10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

(Pictured above: The Leica M9 Titanium. So damn gorgeous – but a classic temptation of GAS)

We are all gear-heads at heart. We love hearing about the newest and greatest camera out there, and we love seeing comparisons with different lenses, at different apertures, and the sharpness and “characteristics” of each lens. I think it is fine to think and discuss about gear in photography, but when discussed about in excess– it starts getting unhealthy and like a disease.

I am weak, and I get tempted by gear all the time, but I try to constantly remind myself not to fall victim to gear acquisition syndrome (also commonly known as “gas”). Based on sociology, psychology, cognitive science, philosophy, and my personal experiences I will suggest some tips how you can cure yourself of gas (no not your farting, you might need to lay off the beans or get some stomach medicine for that).

In the post I will also include inspirational images from the World Press Photo 2012, to remind us that it is the emotion and content of a photograph that makes a compelling image, not the gear.

1. Realize that you are weak

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Image Copyright: Brent Stirton

If you ever watch an introduction to alcoholics anonymous, each person in the group goes around in the group and says, “Hi, my name is blah blah and I am an alcoholic”. Similarly, it is important to realize that we are human, and we are weak– and we fall quite easily to temptation. We love to think that we have strong willpower, but studies show that we actually have extremely weak willpower. Admit to yourself that you get tempted to gear as much as the next person, which will help you better resist the “poisoning” of gear around you. I shoot with a Leica camera, and I meet a lot of Leica users and shooters– and many gearheads and collectors. There is nothing inherently wrong with being a gearheads or collector, but it is a vicious cycle that I feel never brings one true satisfaction and happiness (as we always want more).

Take for example yesterday in Kuala Lumpur. I just finished my street photography workshop and had a cocktail and VIP party at the Leica store, and stumbled upon a Leica MP with a .58 magnification viewfinder. It was so goddamn gorgeous, and I felt my own gear whoring come out of myself. I then started feeling that my Leica M6 was inadequate, and that the .72 magnification viewfinder was useless with a 35mm lens. Also I marveled at the Leica script that was embossed on the top plate of the MP, and told myself I needed one. I had a drink and played with the MP some more, and it felt so right in my hands, with the heavy brass and the “mechanical perfection” of the film advance lever. The guys around me were laughing and “poisoning” me in all good fun, and I knew I had to resist myself. I reminded myself how weak I was to peer pressure and gear — and took a step back and gave back the MP.

2. Create physical constraints

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Alejandro Kirchuk

As humans, we have very weak self-control and constraint. Take smoking for example. Many people try to quit “cold turkey” using just their will– but few people actually succeed. Statistics prove that majority of smokers quit when having some physical aid (using a e-cigarette or nicotine patches) to overcome their addiction to smoking. I feel that the same goes with gas. You need to create some physical constraints on yourself. For example, I am awful with money. If kept to my own will, I would spend all of my money on Leica lenses, crocodile leather shoes, and ice cream cones (I love ice cream almost as much as Allamby). I know this, and therefore consult my girlfriend Cindy before making any serious monetary investments.

About a month ago, I asked Cindy what she felt about myself buying a Leica MP (yeah I have been thinking about it for a while). She essentially smacked me upside the head and told me I would be a complete moron if I did, and talked some sense into me. She gave me a ton of clarity, and by having her as a “gatekeeper” to my wallet–she helps me a ton from making stupid decisions. If you don’t have a beautiful and bossy girlfriend to help you keep your money in check, perhaps hire a financial consultant and tell them to prevent you from making stupid financial decisions (including gas). Even by putting all of your savings into a fund (that you can’t touch) and keeping a certain limit on your credit card, you will prevent yourself from buying crap you don’t need.

3. Don’t hang out with gear-heads

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Samuel Aranda

One thing I learned in sociology is that “you are the average of the three closest person to yourself”. Therefore if you hang out with a lot of gear-heads, you will be a gearheads yourself and succumb to gas. Rather than hanging out with gearheads and stroking your Leica and lenses with baby oil, hang out with photographers who talk less about gear, and more about photography. Finding a community more focused about shooting (and less about gear) will in-turn make you more focused on photography and less on gear. Inevitability we all love talking about gear at one point or another (the latest Leica rumors, the new Fuji camera, or the new Olympus micro 4/3rds) but try to find a group that keeps it to a minimal.

4. Stick to one camera and one lens

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Ton Koene

Currently the only cameras I own are my Leica M9 and my Leica M6, along with my 35mm summicron f/2 asph (yeah the latest version baby!) I gave my old Canon 5D to a close family friend’s younger brother (who is an aspiring photo journalist) along with my 35mm f/2 and my 24mm f/2.8. I told him it was all he needed to take incredible photographs. He asked me if he should buy a 70-200 lens and I threatened him that if he bought it, I would take my Canon back. I also recently had a 21mm Voightlander for my Leica, and returned that. I also gave my 21mm to my good friend Todd at the Hatakayana Gallery to use on his sweet new 21mm Leica lens (yeah the same guy who gave me his M6! Even trade.) The last three months or so (since I inherited my M6 from Todd in Tokyo) I have been working on all of my personal projects on film (tri-x and portra 400).

Nowadays my M9 is my backup camera (and really expensive point and shoot camera). Therefore all I am really using for my street photography is my Leica M6 and 35mm summicron f/2. It is one camera and one lens. Nothing more and nothing less. What I love most about having one camera and one lens is that it is just less stressful, and plain bliss. I never concern myself with having a different focal length for a situation (having a 28mm if someone is really close or a 50mm if someone is further away) but rather I learn to adapt to my situation, and become more creative. I have used a 35mm focal length more or less exclusively for around 4 years now, starting with my Canon.

I now know the focal length inside and out, and know how my frame looks in any situation. I don’t really even have the desire to have any other lens, as the 35mm framelines on my Leica are difficult enough to see with my glasses. Less is more. Having more choices simply gives us more stress. Remember the last time you wanted to order something at a restaurant, and there were like five million options on the menu? You then order something, wishing for the best, and it comes out and you feel disappointed? (damn, this chicken Alfredo sucks– I should have gone with the beef stew). Less options is less stress on us, and doesn’t cause “paralysis by analysis”. But damn, if I got a Leica MP with a .58 viewfinder and 28mm lens, it would be pretty sweet. Ahhhh nooo! Eric, stop this self-poisoning of yourself.

5. Calculate the lost opportunity cost

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Tomasz Lazar

New cameras and lenses are expensive, and often that money can be used towards better things related to photography (buying photo books, going on trips, buying film, or paying off your maxed out credit card). I currently have the M6 which is worth around $1300 usd. The Leica MP is around $3300 usd. The cost of upgrading will be $2000.

Let’s do some math:

What else can I better do with $2000?

  • I can have enough money to buy two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world. ($1000 a ticket times two)
  • I can have enough money to buy and process 200 rolls of film ($5 a roll and $5 to process a roll).
  • I can have enough money to buy 40 photography books ($50 usd for a decent photo book).

