, seeing great photography and art than from looking at new gear that I seem to end up not buying anyway. Apart from batteries I have not bought a single bit of camera gear for over a year, I do need to replace my Ricoh GX100 though its sadly got some sort of fault that drains the battery
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Old 10-06-2016   #13
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I have been obsessing over a new car but I went for this bonkers thing
Well if you don't mind to be seen in that car as it is in that photo that you really have to ask yourself "why do I do this?".
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Old 10-06-2016   #14
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This entire section of the forum is a monument to the perfect being the enemy of the good...
I seldom view the galleries lest I become discouraged comparing my own unsatisfactory images.
But when it comes to the forums somehow I can't help myself. I blame all of you for my GAS!

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Why do I do This?
Old 10-07-2016   #15
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Why do I do This?

You are also closing in on having made 40,000 posts on RFF.

Could it be boredom?
Not trying to be snarky, Joe. A genuine guess.

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Old 10-07-2016   #16
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I do it because it keeps me out of the bars at night.

I do it because I have a natural curiosity about the workings of camera gear.

I do it because I want to challenge myself to be able to make as good an image from camera A as I can from cameras B thru Z.

I do it because I appreciate fine camera design.

I do it because I have an inherited perfectionist streak.

I do it because I like to.

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Old 10-07-2016   #17
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You are also closing in on having made 40,000 posts on RFF.

Could it be boredom?
Not trying to be snarky, Joe. A genuine guess.

CG
i've been a member since day 1 here...and was a mod from day one also...lots of chatting over those years.
boredom is a part of it as the winters here are long cold and hard...and arthritis has not helped that at all. and any inspiration i once may have enjoyed seems long gone.
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Old 10-07-2016   #18
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Joe, I dropped my car off for service the other day.
I saw your answer on the dealer's showroom floor:

Brand new Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible, red.
Surprisingly affordable at 25,000 USD.

To put it in perspective, that's cheaper than some Leicas or a new girlfriend.
Pretty cheap cure for a midlife crisis, if you ask me...

Chris
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Old 10-07-2016   #19
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Joe, I dropped my car off for service the other day.
I saw your answer on the dealer's showroom floor:

Brand new Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible, red.
Surprisingly affordable at 25,000 USD.

To put it in perspective, that's cheaper than some Leicas or a new girlfriend.
Pretty cheap cure for a midlife crisis, if you ask me...

Chris
i'm much too old to be having a mid-life crisis...this is more like an old life crisis...
i just bought a toyota rav4...looking forward to the snow again!

not the least bit interested in girlfriends...
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Old 10-07-2016   #20
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i just bought a toyota rav4...looking forward to the snow again!
RAV 4 for winter, Miata for summer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
not the least bit interested in girlfriends...
After 25 years of marriage I can't say that I blame you...

Chris
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Old 10-07-2016   #21
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Lack of inspiration is very disturbing, no doubt.

I've been there, too, Joe.
It was about 20 years ago. After 30 years total immersion in photography as student, practitioner and teacher, I had run out of ideas, energy, interest and, worst of all, I had lost my enthusiasm, THE most important element of my teaching style.

At the urging of my department chair I took a photography workshop and then, eventually, seven more over the course of a decade plus.

The ones that, for me, re-lit the passion were those conducted by Elizabeth Opalenik, Lucien Clergue, Keith Carter and, especially, Paul Elledge.

None of these four photographers had anything to say about camera equipment.

For those like you and me, who have spent many, many years as passionate devotees to photography, it is very painful to be in the doldrums.

Consider a visit to the websites of the photographers above (sadly, M. Clergue is no longer with us) and/or take a look at the catalogue offerings of Santa Fe Workshop and The Maine Photographic Workshops.

Admittedly, these workshops are expensive, but attending one can potentially have a greater and longer lasting positive impact on your work - and psyche! - than a new lens or camera body.

It worked for me as it has for many others.
Maybe it would work for you.

CG
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Old 10-07-2016   #22
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a workshop sounds like a great idea actually.
i should look around locally and maybe a bit further as well.
i've been to info sessions at trade shows but they leave me wanting...usually more about gear than photography.
if i save a few bucks something more exotic would be nice too!
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Old 10-07-2016   #23
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a workshop sounds like a great idea actually.
i should look around locally and maybe a bit further as well.
i've been to info sessions at trade shows but they leave me wanting...usually more about gear than photography.
if i save a few bucks something more exotic would be nice too!
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We all do what we want or wish to do
Old 10-07-2016   #24
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We all do what we want or wish to do

Dear back alley,

Myself, I'm on the cheapskates path to a National Geographic cover.

I always aspire to a better camera, and/or lens that will allow me to take better nature and wildlife pictures.

It's a fool's quest I know, but if I need some extra dough to help me along I'm sure I have a collectible fly rod or two I can liquidate, if need be?

The bottom line is that to me is if you enjoy what you are doing and no women, children, or dogs are harmed in the process then it's all good.

