Eric L. Woods

Photography adjacent RNF: When your coping mechanism becomes the problem.

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A new random neural firing entry. What am I on about in the subject? A recent revelation. Recently realized that my last few years of gear churn driven blog writing largely served as a coping mechanism for my subconscious coming to grips with my father’s declining health thus distracting my conscious self.

Served its purpose well. How has that become a problem? What served as a distraction is now overwhelming now that the source of my angst has transitioned away from me. As the cloud of loss and mourning subsides slowly I am left with:

  1. Too much stuff. So much stuff I struggle to decide what to shoot with and struggle to even finish a roll of film due to switching back and forth.
  2. A sense of detachment from the gear I had held dear.
  3. A greatly diminished desire to acquire more.

The clutter now only serves as a reminder of who I have lost.

My coping mechanism had now become a problem.

What to do? Gear purge. Was initiated by a desire to buy into yet another lens system but that changed course before it was all over.

What to release.

  • Redundancy. Nice to have, but have other gear that can be used for the same purpose. Duplicate focal length? Gone. Many rangefinders? Sell/trade some and keep the simplest incarnations.
  • Don’t use. Simply put gear that I was once attached to, but now collects dust.

What to keep.

  • Items that are worth more fun to me than what I would gain by selling them. For example, my beloved Zenit (E and KM) and FED (2 and 5c) Russian knockoffs. The world would give me peanuts, but these fragile, often goofy beasts are sources of simple joy for me.
  • Cameras that offer great value. Digital example would be my beloved orphan NX300/30mm. Film example would be the likes of the Konica C35 AF2.
  • Cameras I know I would regret letting go of whether I use them or not.

So the deal was done.

What to get.

This all allowed me to consolidate my gear and acquire a few functional items. For the first time in a long time I am now a one digital camera system shooter again… except for the Samsung, but that does not count, right?

Aftermath? I already enjoy the simplification.

My father gifted me my love of photography. So ultimately he gifted me with the means to partially cope with his passing. This also resulted in a contributing writer gig with KEH Camera.

What next? I still love photography and will continue to write and shoot. But will pivot to focusing on furthering my skills and experiences rather than learning and writing about new gear.

Not sure what this will entail fully yet, but I am looking forward to learning.

-ELW

 

 

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