All of these things will do me so much more for my photography and happiness than a new shiny Leica. Do your own calculations for what gear or lenses you may be pondering, and see how ridiculous your ideas may be.

6. Buy a film camera

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Adam Pretty

The best thing I have heard digital cameras likened to were computers. Think about how long you can use a computer before it gets outdated. 4 years, at best? Digital cameras as essentially computers. They get outdated fast as hell. There are always new digital cameras coming out with moar and moar megapixels, iso, dynamic range, faster autofocus, and crappy features like hdr and panorama, etc). I doubt you can use a digital camera longer than 4 years, without it being considered a dinosaur.

Ever since I got my film Leica, I no longer am very impressed or concerned with these new cameras coming out (besides the MP). A film Leica will last you a lifetime, and you never need to upgrade. It is simple and straightforward, and remember- all film cameras are “full frame”. Regardless of my MP envy, I would say that having my Leica M6 and 35mm summicron — I feel truly “content” with my gear. If you want to make a purchase, remember to get a good lens, as they will last a lifetime (more or less). They will outlast your camera, as there is only so sharp you can make a piece of glass. I doubt they will ever quit selling film- and don’t worry about Kodak going bankrupt. Their film business is stilly profitable.

Remember, when photography first came out people said nobody would ever paint anymore. People still paint. People said cd’s would kill vinyl records. Vinyl records are now thriving more than ever (thanks to all the hipsters who shop at Urban Outfitters). Classic things never truly “die”.

7. Don’t spend time on gear forums

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Yuri Kozyrev

If you spend an unhealthy amount of time on gear forums, stop. It is quite possibly the worst thing you can do in your spare time. I actually suggest downloading an add-on for chrome or Firefox that prevent you from visiting these sites altogether.

Rather, spend time visiting sites about photography. Spend time on invisible photographer Asia, la pure vida, burn magazine, in-public, the magnum website, little brown mushroom blog, Blake Andrews blog, and so on. Looking at great photographs will inspire you to take great photographs. Looking at reviews of gear and lenses will make you want to spend your money. Remember, you are what you eat.

8. Realize that sharpness and bokeh is overrated

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Huimin Kuang

In street photography, sharpness and the “bokeh quality” of a lens is the most overrated thing ever. Sure if you give me a Noctilux and have me shoot that bad boy at .95 I will squeal like a little schoolgirl about how creamy and “bokehlicious” the photo turn out, but it is quite useless in street photography. When is the last time you saw a great street photograph from any of the masters and said, “Wow, that photograph is really sharp” or “Wow, that photograph has really nice bokeh”.

Another thing that I used to do a lot (which I am trying my best not to do anymore) is look at someone’s photographs (who are very good) and ask what camera or lens they use. It is like asking your chef what pots and pans he or she uses to cook your meals (if the food is really good). If you don’t want to get slapped in the face (or your food spit in) realize that it is the artist that creates the art, not the tools.

Frankly speaking, all prime lenses out there are pretty damn sharp (and you will always sharpen the photos a bit in post-processing anyways) and I feel that street photography is best captured using a large depth of field using zone focusing. Therefore don’t worry about having a large maximum wide aperture– unless you want to take nice bokeh shots of your water bottles at home, that is.

9. Realize that you will never be satisfied

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Tomasz Gudzowaty

Material things never bring true happiness. Yeah, yeah we have all heard it before but it is true. We all tell ourselves, oh–if I only had full-frame I’d truly be happy. If I had that Leica I’d be truly happy. If I had that one 1.4 lens I would be truly happy. Realize that with gear, it is a slippery slope. As humans, we are biologically greedy. We want stuff, and like having lots of it. It was our genetic way of making sure that we wouldn’t die. After all when we were cavemen, if we hoarded tons of food for ourselves, we would have a higher likelihood of making it through tough winters and droughts.

Nowdays modern day life is much different. Most people in the modern world don’t suffer from famine and most of our basic needs are met (food, shelter, clothing). However the instincts we have make us never satisfied with what we have. And of course, advertising and consumerism has a large part to blame as well. There is no “end goal” of gas.

Let’s say you start off with a dslr, you will want a full-frame. You get a full-frame, you want that nice canon L lens. You realize the canon L-lens zoom isn’t enough, so you get some nice prime lenses. You then realize the whole damn thing is too bulky, and go for a Leica. You then get a Leica M9, and need more lenses. You end up collecting all the lenses, and then realize you want the M9 titanium. M9 soon becomes passé, and you get a S2. The madness never ends. Be content with what you have and of course feel free to purchase gear, but realize once you find a system you are reasonably happy with (80% satisfied) stick with it.

10. Realize a lot of gas is just bragging rights

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Simona Ghizzoni

Many of us try to rationalize what we do in terms of our purchasing decisions. We tell ourselves that the cameras and lenses we buy are “investments” and thus make rational decisions. Let’s cut away a lot of the bs. A lot of us (including myself) want to just show off with our gear and have bragging rights.

One of the reasons that I kept my old 35mm 1.4 summilux for so long was so I could state that I had a summilux for the sake of having one. The summilux wasn’t the optimal lens for street photography (far too big and heavy) and I never used the 1.4 (only when taking snapshots of my friends at bars to show them the creaminess of the bokeh!)

The reason a lot of us buy expensive cameras or gear is to try to fit in (if our friends all have a certain camera or lens, we will want to get one). Another reason is that we might want to differentiate ourselves from other people (like Leica users vs Dslr users). We want to feel superior with superior gear to be seen by others as having a higher status. With more status comes more prestige, comes more opportunities for us to connect with other people with high status, and have a feeling of “smugness”.

Conclusion

1x1.trans 10 Tips on How to Cure Yourself of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Copyright: Eduardo Castaldo

We all love our toys and cameras and lenses. I don’t see any problem “geeking out” with gear with the friends or playing with our friends new camera or lens. It is perfectly healthy and all fun. However what becomes an issue is when we concern ourselves with gear excessively. Photography is a damn expensive hobby, and not being able to have the best and greatest sucks. We don’t want to be the loser with the “crop sensor” or only having the f/2 lens instead of the f/1.4 lens. We just want to fit in and feel “important” with other people with nice cameras and things.

If you currently suffer from gas, admit to yourself that you are a gear whore and decide for yourself if you want to cure yourself or not. If you have the cash and enjoy continually acquiring lenses and cameras, no problem. If you don’t have the cash and you are taking out credit card debt to feed your addiction, you should probably reconsider things. Life isn’t about getting nice things and being happy.

Spending time with others and being social is what makes us truly happy. Therefore quit spending so much damn time on gear forums and thinking about that stuff, and get out of the house and call some buddies and go shooting. The more time I find myself going out and actually taking photographs and spending time with my fellow streettogs, I am truly happy. I geek out and at times have wet dreams about the next Leica purchase myself, but I realize that I am weak and easily susceptible to peer pressure or advertising. Take a moment to consider how addicted you may be to gas, and I hope this has helped you.

