The Long-tailed Finch
Finches are one of my most favorite species of birds. This Long-tailed Finch here is so beautiful, small and agile. Although small and fast subjects can be quite a challenge to capture, it makes me feel that my sluggish camera gear isn’t up to par at times. I can’t help but wonder if it’s me or the gear that is the bottleneck. One thing I do know is that no matter how many times I upgrade, it is never enough. There will always be the next best thing that promises you something more. Whether they really deliver on that promise is another thing.
There will come a point that you have to give up on upgrading. (Bank balance dries up.) Do you just use what you have or just give up trying to compete with those that can afford the biggest and shiniest stuff? This attitude towards things applies to your whole life since acquiring things is a big part of what life is all about, at least for those of us that are unenlightened.
My own experience is this—live simply, enjoy all the little things. In other words, if there is a problem, the problem is usually you. Every gear is capable of something, it is up to how you use them. When you have a choice between creating or consuming, always choose creation.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of gear acquisition. It becomes a problem when you amass a ton of gear chucked into the corners of the room that you will never use. The costs of keeping up with gear acquisition can also be draining. The worst thing that can happen is that you become so addicted to the gear that you forget why you need them in the first place. You forget about the art you are trying to create. You end up just wanting to buy and collect stuff, like a typical consumer. From creator to consumer, that is one of the worst falls that can happen to any artist.
Music, which happens to be one of my greatest love also shares the same fate. You need gear to listen to music and once you start dissecting the music with your gear, you start calling yourself an audiophile. It is like becoming a “camphile” or “lensphile” in photography. At the end of the day, all these so-called “philes” are just consumers looking to play with the next toy. It is not about the art or the music anymore. I read on some forum that audiophiles use music to listen to gear and not use gear to listen to music. Searching for the perfect system to listen to music makes it hard to enjoy music in the first place. It seems like the music will never be perfect. Similarly, waiting for that perfect gear to get that perfect shot is just as foolish.
It is more liberating to enjoy the little things that you have. Make full use of them until a better one comes along when the time is right.
Till then create to the best of your ability, the gear shouldn’t be the bottleneck. You are the one that makes things happen.