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Old 10-12-2016   #25
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From the latest posts I see that a certain trend appears. Retirement. Having an abundance of time on one's hands together with access to this forum and its gear related talks always seems to make people think about buying some new gear. Cut one from your life and I'm sure you won't be thinking about gear as much.
I come to read this forum every day at work, mainly of boredom, and each day someone is asking for which camera to buy to add to their x amount of Ms. Rarely anyone asks how to make better photographs.
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Old 10-12-2016   #26
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From the latest posts I see that a certain trend appears. Retirement. Having an abundance of time on one's hands together with access to this forum and its gear related talks always seems to make people think about buying some new gear. Cut one from your life and I'm sure you won't be thinking about gear as much.
I come to read this forum every day at work, mainly of boredom, and each day someone is asking for which camera to buy to add to their x amount of Ms. Rarely anyone asks how to make better photographs.
most folks are more willing to converse/argue about gear than images.
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Old 10-12-2016   #27
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Rarely anyone asks how to make better photographs.

That`s because the majority are confident of their work .
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Old 10-12-2016   #28
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Do whatever makes you happy as long as you aren't hurting yourself or others. Stop doing whatever makes you unhappy whenever possible.
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Old 10-12-2016   #29
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That`s because the majority are confident of their work .
I doubt that is true for most people here.

Talking about photographs is much harder than talking about equipment. People can talk about equipment because it is external to them. Talking about photographs is much more personal and subjective, both for the photographer and the viewer - and this is always going to be more problematic. This is also likely connected to why comments on Flickr etc are usually little more than bland comments...

When I get stuck, it is not usually because I have run out of ideas, but because I have run out of confidence to go out and try them. It is very very hard to take good photographs - contrary to what most people seem to think - and it is easy to get dissolusioned.

My solution is usually to try a regular project, committing some regularity to making and showing images. It helps me get out and try ideas rather than just thinking about them (or worse, thinking about gear, when what I already have is more than capable...).
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Old 10-12-2016   #30
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i wonder how much time most people commit to their photography per week or month?
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Old 10-12-2016   #31
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...My solution is usually to try a regular project, committing some regularity to making and showing images. It helps me get out and try ideas rather than just thinking about them (or worse, thinking about gear, when what I already have is more than capable...).
Mark: Strongly agree.
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Old 11-06-2016   #32
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do what?

why do i think so much about gear and less much about photography. why do i think so much about any of this stuff?

a big part recently is that i have a lot of time available for thinking. so even if i were to quit the photo thinking there would still be lots of time for thinking about other things.
also, i recently tore a calf muscle and walking is very painful...actually i pulled it 3 times over 3 weeks...damn it hurts. it also makes me favour my other side which is already painful from an arthritic hip. nothing but losing...

anyway...today i was thinking about all the gear i have owned and if i were to redo the adventure what might i wind up with?

for film...a canon f1 plus a t90 body...and a few lenses.
also for film...2 mamiya 6 bodies and all 3 lenses from their kit.
for digital...i do like the fuji gear so i think that would remain the same...i would have kept 2 rd1 bodies and every damn lens i ever bought for them!!
It's not as complex an issue one might think: When you love something, you think about it. A lot.

I do the same thing - I am practically always thinking about some facet of photography.
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Old 11-06-2016   #33
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I recently heard some very good advice: if you can't make yourself happy, try making someone else happy. There are so many ways to get involved with NGOs, community service groups, etc. You're bound to run into good people that are like minded and lift you up.
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Old 11-06-2016   #34
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Do whatever makes you happy as long as you aren't hurting yourself or others. Stop doing whatever makes you unhappy whenever possible.
secret of life, me thinks.
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Old 11-06-2016   #35
burancap
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Sorry, I did not read the whole thread.

Because you can't shoot all of the time? And so, because photography is such a considered venture, one tends to think about it when you're not. It is a consuming pleasure.
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Old 11-06-2016   #36
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I Know this is gonna sound messed up to some people, but I was the same way for a few years, but then in March 2015 I bought a Leica M240 and 35mm Summicron and it changed everything. I don't really lust after anything photography gear wise anymore. Its wonderful.
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Old 11-06-2016   #37
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Gear is absolute, images are very subjective, making the conversations either positive or subject to personal interpetation. It's easier to deal with x number of megapixels or y number of focus points than it is to try to make a case for a given image.

On the other side of your post, yeah, arthritis is slowly improving my photography of the back yard. Too beat up to go much further. BUT! We gotta keep on truckin'. Take the workshop idea and run with it.
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Old 11-06-2016   #38
xayraa33
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Well Joe, thinking about photo gear is easier to do than doing actual photography that is meaningful and satisfying to you.

We are all a little guilty of that.
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Old 11-06-2016   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
Well Joe, thinking about photo gear is easier to do than doing actual photography that is meaningful and satisfying to you.



We are all a little guilty of that.


Agreed.

As long as the photograph making takes precedence, I don't mind saying "variety is the spice of life" when it comes to gear. I love experimenting with gadgets.
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Old 11-06-2016   #40
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I recently heard some very good advice: if you can't make yourself happy, try making someone else happy. There are so many ways to get involved with NGOs, community service groups, etc. You're bound to run into good people that are like minded and lift you up.
been there done that...
it's my turn now...
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