Further Reading

For further reading, I highly recommend this Sociology paper by Jamie Joohander, a street photographer from Singapore titled: Rangefinder Cameras – Layers of Performative Urban Boundaries

What other tips or pieces of advice do you have for those trying to overcome gas? Share some of your advice of personal opinions in the comments below!

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  • ghosh9691

    Excellent article and couldn’t agree more! I am trying to stick to my 5DII with a 50mm f/1.4 and the 24-105mm “kit” lens. Someday, I will trade all of that in for a Leica M something…but for now, less is definitely more! And my photography has improved by leaps and bounds!

  • Kasper

    Great post, I was just about to sell my 3 months old DSLR that i bought after selling another 2 months old DSLR to buy a more street friendly camera, but this post made me reconsider if’s really going to make me a better street photographer or just an excuse for not pushing myself when I’m in the streets.

  • http://twitter.com/roddonic rodrigo baez

    Hey Man great post!…. i have a quick question…

    fujix100 or wait 1 year to get used M8 with used voig 35mm??

    thx fo anwsering =)

    • alwin vrm

      In the film days I had an M6 + 35mm cron (still have it) and then upgraded to a Hexar AF. That and a Rolleiflex and Hasselblad was it for decades. Then again Rolleiflexes and M6′s had a product life cycle of 50 years as opposed to the 9 months of digital.

      Since I went digital 2 years ago I probably bought and often sold again 20 camera’s.

      Not having an opinion about the copyright discussion or the presonality of the author, I did like the message of the article. The past 2 years I spent too much time on reading about gear. That time would have been much better spent reading about post processing, getting inspired , or even better, making pictures.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/photomensch/3796423662/

  • scott

    Great one ;)

    So no more 0.58 MP ya ;) You are good with your m6+35cron~!!

  • Wilfredo

    Pretty good article again! What I love about it is that I realize that it was me when I was starting out. I had about 30 cameras and I sold them all except for my Leica M6, Rolleiflex 2.8f and Olympus Stylus Epic. And that is it. I don’t have a digital camera nor I am planning to in the future.

    Another problem when using film is that people have different kinds of films. I also changed to just two film stocks and that is it. More photography and less time wondering which film was the right choice.

    http://www.photostudious.com

  • rekuxo

    Hey Eric,

    Great article … though it felt more like a testimonial alla Jerry Maguire like.

    Defo a good read, but my thoughts are … GAS or LPG as long as it fuels the passion. ;)

    Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504641404 Jamie Joohander

    Thanks for the shoutout Eric!

    http://joohander.tumblr.com/

  • http://www.sgaze.com/ Samuel

    These 10 tips won’t succeed to change the fact that for real we are more geeks than artists.

  • Midnightrookphotography

    Great article. I do have to say that limiting people’s gear acquisition syndrome by telling them to buy a film camera is a bit counter-intuitive, lol. And not all 35mm film cameras are full frame. Some are half and quarter frame, some are panoramic. Just my two cents.

  • Alexander

    I like your article on how to cure yourself from gas. I am the same way when something new comes out in the photography world that has improved technology I have to have it. But as you say is this all necessary. I have about 10 different cameras which I will sell in the near future and only keep one or two.

    http://www.greatphotobusiness.com

  • Matrox

    It’s my first comment on this blog and I decided to wrote it, because it’s one of the best posts about photography I’ve ever read. So inspiring, and so truthful!

    We are very likely to fall into “gear-mania” and unfortunately, I fell into this kind of sh*t. Happily, I realized that thing and I’m working on it by reading photography websites and do more shooting. The last one is hard, because I haven’t got much time in week, but I’m considering to sign in to some photography challanges.

    “Another thing that I used to do a lot (…) ask what camera or lens they use.” – frankly, the better option is to look into EXIF data. I’m doing it regular and from that data we can see what settings photographer use and sometimes learn something new :)

  • Verdoux

    I would slightly disagree with the beginning of point six. Computers become outdated because after a while they can’t run the latest and greatest software anymore, but old digital cameras have the same quality no matter how much time has passed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Irma-Geniuos/100003748842749 Irma Geniuos

      In fact for anyone who is happy with their current software a computer can remain useful for ten years or more. Until it actually simply stops working.

  • R_R_Roy

    Very well written….and very true.

  • Barry

    Great post Eric.

  • Dfs

    Get an iPhone. I got one last May and never looked back. Sold 3 leica m8 and one leica m9. Also sold all my Canon stuff. Best camera and procesing I have ever used. http://davidfschuster.tumblr.com
    David F. Schuster

  • Gary Gumanow

    Great post… I go back and forth on the GAS issue. I’ve got a hankering for a Mamiya RZ67 or Pentax 67 but realize I would probably not use them much.

    Most of the cameras that I’ve recently purchased were for specific functions that I couldn’t get elsewhere. My M6TTL fulfilled a lifelong obsession I had since I was 8 years old. Plus is was the camera I needed in order to get close to people on the street, along with all the other reasons people use Leica. The Rolleiflex is my “normal” lens camera that allows me to get close to people, is quiet, and gives me a big square image. Bought the M4 so that I would have a second M body for backup. The Hasselblad SWC/M does things that the Leica and Rollei can’t. It paints a picture/photo in a way that expresses how I see urban landscapes.

  • http://twitter.com/mark3000 Mark

    I find being as poor as a church mouse is a good way to avoid GAS!

  • http://twitter.com/Jeremylee25 Jeremy Lee

    Deep. I am guilty also of letting myself being GAS. I can see changes in your perspective over time since about a year ago Eric. Which is good. I think your articles will help me to stay true into the essence of street photography, going out some more to take pictures and focus on a project instead of browsing the internet looking for camera porn. By the way, you said in the point #5 that it is cost you $5 only to develop film?! That is so expensive! Assuming you are using color C-41 process, it cost only $1 here in my country. Well, probably you should shoot with B&W films instead and develop it yourself . I am sure way much more cheaper than sending your rolls to the lab. Just an idea.

  • Airthang

    This is a good one! Thanks!

  • http://rigu.co.uk/ Andrew Bowness

    I think my problem with camera gear is that I still think I don’t have all the basics (I’m still using pop-up flash), so there’s always something I need. That, and I recently opened a little camera accessories store, so I can fool myself into thinking “it’s not for me, it’s for the store, I can sell it, this is an investment!”

  • Eric

    I agree that it’s good to have control over the wallet.

    But some of this advice seems more like “shoot like I do” advice.

    If one’s goal is to shoot a wide range of styles, then gear acquisition is a necessity.

    If one’s goal is to get good bokeh, then you need a good lens.

    If one’s goal is to shoot architecture, you might need a tilt-shift lens.

    If someone a wedding photographer, you probably need a zoom.

    I think you see my point.

