I have a habit that I have not completely decided if it is a problem… yet.
It results in lots of great photos, hours of video footage, heaps of social-media ready content, and nary a missed moment.
It also results in a sore back, full hands, and often being the guy standing back recording the action rather than fully participating.
The maybe-a-problem is that I usually carry multiple cameras on vacation.
Actually, while these days I’m often lugging a dSLR with multiple lens, an action camera (like a GoPro) with a video stabilizer, and a smartphone (for snapshots or panoramas, and because it’s a phone), I only occasionally doubt the practicality of this approach.
After all there are some pros to having more than one camera:
- I usually have the “right” camera or lens for the scene.
- I’ve taken some amazing pictures over the years and often this comes down to having appropriate equipment.
- All the tech I’ve invested in gets a turn.
On the flip side, I have been known to just bring a single camera somewhere so I can focus (no pun intended) on a single style of picture-taking.
This makes me think of some of the cons of carrying too much equipment, such as:
- I only have two hands, and spend a lot of time switching or juggling gear.
- It’s tough to travel light when you’ve got so much technology and an extra bag for it all.
- I’m likely a higher target for crime or theft.
- As a photographer I’m not growing as I’m taking the easy way out of switching to the easier equipment for the scene, rather than getting better with what I have in my hand at the moment.
And to be honest, it’s probably writing down that last one that hits me the hardest, the idea that I’m becoming creatively stagnant because I’ve shifted my focus to gear over improving my technique. Learning happens, after all, because we challenge ourselves to solve a problem that we haven’t encountered before.
I don’t want to make any grand gestures or statements here claiming to forever shift to one way of doing things, but I do wonder if I’m in good company with the multi-camera approach to photography… or if I’ve instead shifted to a kind of photographic FOMO: fear of missing out on some perfect shot.
It’s something to pause and think about next time I set out on a photogenic adventure: should I take just one camera, or a whole bag worth?