We all get "the bug" from time to time -- and I admit, I do as well. "The Bug" being GAS; gear acquisition syndrome. Over the years, I have read about this on various websites. Canon or Nikon releases a new camera body or lens into the wild, and shortly thereafter you see craigslist or eBay flooded with yesterdays' gear.

There is nothing bad about this -- for those of us that never buy new gear, this is a perfect time to buy. I just scored a D700 with a $100 grip, $90 cable release and $100 bag for $1500. Sold all the extras and got a body that sells for $1500-1800 currently, for $1200. Not bad, considering the same camera sold for $2200 just this past May.

Of course there are downsides to GAS. The main misconception with "latest and greatest" gear is that it will make a photographer automagically 100% better. I mean, a photographer is only as good as the weakest link, right? Well yes, this is true -- but the "weak link" is not the gear; it is the photographer. The capabilities are misplaced into the gear, and not skill of one self. Don't believe me? That is perfectly fine. Here is my story.

As those of you that have read this blog before (many thanks to all 3 of you!), you may have recalled that I shot film for the last 6 months or so. For those that do not know the story, here is a quick run down. In May 2012, I sold my Canon 1Ds and promptly bought a Nikon F5. Having really never shot film, I wanted to get back to basics. No reliance on any of the advances of photography in the last 5 years to help guide me; Live View, no LCD screen, etc.

The first roll of film I shot really didn't render anything of visual value, so to speak. It did, however, help me pre-visualize a scene. The film process really slowed me down. I had to think about what I was shooting, and make sure I nailed the exposures -- because it wouldn't be weeks until I knew if I did well or not. It was pretty funny now that I think back, the first roll of film I changed out. Took me like 10 minutes to change out that roll :). We all have our moments, okay..

All said and done, I put through maybe 5 rolls of film through the F5. From May until October. I traveled to Seattle, Central Oregon, Mt. Rainier National Park - and some amazing waterfalls in the middle of nowhere, that took 4 hours to reach. That is around 170 exposures, give or take a few. I have buddies that burn through that many exposures in 3 hours in The Gorge.

Sadly, I bought a D700 and the exact same day, my F5 wouldn't power on. She is getting worked on right now. Only camera I have ever had that needed repairs, and it is the least technologically advanced camera I have shot seriously with. Go figure. I hope to get it back in the next few weeks.

Here is an image that I am super happy with. I get asked ALL the time about the details of this photo, ie; the scanning method, developing, etc. BlueMoon Camera here in Portland, Oregon did the developing and scanning. I do not know what scanner they used specifically - however I think it might be the Nikon Coolscan 9000 ED, as I have some scans done with that scanner.

This is a shot of Lower Lewis River Falls, taken mid October of this year. Same lens I have used for the last 20 months. I still don't use filters, and I took all of 3 exposures of this spot.

In closing, there is the proof that the Limiting Factor is indeed the photographer. There are limitations with any tool, and cameras are exactly that - a tool to get the job done. The job of a photographer is to work within these limits.


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