    • http://500px.com/TarunKr Tarun Kr

      But I think, if the ‘ones’ above are all different persons then the advice will still hold good on them respectively but if one person tries to concentrate on various fields of photography- wedding, architecture, street, studio portraiture, wildlife, etc. simultaneously he may neither specialize himself in any one stream nor get rid of this GAS syndrome.

      • The Other Eric

        For the same price as the Leica gear that Eric K has “limited” himself to, I could get a used 5D2 and a full arsenal of good lenses. And since one of my artistic drives is to shoot a wide range of images… that’s the equipment I need.

        Eric’s advice comes off more as arbitrary rationalization than universal principles of photography. And I think it’s meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek, no? I mean, since when does Leica gear represent restraint??? :-)

        At the end of the day, this GAS thing is about self-control, not photographic artistry. The GAS principle could be applied to all sorts of non-artistic activities. This is definitely about the line between being a successful artist and a wishful consumer.

        I’m sure there are plenty of people who will shoot just as crappy with one lens as they would with five lenses. So this discussion could almost be rephrased as “Are you really a good photographer… maybe you should quit instead of wasting your money.”. ;-)

  • Tomas

    Great post Eric. However, I disagree with your thoughts on digital vs film. As someone who grew up shooting film, I experienced a huge liberation when digital came along. No longer was I limited by film and development costs. Like anything else, the more you do, the better you get. Digital unleashed my ability to create as many images as I want – and ultimately allowed me to improve my skills in a way that film did not. Conversely, you’re coming to film having shot thousands of images in digital, so your skill level and perspective are different. Like equipment and gear, film is just another tool and does make the end result.

  • bwillard

    Ha, we have the same primary camera setup now; I love porta. Leica GAS is the worst.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRealBidong I am Bidong

    Screw you all, I’m going to pre-order the Canon 5d Mk III and retrofit it with a 0.95 Noctilux :D [not even sure if that's possible]

  • Jahhead

    Luv it….

  • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

    re: 5. Calculate the lost opportunity cost.

    New cameras and lenses are expensive, and often that money can be used towards better things related to photography (buying photo books, going on trips, buying film, or paying off your maxed out credit card). I currently have the M6 which is worth around $1300 usd. The Leica MP is around $3300 usd. The cost of upgrading will be $2000.

    Let’s do some math:

    What else can I better do with $2000?

    I can have enough money to buy two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world. ($1000 a ticket times two)
    I can have enough money to buy and process 200 rolls of film ($5 a roll and $5 to process a roll).
    I can have enough money to buy 40 photography books ($50 usd for a decent photo book).
    All of these things will do me so much more for my photography and happiness than a new shiny Leica. Do your own calculations for what gear or lenses you may be pondering, and see how ridiculous your ideas may be.

    What about your M9, remember the one “I have just bought my first M9 (with the help of my loving mom)”.
    I assume you’re going to sell it, otherwise, why did you write the above?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1420931094 Ollie Gapper

      “Your ego is only matched by your arrogance.” – Ironic.

      This is a community blog whereby Eric offers his posts and personal experiences – a long with his time – in an effort to help others further their photography for free. He is a hypocrite at times and he acknowledges it, he doesn’t preach or force anyone to read his blogs or take his advice.

      If he forced you to pawn your M9 for photo books and you dont like them then I apologise, but otherwise whats the problem? And unless you took one of the beautiful images he shared in the post to inspire, what concern is it of yours?

      • Donkey

        “This is a community blog whereby Eric offers his posts and personal experiences – a long with his time – in an effort to help others further their photography for free. ”

        What does he know of photography ???

        • God

          Excuce me but your reply is just in accordance with your name..:)

          • Donkey

            Now i realise you are my step brother

      • Guest

        Strictly speaking this ‘community blog’ is a marketing tool.

        • Guest 2

          Marketing tool for gears or anything else? But the message in this blog does not encourage sell or marketing of gears or anything else, and rather discourages all these! I did not get your point.

          • Guest

            For Eric Kim, this is how he built his position as a street photographer and now teach. The blog is a commercial product (with ads), in the case of this article using stolen content in form of these pictures. There’s nothing wrong in marketing yourself, but a community it aint.

          • Donkey

            He is more a salesman than a photographer. Let’s wait for 30 years and see how many milestones this ” International Street Photographer” contributes to the history of Street Photography.

          • Guest

            Ehm.. doesn’t market gears!? Let’s see… the strap Eric uses that pops up in “all” his videos, that specific brand of camera bags… not marketing? You think he paid for them and just happen to include them in his videos and mention it all the time?

        • Dxc

          yeah but we still learn from it FOR FREE else why are you still reading

  • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

    Why did you use the winners of the 55th World Press Photo Contest to illustrate every “Tip” you offered?
    They offer nothing to your post.

    Using those pictures for such trivial things as this is insulting to both the photographers, and their subjects.

    • http://500px.com/TarunKr Tarun Kr.

      May be, the author had liked to impress on us to realize the significance of this grave addiction (GAS) along with the importance of taking great photographs as illustrated with the award winning photos side by side so that the readers may be able to realize that taking good photographs is far more important than thinking on gears acquiring..

      • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

        But do the photographers who’s photographs were used agree with either Eric’s opinions or their use in such a post?

        Go to: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/gallery/2012-world-press-photo
        and read about the photographers and their pictures and ask yourself if his including them in such a meaningless post was justified.

        The answer is, no.

        • http://profiles.google.com/george.smyth George Smyth

          http://www.worldpressphoto.org/photo/2012samuelarandapn-1?gallery=2634 (example)

          I read the description and nowhere was the photographer’s love of equipment described. The explanation talked about the circumstances under which the photograph was taken. This description explained the emotion and the content, which is what Eric was referencing in paragraph three.

          Perhaps you can offer an example in the link above where the photographer decided to talk about their gear instead of the emotion and content.

        • Manoiian

          I agree with what Tarun Kr. said that probably he has included those award winning photographs in relation to “capturing the moment” whatever equipment you have. Would the photographers agree to it being used? Is it an insult you say? That is relative as this is not about that but about GAS. He could have posted different pictures but I guess it was in his own opinion to insert these award winning photographs to show great photographs that has relation in this write up.

          I love the article about G.A.S. because I was also a victim of it. Acquiring a lot of lenses and upgrading to different bodies every time a new one comes out did not help my skill in photography. It helped my EGO but ruined my wallet and that was it.

          Again, great post!

    • http://jaredk.ca/ Jared987

      Good question! Maybe reading the article would have helped you to answer it!

      Paragraph 3: “In the post I will also include inspirational images from the World Press Photo 2012, to remind us that it is the emotion and content of a photograph that makes a compelling image, not the gear.”

      Seems to me that using photography, in a blog that’s main intention is the discussion of photography is actually quite appropriate.

      • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

        Eric shoots “street”, his examples are far from “street”, and have no reason to be included in a discussion as trivial as this one.
        Read up on the photographers who took those pictures, and the stories behind them, then tell me how they belong in a post about “gear”.
        It’s an insult to every one of those photographers to be used by Eric in such a meaningless way.

        • Jared

          Well it’s a good thing they have you to stick up for them then.

          • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

            Your immaturity in your comment clearly shows your lack of understanding of those photographers work.

        • Simplore

          Your post is meanless. Dont you have something better to do?

          • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

            I prefer to respect the photographers Eric has stolen from to illustrate such an immature post.
            Eric shows no concept of the work of true professionals, and the respect they deserve. Using those pictures to add to such a sad post is belittling to their efforts.
            Look at the photograph he uses with “3. Don’t hang out with gear-heads”. He is insulting Samuel Aranda and his photo…
            Sad Eric.
            Sad.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zdazzle Zach Dalzell

            How has he stolen anything? He gave credit to the photographer…

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Irma-Geniuos/100003748842749 Irma Geniuos

            Exactly. Some people simply don’t seem to have the first clue what the word steal means.

          • http://twitter.com/PhotoGearHeads PhotoGearHeads

            Credit means nothing. Can I take your car and drive it around the city without your permission, as long as I make sure to tell anyone I might encounter who the car actually belongs to? Of course not. I do not have the right to do that — it’s YOUR property, not mine. YOU, and YOU ONLY, has the right to say who gets to use it, when, where and how — end of. If I were to take your car without your permission, it would be theft — plain and simple. Whether or not I told people it was your car would mean absolutely jack-squat. The same applies to these photos. He doesn’t own these photos — he has no right decide when, where and how they are used. Only the rightful owners do. He has committed an act of theft.

        • EK

          eric claims he shoots street, yet he can’t produce a single street photo to save his miserable life.

          • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

            I’ve only shot street photography for five years – and still got a lot to learn myself. Still haven’t taken amazing photographs yet, but hopefully I can in around 10 years!

          • Donkey

            “I’ve only shot street photography for five years – and still got a lot to learn ..”
            Yet i don’t hesitate to conduct workshops worldwide. What a farce.

          • dxc

            nobody asked you to go to his workshops and give him money lol

            people who actually go can be the judge of whether or not they benefit from it. and there’s a reason why he’s still in demand and being respected as someone who’s continually learning and sharing.

            he’s got the right to conduct any workshops he wants, you don’t have to go to them. the fact that people are going to his workshops and learning from them is the best indicator of whether or not he’s a so-called “farce”.

          • Tapo

            @Donkey, the reason Eric Kim conducts street photography workshops worldwide and is an authority on street photography is because he owns a Leica !!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002060054342 Paul Lanigan

            Donkey by name, donkey by…..what an ass

          • robert

            Lol…what a freaking clown.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002060054342 Paul Lanigan

            Never mind the begrudgers – great post!

          • robert

            Eric,
            You are too modest. If I were in your shoes and read half of the ignorant and inane comments that i read here I’d have blocked commenting completely…

            You have a lot of patience for sure.

            I also want to say, thanks for being transparent, and I’m glad that you’ve been able to turn your passion into your work…not all are this fortunate…myself included lol.

        • Daniel

          Man, you comment on every god damn post, and you don’t even bother to read it before bashing it.

          I came to know Erik blog a few weeks ago and found it very useful. One may not agree with all his opinions, but you gotta respect them, after all they are only personal toughts, and he always made that clear.

          Don’t you get tired of all that hate? Don’t you get tired wasted all that time criticizing someone else’s life?

          If you don’t like Erik, fine! Go outside, go shoot some photos, do better than him, create a blog and make your point.

          The world needs healthy competition. But people with personality issues hiding behind a computer and hating everything, that we already got our hands full.

          Lighten up mate. Go play outside a liitle, it will do you good. I can assure you will start to feel better about yourself.

    • Guest

      Whether they illustrate the article or not wouldn’t be my main concern… just slapping copyright:a_name does not give you the right to use or reproduce the pictures (you’ve even stored them on your own server instead of just linking).

      • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

        Bingo. Well said.

      • http://www.citysnaps.net/ Brad

        >>> just slapping copyright:a_name does not give you the right to use or reproduce the pictures (you’ve even stored them on your own server instead of just linking).

        Absolutely true!

        It’s really sad when a photographer infringes work from other photographers, simply to bolster his blog. Though I suppose it helps get more page views, and that translates to ad revenue…

    • Chris

      Hey Eric,

      Fantastic article. Don’t let people like Kim get to you.

      Keep up the good work.

      Chris

    • a_paddy

      I would have maybe agreed with you if you hadn’t so militantly defended the rights of these ‘photographers’. Ones that may I add are often using vulnerable peoples ‘aesthetic suffering’ to try and win a competition (yes i know expose their plight but there are other ways of doing that besides this farcical press photographers circle jerk)

      But I don’t think this is the place for a discussion on ethics. So you really shouldn’t have started it because this is not the place for it.

  • Raytoei

    Excellent. if i may add, “shoot interesting subject”. Too many digital gear = not enuff shooting. raytoei

  • isoterica

    A great opening photo, specifically designed to draw all the GAS riddled gearheads in. Too much can definitely make a person unhappy and hanging around others that suffer from GAS and always seem to have an endlessly disposable income to purchase the newest, the most expensive.. etc,.. is unhealthy. I joined a couple forums and have all but left them because of all the GAS. I feel insignificant in their company, I feel like I -need- more just to mingle and it’s unsettling. I have more than I could ever need. In fact I picked up a lens and took it back because ‘I really didn’t need it’. And I felt good after. Some of your points are personal opinions as far as dumping digital over film or the sharpness/bokeh issue.. but ceasing to hang out with the gear heads on their forums, calculating the money you saved and putting it towards something as simple as a book to more elaborate as a vacation is really the way to do it because you won’t be satisfied.. ever, as long as you have GAS. And yes we are only human. Good post Eric.

  • http://www.cutebun.blogspot.com Cutebun

    Wow! My Gas syndrome is only on what films to buy next. ><

  • Vanessa

    “We don’t want to be the loser with the “crop sensor”…”

    I guess that would be me, then.

    I can’t afford anything else.

    I am starting to hate pretty much every photography blog I read because of GAS and even when I see an article like this it *still* manages to make me feel less than adequate.

    New motto: Take photos, follow your own eye, and fuck everyone else.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Good one V. And being called that “loser with the crop sensor” is a tongue-in-cheek remark. It doesn’t matter what you shoot with -as long as it works well with you and you are comfortable with it.

      You need the right tools in photography, but in the end it is the photographer that makes the photo! :)

    • Roel

      I had crop for many years, I have gone pro with 2 fullframe bodies and sold all APS-C sized stuff. This is an expensive dream, but my GAS is cured, as I will never ever buy another body again. I will shoot these to beyond repair…

      Live your dream, buy your gear, next up may be cancer or a car-accident. Then you wish you had followed your dreams.

