In my last post, I commented on my distinct lack of enthusiasm for the new mirrorless camera offerings from Nikon. Subsequently, both Canon and Fuji have also released new mirrorless cameras. Each one proudly publishes a fancy spec sheet, full of images of the camera bodies, accompanying lenses and their capabilities. Pages and pages of data.
In the past, this would have caused me to breathe more rapidly, excitement building, as I surveyed the options ahead. Not this time. Not for any of them. And I’ve been trying to figure out why.
Earlier this week, I read an article about how we are turning our western society into an anxiety-laden domain, filled with better and better toys that are meant to excite us, but that only make us more anxious because we don’t have them and maybe can’t get them. We then purchase other toys designed specifically to help mitigate the first anxiety, and then we stress out about not having the right anxiety-mitigation toys for our needs. And on and on.
That article really hit home for me. Ironically, it exposed an anxiety I’ve had for some time about the endless focus on the next new shiny camera. I’ve been hugely guilty of it. But something changed this year. The catalyst was the financial reality of having spent way to much money on gear just for the fun of it. At the expense of what was really important – my creative soul. Enough was enough.
And what should happen then? A couple days ago, a vlogger I respect greatly, one Mr. Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography, released a video that hit me between the eyes. He in essence lambasted the modern society in which we live, where more stuff and more status symbols outweigh the creativity at the heart of this practice we call photography. We’ve literally lost our collective, creative minds. In one respect, many have said it before – it’s not the gear, it’s the photographer. But Ted said it particularly well. So, my message this week is a simple one. Listen to what Ted says.