Changing Gears and Gear

Nothing much has changed gear wise for me in the last almost two years of slowly gallivanting around Southeast Asia to destinations I have wanted to see. I’ve captured a lot in photographs and blog posts here and as you probably know I am an opinionated asshole at times and just say what I think of bloggers, photography, instagram, twitter, facebook, whatever. Ain’t apologizing. Too old to change my ways so live with it. One of the rather frustrating rituals has been with expensive camera gear that goes wonky sometimes after only months. Sitting here in Siem Reap I started wondering why. Why do I just buy into more gear that may go sideways in months that costs? I then look at my other travel companions that have not been replaced. My 2017 Macbook 12 inch laptop has been sterling and a great companion for traveling. Great battery life, very forgiving at times, and I love the display. Then there’s the iphone 7 plus. Another device I bought used that has lasted me very well with plopping in SIM cards, lugging through airports, banging on restaurant counters, but never seriously taking photographs besides the food shot every so often. Why? Its not because the camera takes bad photographs or should not be used. It actually takes very good photographs in most situations without expensive add on gear. No lens, no additional things to buy if I would just use the iphone for photography.

So I wondered, why not this morning. What is it that makes carrying a camera the best of all worlds and why should I reconsider things. Simply put, whatever I take a photograph of is for me to keep and share, to backup on social media. I am not into selling photographs or writing up gorgeous trip reports for National Geographic. Simply put the photographs and their maintenance, editing, and final disposition on Google Photos can all be done on the phone itself. I don’t need a device to do this. So why the hesitation? For awhile I believed I wanted to learn photography. Its basics and applications and then apply to my travels. After three or four cameras that have gone sideways, that goal has changed.

Now I want to take photographs of the places I am at, will visit, people, streets, etc. Doesn’t the iphone 7 plus do this well? Don’t I already own a good camera? Doesn’t it backup almost automagically to Google? Yes, yes, and yes!

Its like a rabid thing of what photographers call the GAS. Must acquire the newest gear or just find something that may replace a thing that actually works well because its there and I can do it. No matter that down the road I will wonder why. I am not going to defeat that because I think every techhead has a similar thing. We want relevant technology that will deliver the goods. But what if we temper that a bit and apply it reasonably?

What if I decided to only replace the iphone 7 plus with a later iphone down the road? Perhaps in the states when I see the 2019 phones and I buy a generation old phone like I do that will last years but takes the requisite photographs like Apple delivers to us?

Who am I looking to get approvals from with my images? Why no one of course besides me. Changing gears and gear makes sense then. Simplifying a final area makes sense. Using a thing that I have had for years with me makes sense. It all makes sense until it does not make sense any longer. I may change the backpack when I am back in the states and get new shoes becaue shoes do wear out and the backpack has some features I don’t use at all so why heft it around? But a camera is not one of those things. It ain’t gonna fit on my feet or make the images I wish to share on the blog, on facebook groups, on Mastodon any better than what I get now.

So its time to become a bit accepting, defeat one incarnation of the GAS devil that grips us with acquisitions and just learn to enjoy what I have. It was always there but somehow in the rush to find the camera combination, I ignored the prime directive. For your enjoyment and approbation here it is:

Have fun, enjoy the voyages, record what you want and enjoy looking back on it

That is the prime directive. Nowhere in there does it say to spend thousands of dollars on camera gear that could go sideways in mere months. Be gone that small devil and affliction that makes me think its OK to simply buy another camera because I can.


Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.