      Im 31 years old, and living too cheap is not good, too spendy is also shitty, so keep a path in between :)

  • http://koblenzverliebt.blogspot.com/ Thomas

    i think there is no “cure”, its an experience everyone has to make for himself,
    so get through with it, keep the useful stuff ditch the rest.

  • http://profiles.google.com/george.smyth George Smyth

    One camera, one lens – FM2N, 35mm lens. Do I need more? I don’t think so.

  • Whitey_hendrix

    Being poor (relative to cost of a lot of the gear) helps ;)

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  • Ramones

    It’s nice that you label these images are copyrighted but what you’re actually doing is stealing from other photographers in order to make your article look pretty. Fair use does not apply in this case because you are not actually talking about the photos, you’re using them as wallpaper on your blog.

    • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

      Thank goodness someone else understands.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Irma-Geniuos/100003748842749 Irma Geniuos

        A fellow brainwashee for you to wring your hands with.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Irma-Geniuos/100003748842749 Irma Geniuos

      No stealing has taken place.

      • Steve McCurry

        call the cops, fruit.

        • Steve McCurry

          that was intended for KBG, of course.

          • Henri Cartier Bresson

            You mean KGB.
            -HCB

  • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

    Replying to George Smyth:

    Well George, Eric is simply using photographs that deserve, and have won respect in the photographic community.
    Every one is an award winning photo, Eric chooses to trivialize them by using then in an immature discussion about buying gear, while he himself (contrary to his post) owns a Leica M9 and at least one additional lens.
    Eric proceeds to say “New cameras and lenses are expensive, and often that money can be used towards better things related to photography (buying photo books, going on trips, buying film, or paying off your maxed out credit card). I currently have the M6 which is worth around $1300 usd. The Leica MP is around $3300 usd.”.

    Now, if we take the cost of his M9: $8000 +-, Lens $500 +- (i’m being low here), and his M6 $1600, we get a low-ball total at $10,100, just for the two cameras he talks about here.

    $10,100 on two cameras….. and he actually writes this post about buying gear being “bad”, and proceeds to tell people not to buy…. plus he actually says he only uses his M9 as a “backup camera”.

    Hypocrite is the word describing Eric, and a wonderful description of this post of his.

    • Donkey

      He is not only hypocrite, he is also dishonest. He bribes people to “like” him. If you “like” him he will give you his presets for free. :):):):)

      • Dxc

        if you hate him so much why are you spending time trolling his page and his Facebook?!! loser

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      I too, suffer from GAS and I constantly remind myself to not be tempted by gear. And the photos used in the post are a reminder to all of us that once again- it is the power of the photographer (and not so much the gear) which creates memorable images!

      • Guest

        Which means they’re used as illustrations for your text (i.e. not not fair use). Hope you have the legal stuff sorted out.

      • Poo

        When are you going to address the “legality” of the pictures you illustrate this with?

        • Guest2

          Apparently never…

          It’s an even more serious offence coming from a photographer… I mean an “International Street Photographer”…

          • http://twitter.com/pookiepookieca poo

            LOL… True isn’t it…

          • Guest2

            I guess Mr Kim doesn’t give a damn about using other people’s work for his own promotion and most certainly doesn’t like to be put on the spot about it seeing as he fails to address the offence.

            Maybe the fine folks of the WPP would care a bit more?

          • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

            Sorry for the delay, been busy while here in London! Thanks for the comments and concerns from everybody- just had a chat with Charlie Kirk and it was a good one.

            Regarding using these photos from the WPP was used in the article to illustrate the point that we shouldn’t always be so obsessed about gear- as it is ultimately the photographer that creates the image.

            Regarding copyright law, I believe I am legally protected by the “Fair use” intellectual property law in the United States, as I am using the images as an educational tool. However frankly speaking, I am not an expert on copyright law- and it is something I need to do more diligent research about. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use)

            However it still is much better to contact the photographers/agencies to use the photograph with permission- as many photographers may not appreciate having their work shown without permission- something I will do more in the future.

            Thanks for all the comments and concerns from everyone – important points raised and something I didn’t spend enough time considering before.

          • Guest

            Fair use for educational use is for non-profit, time limited use offline. The law is iffy on online use, but the general understanding is that online use is not covered. Your blog is ..well online.. and a commercial product.

          • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

            I do endorse my workshops and certain products through my blog, but once again – the purpose of the blog post was to educate people against GAS. However it is true that driving more traffic to my blog via this post can help me get more people to sign up for my workshops, and purchase more products.

            Regarding time limited use online – do you have any sources regarding this? I would genuinely like to learn more about it.

            And also fair use isn’t necessarily just for non-profit. In the Campbell v Acuff-Rose case, a parody (under fair use) was used to sell for profit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_v._Acuff-Rose_Music,_Inc.

            Also to quote the law:

            17 U.S.C. § 107
            Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

            Once again, the purpose of me using the images was to fulfill a teaching one. Please forgive me if I am misunderstanding the law – still new to it!

          • Guest

            I’m not claiming to be an expert, sorry should have made it more clear. Sorry don’t have the specific source here and now (I could just google something, but I would rather try to find a specific quote than just post a lot of links, I will try to remember to post it if I find the specific part again..). There’s something about a limit to for how long you can use it (that’s offline use and I believe it is two years or something in that region) and there’s limits to how much you can use from a text, a collection of pictures, a specific artists etc.

            By commercial product I was referring to your ads. You making money whenever someone sees this post.

          • http://www.citysnaps.net/ Brad

            It’s not just ads that are being sold, but Eric’s workshops, which he has turned into a successful commercial business. It’s his profession now, stemming back to him wanting to make sp his business and living. Using others’ copyrighted great photography of course drives people to this site, from which workshops all around the world are marketed and sold.

            The doctrine of Fair Use applies to the limited use of copyrighted material for teaching, news reporting, criticism, etc. Not to drive page views and ultimately business.

            It would be one thing if Eric was in high school, didn’t know any better, and was just goofing around with a blog because he loves photography. But he’s not.

            What’s sad is people and photographers who are just starting out look up to him as a photographer and role model. But he’s setting a really bad example taking the tack if it’s on the internet, it’s fair game to take without permission. By setting such an example, he’s telling others that are learning that it’s OK to take. And that gets propagated on and on.

            Email is so easy and fast. Why not just ask the image owner if using their photos would be OK?

            That would be the respectful thing to do.

          • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

            Thanks for the comment Brad. I do agree– that I am going to start contacting the owners of the images to see if they feel comfortable with me sharing the images on my blog. Thanks again for the insight!

          • Guest

            “Yeah so OK I’m using those World Press photos without the organisation’s consent, nor the photographers’either, but hey I promise to not do it again in the future. But You know what I still think that I’m right and it’s my site so bugger off if you’re not happy”

            Best apology I’ve heard in a long time. Sorry, but you’re using these photos to promote your commercial site so no ‘fair use’ for you; if not then why not simply take them down and prove everyone wrong?

