When it comes to street photography, stop worrying about the gear.

I mean, a little gear lust ain’t a bad thing. I get it often. Why? Because I’m an advisory hypocrite. Just like many of us. Hell, I have an itch right now requiring some treatment.

X100T, I got my eye on you, by the way.

But the reality is, if you have a camera and you want to try out the street, then grab and go. Don’t worry about it’s capability. If it’s a phone, then it’s always on you and if it’s a camera you’ve purchased in the last 3-5 years (sans some cracker jack junker), it will be fully capable. I assure you, as long as it captures those little slices of time, then get out there, have fun and stop worrying about it.

Too many shooters looking to hit the street, stress on their camera’s mobility, quality, look and countless other random justifications to not open the door. Will I stick out? Will it focus quick enough? Is the lens too wide? Too close?

Well, Lennon said it best,

The fact of the matter is, as so many have said, the best camera available is the one you have in your hand. This logic cannot be argued… At least, as long as the battery has some juice and your memory card/film roll ain’t full.

Now this leads me to part II.

Embrace the Lust…

If you, like myself, enjoy a shiny new piece of tech. Or if you haunt various “rumor” boards. Then you have been, are under the influence of, or will be experiencing soon… that wallet thinning bastard of an ailment, known as “Gear Lust” or “Gear Acquisition Syndrome”.

Like a well crafted drink, or a finely baked edible, it tends to creep up on you slowly. You’re lazing about, endlessly browsing the web (when you should be shooting), you happen across a very interesting new camera or lens or bag, something new-fangled that just hit the rumor mill and BAM!

That creeping desire begins to rise up your neck. Pupils dilate, palms get itchy, the glow of your old shiny begins to tarnish. You start reading review sites, scan spec sheets and each new article proves only to fuel that fire.

Eventually you begin to mentally justify the purchase. Save a penny here, sell a old piece of gear there. I can make this happen, you say… I can have that beauty for my very own. My new shiny, my precious.

Patience builds strength and lust, at least non-invasive gear lust, not stalky, I’ma stare through your window at night, or show up at your work to read poetry kind of lust, brings with it a form of appreciation for the gear once acquired. But the truth is, no matter what, you’ll never quite satisfy that need to the extent you imagine. It just won’t happen. Desire will forever outweigh reality.

But thats okay, at least for the gear heads out there. Gear lust can be a good thing. It charges you up, fills your brain, feeds your secondary obsessions.

That said, think about it, after this debilitating beast takes hold, consider how much you learn about that Sony A7RII, that E-M5II or that 5DS? After a while, you may know more about the camera than some who shoot it regularly… yet, you’ve not even held it.

Think about the things you learned about camera systems in general and how it applies to what you already have. Make it a challenge to accomplish what you could with those gems in the mean time, without the benefit of those desirable, new-fangled easy buttons.

As you save up for that new shiny, embrace the lust, use the knowledge and enjoy the ride.

Then, when you have the funds and find yourself still unsure… do as Lennon recommends, say “f*ck it” and buy the thing. At least camera gear holds it’s value. Unlike that new car or TV.

Oh and lastly, yes, the title of this post is a confusing contradiction. That’s just how rambling goes sometimes.

Now pick up the camera nearest you, and open that front door.


Check out “Surviving the Concrete Zoo” for more advisory ramblings.

Street photography tips and advice.

Street photography tips and advice.