I’ve been ridding myself of cameras lately, creating negative space. I had looked at some of them and couldn’t remember the last time I’d picked them up and used them. I’d looked at others and remembered I didn’t like using them, for some reason or another. Sometimes ergonomics played a part, but mostly it was because I did not like the results I got from them. I even found a couple of lenses I hadn’t used in so long I’d forgotten I owned them.
This is the down side of G.A.S. It will promise you many things when it hits you. The thrill of the hunt. The joy of winning an Ebay auction. The promise of something new in your photography. So you buy, and then the down side sets in. The thrill passes, and you’re left with a camera you really don’t care for, and it becomes another dust catcher. So you let it sit on the shelf, and eventually, the cycle begins again.
There are some folks who collect. I am not one of them. I acknowledge cameras can be works of art, and examples of good science made real, but to me, they’re mostly tools. A tool is to be used, and kept in good repair. If it isn’t used, it’s not living up to its purpose, and it’s time to give it the chance to do so.
But the one thing that collectors do right is to look at every purchase with an eye towards curation. The closest I’ve come to this has been deciding what systems I wanted to use: Nikon F mount, M42, M39, P6, and so on. That got me to get rid of some random things a while back. But now, future purchases are going to be guided by what I need to fill in specific needs.
So no, negative space isn’t going to stop my G.A.S. It is going to channel it in to reasonable directions and away from the “oh, shiny!” type of purchases I have been guilty of in the past. While those have occasionally been fruitful, finding something unexpected, the vast majority of them have been a waste of time, space, and money.
Just as negative space in an image brings out the subject, it’s going to draw me towards what I really want, and need, to have, and in a productive direction.