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Thread: Will New Gear Make You Happy ?

  1. #1
    DougDolde
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    Will New Gear Make You Happy ?

    There is some unconscious assumption going on in many people that acquiring what the don't now have will make them happy.

    Is this true? Or is it an illusion?

    My theory is if you aren't happy now, new gear won't make you happy.

    What do you think? Will it?

    In other words is the source of happiness external or internal ?

  2. #2
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    Re: Will New Gear Make You Happy ?

    Hmmm...philosophy on a "gear head" discussion site.....worth the shot ;-)

    Since a lot of readers hear are or claim to be "gear sluts", "gear whores" and all other manner of descriptors to justify their addiction to new shiny things, I would postulate that new gear will NOT make them happier. For a while, but once the "fix" wears off, it is on to something new to get the rush.

    However, for some folks that are seeking tools that allow them to capture and translate what they envision or see to something in print or display with greater ease or control, then new gear may help them feel happier. Case in point.....if one shoots landscapes or travel images for example, then there are a couple of options.....those that just love fiddling with gear, making adjustments, and all the tinkering, and those that are able to get the shot they are imagining quickly and reliably to move onto the next thing. If your life is centered around the gear, then you will most likely never be really happy with whatever you have. If you center around other things, be it artistic expression, or even business success, then gear becomes a means to that end and not the end in and of itself.

    So, would a shiny, fancy new camera and some super-duper fancy triaxial shifting lens make me happy? Only if it allowed me to get the shots that I envision easier and more frequently so that I could pursue those goals. If it just sits in the bag so that I can brag about it and polish it more than use it, happiness would be fleeting at best.

    Anyway, just my thoughts on things. I will say that there would be a welcomed sense of joy, no matter how brief if I acquired some new, fun to use gear, but generating more income from clients by using that gear would be more satisfying, as it would allow me to pursue other things that bring fun and pleasure. (Different set of "needs", I guess, but good to have variety.)

    LJ

  3. #3
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Will New Gear Make You Happy ?

    Hmmm... Best answer I ever heard for this is as follows from a friend who had terminal cancer. She was given a year to live and beat that by 18 years!:

    "If you wait for tomorrow to be happy, you'll never be happy, but if you're happy today, you'll be happy forever."

    Now all I need to do is live that...
    ~~~

    Re camera gear making you happy. I think anything new brings a temporary joy, but at the end of the day it is fleeting. What brings me the most joy in photography is making a great image --- and gear that helps me do that becomes part of that

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  4. #4
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Will New Gear Make You Happy ?

    I guess my short answer is no, new gear won't make me happy. But "happy" is a moving target, which I think is perfectly ok. For instance, I am happier with the files from my M8 than I am with the files from my Nikon D2Xs. Was I happy when I bought the Nikon outfit? You betcha. However, I rarely use it now because I much prefer the M8. At some point, the M8 is likely to share a similar fate.

    It can be tough to sort out "need" from "want" sometimes. But I think each person has to trust their own internal decision tree and instincts to map their growth/advancement, whether photography is a hobby or a profession.

    I do remember thinking to myself when I was a about 7 years old that "if I could just get that 3-speed bicycle I would be happy for the rest of my life," but jeez, that was a really, really long time ago.

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    Senior Member Erik Five's Avatar
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    Re: Will New Gear Make You Happy ?

    Its an illusion. I never get happy, but satisfied for a little while. Got two new camera systems today Im a gear slut like Guy. I have my basics that I will always have. Nikon Dslr´s and Leica Rf´s, but I tend to buy different stuff as well. Mostly rangefinders including pano, Mf, different brands etc... Something had to go when I buy something new though. I use some of my stuff to make a living, so sometimes I actually need something and not just "need" it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: Will New Gear Make You Happy ?

    Many people are eternal optimists. They hope/think that the new toy will be better than the old toy. Sometimes it is, often it isn't, but they keep doing it over and over because they keep hoping. In that short time between getting a new toy and realizing that it isn't much better than the old one, there's excitement over the new.

    For me, however, camera gear is a means to an end (i.e. enjoying making photos). I don't care about new toys, I just like to get comfortable with the gear I already have. Most of my camera purchases have been because my spouse (who loves new toys, even if they're someone else's) prodded me to get something new.

    Lisa

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