          • Guest

            I guess I was right…

            Seriously, It’s a shame that these photos are being ‘used’ to talk about gear insteadof what they stand for. It completely undermines these photographers’ work to the point where it’s really disgusting.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Irma-Geniuos/100003748842749 Irma Geniuos

            Where is the promotion using these photographs?

          • Get a life

            Why do you want his apology so much? Are you even the photographer who took those award winning shots? You’reso offended as if youre the one who took the photos and got it stolen! You let the photograpers who took those shots to come and complain here!

          • jfddkjiejkjejfe

            Holy crap, why dont you all cut that ” be respectful” nonsense. This guy here is just trying to make his point. And I don’t give a damn what pics he uses to get it across. World press photography winner… so? What do you think, these guys are all SAINTS??? They are out to get the shot that will get them recognition, NOT to help the people they are taking pictures of. Ask James Nachtweih. And you talk about stealing….

            Being PC is such a sorry (American) thing, alas like most of the crap from that crap country it seems to invevitable invade the world.

            BTW I know what I am talking about.

          • Donkey

            “What’s sad is people and photographers who are just starting out look up to him as a photographer and role model. ”
            That’s the most serious part of the story.
            In another post, his peer Ollie Grapper wrote -
            “I’m of the thinking that if an image doesn’t grab me first, it cannot communicate any ideas with me – I wont be looking for them. This is probably a large contributing factor to why I dont appreciate the work of Martin Parr.”

            A 20+ student of photography commenting on a 60 year old Magnum photographer.
            I just wonder how his dad tolerated him.
            And how on earth does the other man allow such audacity in his blog…..being a judge of a Street Photography award

          • Dxc

            hello troll don’t tell me you haven’t seen works of great masters that you don’t personally like.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Irma-Geniuos/100003748842749 Irma Geniuos

            People keep claiming these photographs bring people to the site. Prove it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002060054342 Paul Lanigan

            I wasn’t attracted to this article because of images I didn’t know were in it. I skipped over the images because I was interested in the article. It would have been as good an article without the pictures…..

            But then again, the sad little whiners would have to find something else to whinge about

          • David

            Another know-it all online who doesn’t know it all. Give Eric a break. If you can’t see the point he was trying to make, just move on and stop the mud-slinging.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002060054342 Paul Lanigan

            Mr Brave – hiding behind “Guest2″ moniker

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002060054342 Paul Lanigan

            Eric is too polite to say it but Kim – you’re a sad little tosser

            @Eric – you can ‘steal’ my images any day – always happy for others to see my work :-)

      • Poo

        Btw, how do you know the photographers of the photos aren’t gear heads?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Irma-Geniuos/100003748842749 Irma Geniuos

      He hasn’t trivilialised them in any way. Really all he has done is upset someone who gives all the signs of being an elitist snob. If a picture is great it speaks for itself, does not need any context and can be shown anywhere, anytime by anyone without reducing it’s impact.

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  • http://twitter.com/Rideclasspro John-Jo Ritson

    I liked this post. I like the reminders (photos) along the post that showed photography is about content and not about what F stop you can go to.

    I like to check out new gear as it comes out, and I also like to be inspired. The photos used here inspire me to:
    1) take better pictures
    2) WANT less gear
    3) find out who these photographers are and why they took those photos.

    Thanks Eric. Also Thanks to all those arguing about copyright and fair use. Its good to talk.
    check out this film about copyright.
    http://ripremix.com/

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  • GW

    its just sad that EK can’t produce a decent street photograph to save his miserable life. what a fraud.

    • Donkey

      He is a good craftsman….nothing more.
      He can successfully run a commercial studio….nothing more.

  • http://nabazanwar.blogspot.com/ Nabaz Anwar

    HAHAHA…. nice. But I area and don’t agree on some points.
    First of all… I would rather have seen some of your own shots here as examples…and not these first class pictures. These pictures do NOT represent street photography, but people who have dedicated their lives and time to reportage, and I know some of those personally who have won before in Denmark.

    Second… if people do worry more about the equipment than the streets itself, then they are not street photographers, but collectors.

    Third… Common knowledge that equipments don’t make you better photographer. True and false… a Leica is better than 5D mrk II or whatever… at least for me and for some 10.000 other street photographers as well. Newbies don’t go buy a Leica and hit the streets expecting results right away. But for people who actually have been on the streets years after years… and tried a Leica as well… well… we know a Leica is just better.

    fourth… An equipment can can push your limits…. wait wait wait…..

    why do I write this here again??????? I should probably make my point on my blog :-)

    But nice… It was nice reading. Thank you.

    cheers and keep em coming

    Nabaz Anwar

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  • Jin

    Wow, some people get really jealous don’t they. Regardless of EK’s ‘skill’ as you like to all call it, he’s making his living from it and helping amateurs get better pictures. If you have a chip on your shoulder then that’s YOUR problem not his.

    Best of luck to you EK, I know I would of loved to be able to turn my hobby into my living.

    • Dxc

      me too.

  • Dean Carter

    Wow, so many haters commenting on this thread. Mr. Kim, I would like to apologize on behalf of all the people operating at the very lowest of their capacity as human beings.

    I wanted to come here to offer a very small rebuttable, namely that gear lust or “GAS” can also motivate those of us with photography as a hobby to take more pictures. However, I 95% agree with this post and would rather not get mixed up with all the crap getting thrown by these monkeys.

    As an aspiring street photographer near your age, you’re an inspiration to me both in terms of your photography and your constant push to democratize information and skills about photography.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Thank you very much for your support Dean!

  • David

    This would have been a great article if you illustrated your points with your work, instead of using other people’s intellectual property. Instead, it’s just more Internet chaff marked by plagiarism which serves no purpose other than to boost your traffic. If these are rules that have brought you success, validate your claims by replacing these stolen images with comparable work of your own.

    • http://www.facebook.com/zdazzle Zach Dalzell

      How are they stolen? He gave credit to everyone who photographed them. That’s all that is needed.

      • Guest

        You sir seem to fully understand how copyright works.

        What you’re saying is the equivalent of taking a candybar off the shelf of a store and walking out without paying for it, but telling everyone that you took it from that store and that therefore it’s not stealing…

  • Bike Motor

    Eric, please stop this, you blog looks more and more to any other blogs (there are thousands on the web) which is finally talking about gear, or how to not gear and Leica and M9… and other approximative test. Forget it. you don’t need to write something if it is just to produce just a sort of copy paste of what you have seen on the web (10 ways to do this, the 10 tips to do that, the 10 things you need to know)…

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Thanks for the feedback – will try do some more original posts!

