That was the message from my wife one day last week. No, she wasn't watching Avengers again, which is where we were introduced to that saying, which has become a favorite. She was referring to that day's mail. The message was immediately followed by the image shown below. I heard her say the phrase again in my head. And she was right. I do have a condition. I keep buying cameras. I already have shelves and shelves of photography equipment. There are also many boxes in multiple rooms of our home, which contain more photography equipment for which there are no shelves...yet. And here, on the living room table, is more. And there's more on the way. A lot more, in fact. One recent purchase yet to arrive includes eight cameras along with various photographic accessories. I certainly don't need more. But I want more. Lots more. And so, I keep buying. And you know what? I'm not ashamed. Not in the least. Quite the contrary, actually. I'm proud. I'm proud of what I have and I'm proud of what I've yet to get. There were some amazing finds in these boxes that arrived that day. A Canon 100-300 FD lens. A Canon T70 slr, complete with two lenses, a teleconverter, flash, camera bag and some other goodies. There were a couple of books on the history of photography. And last but not least, there was a kit for repairing the light seals on a Canon AE-1 that a past neighbor gifted me when they learned of my fondness for camera equipment, even equipment some think no one uses anymore. It wasn't the first camera someone has gifted me, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Working or not, obsolete or not, if it's a camera or anything else even remotely related to photography, I'll take it if the price is right. And it doesn't get more right that free.
There's a name for what I have. It's called Gear Acquisition Syndrome; or GAS, for short. Some are pro-GAS, saying you can never acquire enough. Other are anti-GAS, believing the energy devoted to gathering gear detracts from the time that should be spent honing one’s photographic skill. I recently heard someone say that the hobby of photography could be broken up into two categories, one being the hobby of taking photos and the other being the hobby of collecting photographic equipment. I tend to align with the first group, as I'm excited as much by the thrill of the hunt for a great thrift store find as I am spending the day shooting. I think this makes me one of the lucky ones, as I get to enjoy all aspects of photography. And when you consider this activity is not frowned upon by my wife, but actually encouraged, I'd say you could call me one of the very lucky ones. More than once, she's told me "I know you don't need it, but do you want it?". Of course, the answer is always yes., as is evident by the stacks of boxes in our home.
All of this got me to thinking about the great photography community. I frequently listen to photography podcasts, where I learn of old cameras I need to keep an eye out for when thrifting, or of new techniques for developing film, or even of new ideas for photography projects. It never gets old to me and I want to be a bigger part of this community. Which is how I ended up here. I've had a Facebook page dedicated to my photographic endeavors for years now, but found it limiting in how I can share my images, my camera collection, and my day to day adventures related to photography. Like pretty much every other photographer, I also have a Flicker and Instagram account, which are great for sharing photos, but not so much stories. I felt I needed another way. A better avenue for pulling it all together. And that's what I hope this site becomes. The place where a self-diagnosed unrecovering photography addict can share his love of all things photographic. My photos. My collection. My thoughts. My successes. My failures. My dreams. There'll all be here.
I'm Sam, by the way. It's very nice to meet you.