Facial recognition and video surveillance can have different applications, both good and bad. But government officials in a Chinese city decided to use it for the latter. They photographed people wearing pajamas in public and announced their photos to shame them. And as if that weren’t enough, there were also names and other personal data published along with the photos.
Many people suffer from gear acquisition syndrome (GAS), regardless of occupation or hobbies. It’s part of living in the materialistic Western World. The problem with photographers is, however, that we often feel justified in our purchases because we’re “making money” with our new toys, rather than simply allowing them to collect dust in the garage.
But, how many of you GAS-sufferers actually put to good use every piece of gear you buy? Allen Murabayashi of PhotoShelter wrote a great piece where he fessed up to having made ridiculous purchases that were never put to proper use.
In his nine-item list, Allen included a variety of items, from lighting to lenses to card readers, that were purchased while he had GAS. Some seem like no-brainers, while others surprised me a bit.
He is one of the most iconic American photographers, an innovator in his time responsible for aiding in the awareness that led to the preservation of some of our most spectacular natural treasures. He has left millions awestruck by the imagery he captured and inspired millions more to aspire to follow in his steps. His skills were commissioned by government agencies, and the value of his original prints stretches well into the millions. He is Ansel Adams, and his camera was an outdated, antiquated piece of rubbish.
I am certain most, if not all, photographers have experienced it at one time or another: the feeling that you and your skills are made inferior by the equipment you are using, a condition commonly known as camera shame. We shrink back into the shadows around other photographers with “more-pro” gear than us, we avoid conversations with photographers who are knowledgeable about equipment, we miss or turn down opportunities out of embarrassment, and we find ourselves tripping over ourselves in the pursuit of “the next great thing” in hopes of being able to hold our heads high in public.