  • Jackie Chan

    a Leica as a pee-pee extension – Mr. Huff said it first… but wait, your dick is even smaller

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      We could all use a few inches couldn’t we ? ;)

  • Nevinbar

    Everyone:

    The photos don’t make this article, Eric’s opinions are valid. The photos are quite depressing and even disturbing…thus illustrating his very simple point that photography isn’t about the camera or the lens, but about capturing a moment in time that the photographer thinks is important and relevant for whatever reason.
    I am sure Eric would take the photos down if the copyright owners felt that their photos were not being represented appropriately, or they don’t feel they should be used in this article. Its really the copyright owners decision alone. If you feel so strongly about the use of these photos being inappropriate, contact the copyright owners and have them weigh in if they want to as that would be the solution to this issue. Thanks.

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  • http://twitter.com/armaniusmaximus Armando Chiu

    Nice write up Erick. I was going to avoid reading the article, because I like GAS, and don’t want to be cured. But I couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote.

    And I commend your ability to respond to some of the hostility in such a civil manner.

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  • Krishna Kumar

    Wonderful piece of writing…I am saved from being sick..!!!

  • hellowanda

    Thank you so much. This has been all I needed to hear. Thanks God I’ve heard it now that I am 18 and not later, when bank people call me to inform about my many credit card debts !
    Thanks!

  • http://pedroinfantas.tumblr.com/ pedroin

    Awesome article Kim. There is a lot of heat around here. Remember this: When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.
    Keep going Kim. Cheers from Southamerica.

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  • kenri basar

    Thanks for article. I am also on the verge of suffering from GAS. I am not a photographer and I am not so rich so I cannot afford most of the cameras/ lenses that I admire but I do have few gears and have the desire to buy even more. I do understand my problem and not being so rich helps (or may be not…).

    I don’t understand the amount of hate in the comment section though. People should learn to be civil and if they have a problem, state it without sounding desperate… All kudos to Eric Kim to keep his cool.

  • Andrew

    PERFECT. The only thing I would focus on is making sure you study photography and light, so that IF you want to achieve a specific goal or shot, you aren’t limited by your own mind. Sometimes just having passion alone isn’t enough, you need to marry the desired outcome with resources and knowledge. Or you’re just running half speed down hill.

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  • Smorter

    “It is like asking your chef what pots and pans he or she uses to cook your meals (if the food is really good). If you don’t want to get slapped in the face (or your food spit in) realize that it is the artist that creates the art, not the tools.”

    This is misleading. What is used by the Cook does matter. For example, if they use Dog Poo as the ingredients instead of a Prime cut of steak, then the dish will taste terrible no matter how skilled or visionary they are.

  • Gid

    Hi Kim

    I never visited your blog before. I enjoyed reading the article. I am Surpirced by all the haters in this comment section. Maybe they realised that they spend to much money on gear and not on their wifes:)

    Anyway thumps up.

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  • Florent Genette

    Good article !

    I can’t agree more. I was affected by GAS two years ago but now I have a very good setting (7D with distagon 18 and 35L for street photo, plus a 85L for portrait sessions from time to time).

    At one time, It helps me to say : if my photo is bad I can’t blame my gear but only my skills. This gears are outstanding and the more I use it, the more I realize it :)

    Last time I checked the recent gear, none of this shiny novelties turn me on. I’ll stick with it until I must improve a LOT before I become limited.

  • http://twitter.com/dopFoto Dani G Olivastri

    i agree to your 6 point. perfect.

  • JeremyS

    Great article, so damn true. It made me realize I have all the symptoms of the “gas”… Instead of spending me time looking at cameras or lenses specs, I should go out and shoot.

    Keep going Erick!

    PS: I might offer myself a Mamiya C220 for Christmas though..!

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  • 4aron

    Well said

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  • Linden

    This is a really useful article, thank you. Ironically I am pretty sure I am about to buy some gear! But it will be a film camera – probably MP or M6, and one lens. I will sell the rest of my gear to (part) fund it. I think I will have to make a pact with myself though – no new gear for at least two years after that. The great thing about a film camera though is – if the choice really suits you – you don’t need to replace it. The worst part about the 3 to 4 year lifespan of a top range digital camera (I have the D800), is not simply that you end up spend the same money again and again for the same purpose (like computers), but that such beautifully made cameras (magnesium, weather-sealed casings, precision this that and the other, etc) will inevitably become “junk”. When I saw your article about Winogrand and saw the film back on his M4, I thought – “that’s the way”. Get the right film camera and stick to it. Or, am I just suffering GAS? Haha!!

  • http://twitter.com/EvilTeddie EvilTeddie

    Didn’t you sell your M9 to finance the MP?
    I guess you still have gas :)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.mullen.144 Lee Mullen

    “I can have enough money to buy two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world.” Erm in what country can you get CHEAP airfare, certainly not in Australia!! And why all the islamic images??

  • Pascal

    Thanks for this post, you might have saved me from g.a.s.!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lawrence.mendelsohn.1 Lawrence Mendelsohn

    A prayer for someone suffering from GAS

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the camera I already have, the courage to capture images with that camera and the wisdom to know that it is me and not the camera that composes the image.

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  • Max

    Interesting article…

    In my 25 plus years in photography I have always noticed a certain breed of photographer: guys who like to be thought of as serious “street shooters” who would not be caught dead with a Nikon or Canon system. Their kit must include the mandatory Leica and really expensive optic. Accessories usually include the black Tshirt, cool shoes and the stately leather bag for said Leica. Their focus is always on “the photography” but the Leica brand is a must. Some Leica users are brilliant photographers but many “street shooters” are posers who fall into their own variation of GAS. You really can’t do serious street photography with a crop sensor Canon Rebel, or can you?

    If the point of the article is to cleanse oneself from the seduction of GAS then might the next step be to use a Pentax K1000 instead of the Leica? I enjoyed reading forums filled with street shooters and landscape artists who plunged into the Leica M8 due to the allure of Leica gravitas. Finally a digital body. Details like the purchase price, image quality and ISO noise meant nothing so long as they could have that brand…

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  • name

    how to cure gas: own a leica m9 and m6 with leica lenses.

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  • james13

    Realize that new camera doesnt make you better photographer..

  • Megatron

    Great article! And I liked to see the real photos along the way – puts things into perspective.

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  • danielpicasso

    Eric…for me- the receiving of developed film is very fulfilling and has become MORE and more rewarding than than any new gear. I have one digital:fuji x100 o work with my M6/M5-35+50 Cron that I acquired over time. Eric- always enjoy all our articles- nice work!

  • Dennis V Pa

    Well said. Had a friend that had over 30 cameras and all he did was take pictures of his dog with an iphone , and then add fake bokeh. Wasn’t the best influence. Got rid of him , now I am back to my one rangefinder , and a compact.

  • Street Seeds

    good camera? bahbabhabhahhh, good brains please , the camera not is human, the camera only is a pinsel… you need pincel hair Kolinsky? you know a a painter that said: I paint whit pincel of hair Kolinsky?

    Salud

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  • kezarai

    If I want a new lens I think about it for a while and then divide the value of the lens by my hourly wage and see how many hours I will have to work to get it. It usually does the trick!

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