GAS or Gear Acquistion Syndrome

Just lately I have seen and read a number of articles on Gear Junkies so thought I would include an edited portion of a two part article written by Oliver Duong. I have included links to both parts of this rather long but interesting and very personal article

from an article by Oliver Duong of Inspired Eye

"On the road to recovery from gear, I almost relapsed. Right after pretty much severing myself from Gear, something happened. I started buying more and more photography books and software. Heck I found myself searching for what software I needed to buy but didn’t need. I was shifting the addiction from gear to books and software, and if I didn’t cut it there I would have been in trouble again. That’s when I realized there was also a money pattern on top of the pattern of looking at cameras: I conditioned my brain to buy buy buy if I had the money. That 4×5 camera I was talking about? The G.A.S attack came right after I did some branding work and poster work for a Hedge Fund. It was a pattern inside another pattern. Careful to be conscious of your triggers!

I am now a gear minimalist focused on photography and a big fan of Limitation creativity (you are more creative with less). But here is the truth; I used to be a huge gear junkie, basically having GAS as soon as I got a new camera. I had this problem since the very beginning but now I am cured. In one sense I am trying to help those who know they have GAS (Gear Aquisition Syndrome) to stop having it and trying to prevent others from suffering GAS.

I might sound preachy and maybe harsh but please know that I am preaching and being hard on myself first because I wasted a lot of money and time because of my gear addiction. I hope this helps you in some way and I wish someone was there to tell me these things.

When reading this article please understand that I LOVE gear but I am aiming at GAS, the syndrome that makes you hoard gear that you don’t really need and get stuff for the sake of getting it.

Replacing GAS actions with Photography action

When G.A.S. hits it is usually convincing talk to yourself and then taking action. How cool the camera is, how happy I would be, how my photographs will improve, then I would immediately take action like search for the camera online, and then bring my finances in alignment and then hit buy. Your brain does not discriminate habits, it cannot make the difference between good and bad habits. Only I could take the bad habits and transform them into good habits, the key is I HAVE to replace the habit because habits can only be overwritten, not deleted. Such a desire that will come as automatically as I see something pleasing to the eye (Read: Sexy camera in half leather case). But I also had to counter the action steps to counter the G.A.S actions steps I took.

Replacing the routine

Like I stated in the previous article, the key to reforming habits is to keep the triggers and the rewards, but change the routine. Alcoholic Anonymous folks have a buddy system, when the trigger is pulled, simply call your buddy or mentor asap, changing the routine from alcohol to people. In my case, I knew my triggers, simply seeing a hot camera. My rewards were the feelings of fulfilment: I own a camera, therefore I am a photographer. Owning that large format camera made me feel in the same lineage as Ansel Adams. Owning that 35mm camera made me feel like I was just like Bresson or Kertez or something. Fulfilment was the key; I wanted to be a fulfilled photographer. I simply had to do something that gave me that fulfilment that did not involve buying more and more.


That fulfilment was shift  my focus from the ideal (gear) to the object (photography) and to then concentrate on being the best photographer I could be with the gear I already have."

The full article appears to have been removed from the website.

Another article you may be interested in is entitled “20 Ways to Grow as Photographer without new gear”. This article begins with the words; “A photographer can stick with the same gear their entire life and still impove on what they do.” The article then goes on to list the ways, with photographs to illustrate.

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