RNF: My Gear Selection Process… A Work In Progress. And An Unplanned AI Rant.

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Let’s get right into it. Have built up quite a menagerie of gear. To the point that if I am not careful, I will either carry far too much with or be stuck in analysis paralysis regarding what to bring. Both outcomes occasionally hinder my ability to leave the house in a timely manner. One brings the issue of having to keep track of stuff and the other risks gear selection regret. Said another way the mother of all first word problems.

When I do manage to make a choice here is what it usually comes down to.

  • Will the subject or subjects be moving?
    • AF.
  • Will the subjects mostly be static or amenable to zone focusing?
    • MF.
  • Do I know what the lighting will be?
    • Digital.
  • Will the lighting be fairly consistent?
    • Film.
  • Do I really need to get the shot?
    • Digital.
    • One exception. The Pentax 645N. That thing just does not miss.
  • Is it more about the experience than getting the shot?
    • Film.
    • An exception would be something like the Leica M Type 240.
  • Am I looking to take a lot of photos?
    • Depending on volume digital or 35mm film.
  • Am I looking to create a tightly grouped theme for the work?
    • Medium format.
  • Do I want to capture scenes?
    • 28mm focal length or wider.
  • Am I looking for dramatic subject isolation from afar?
    • 75mm focal length or greater.
  • Not sure what scenes I intend to capture?
    • 35mm or 50mm focal length.
    • …or a zoom. They definitely have their place. Although I did ditch all of my film zoom lenses.

I hope you were not looking for a shortcut because I have none to offer. I am just documenting the insanity I deal with when I am just trying to leave the house. If you are similarly afflicted, I have nothing to offer.

But it is worth it because I regret every single time I choose to forgo bringing a camera. I am left staring at or watching a scene pass, wishing I had brought a dedicated image-capturing device with me. If desperate, I will pull out my phone… I know. I know. The best camera is the camera you have so and so forth… But something in me is broken in that regard. Bought a phone very well suited for photography on paper… And I still hate using it for photography. No matter how capable it is to me, it is still a multifunction device that happens to take photos, and I would much rather use a camera.

Sidebar. A different kind of AI rant. Many have much to say about AI. Me? I could not care less. If one is paying attention, there seems to be a never-ending parade of advances and technologies that freaks people out. But here is the thing with me. I do not care. For those that are interested in it. Knock yourself out. Has nothing to do with me. If photography were a means of income, perhaps I would be more concerned? Maybe? But then I would think it would be in my best interest to learn more about how I can make it work in my favor rather than bemoaning its existence. There is always some new thing that many swear is the end of photography, and yet here we are talking about photography. It looks like the cat is out of the bag and will not be going back. Have seen some interesting editing done with it as little as I have looked. Plus, one cannot underestimate folks desire to play dress up and get photos of themselves. AI may create an avenue for creating alternative means of imaging, but given human nature, I have great doubts about its ability to replace actual photography. Either way, I still say to those who do enjoy it, “You do you. Whatever floats your boat.”. End AI rant.

Anyhoo. Where was I? Oh yeah. I have no resolution for this delay in departure, nor am I looking for one, if I am honest. Thank you for reading this far. Apologies if you were looking for some advice and feel misled. Capturing images is what brings me peace. So, I will carry on with this impractical process for as long as I am able.


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