Am I a serious photographer?

I’m away on vacation for a few days and sitting here with just the Fujifilm X100V for company.

I made the determined effort to just bring the little Fuji for a number of reasons amongst them being I haven’t really spent that much time shooting with it.

It did get me thinking again whether for the majority of what I shoot am I a serious photographer and if I really need all the gear I have.

In my head I feel like I’m a serious photographer but the real dilemma is I don’t believe I am. I don’t make plans to go out and shoot at the best times of the day, I don’t plan days out and explore places to go.

I simply use my camera almost all of the time I’m out – not necessarily concentrating on ‘my thing’, more like shooting what’s in front of me.

But the strange thing is, I do have a thing.

There are certain photographs I take I do think are ‘my thing’.

I like open spaces & big skies and am definitely drawn towards this sort of photography, particularly in black and white.

I guess once again I’m trying to justify what gear I have and why I feel the need to have several different systems for what I shoot.

Coming full circle, I’m enjoying shooting with the X100v there are plenty of plus points about it, however there are things that drive me nuts about it as well – some of them my own doing and some the camera operation…but that’s for a different post on another day though.

It has made me think more, but I’m not ready to commit to a long term relationship with the X100v just yet.

Indeed the more time I spend with it makes me think my only logical choice going forward for my less than serious photography is to think more minimal and shoot only what is my thing.

Paralysis analysis

Digging around the internet for ideas on limiting the gear you have and own, I came across this definition that appears to suit my current thinking to a tee. 

Paralysis analysis is defined as where overthinking a situation can cause forward motion or decision-making to become paralysed, meaning that no solution or course of action is decided upon within a natural time frame.

This is an interesting phrase which resonates strongly with me and the photography gear I have around me. 

As I noted in a previous post, I have FOMO. The fear of missing out, driven by outside influence and my own insecurities towards the camera gear I own and most likely in the results of my photography – basically I’m never satisfied ( as my Wife likes to remind me). 

Paralysis analysis drives this through over thinking through each trip out with a camera meaning I’m never sure which camera to take and almost always regretting the choice I’ve made. 

For me this is serious shit!  I need to get a handle on it and move away from this as I feel it hampers my photography and often leads me to being unhappy with a) what I have and b) the results I get from it. 

My recent acquisitions of the Nikon ZFC & Fujifilm X100v are perfect examples of this. I don’t need them, but I wanted them based on thinking I needed them and being sucked in by the overwhelming influence from social media.

And yet each time I use them I’m almost immediately left thinking I wish I’d taken my Leica with me. Each time I shoot with just the Leica, I am happy with the experience, happy with the quality of the images I get from the hardware.

My only question with shooting with the Leica M10-P is if an M10 Monochrom would be a better option, given almost all photos I take are converted to black and white at import to Lightroom.

Moving forward I think the time is slowly coming around to the point whereby selling all of the camera gear I have with the exception of the M10 would make most sense, for sure it would help in the decision making process of having a single camera to choose from, enable me to embrace a confirmed decision and concentrate and master the gear I keep. 

It may also just give me the foothold I need to look more seriously at an M10 Monochrom!