All posts in mental anguish

I think I just cured myself of “gear aquisistion syndrome” (GAS).

In daily grind,mental anguish by Dr. Leslie Dean Brown / November 25, 2016 / 0 Comments

A strange thing happened to me today. Desire left my body.

A B&H catalogue duly/dutifully (pick whichever word you prefer) arrived in the mail. Even though I never ordered one. I thought I would open in anyway. If only to separate the polyethylene plastic covering from the paper so that I could recycle it properly.

Now I will admit that one of my past times is photography. And about the only money I spend these days is on food, clothes and work stuff…

Nevertheless, I am living in the first world. And first world people are told to buy. To consume. We’re hardwired for it from birth. From before birth even. We’re not even born yet and there are presents waiting for us. As we get older, they make “infant sized” shopping trolleys.That’s how bad it is.

So I obliged and flicked through the thing. All 340 pages.

I know enough already to avoid catalogues at all cost. Because they make you want things. Unecessary things. Here are two great articles, one and two, on how to cure your GAS.

But this was my first B&H catalogue. My very first one. “Just a peek” I thought. “To see what’s new”.

Anyway, I was quite surprised to find that as I was flicking through the thing, there was not one item that I actually needed. And believe me, I looked quite intently. I looked at photos. I even scrutinised the product descriptions. More surprisingly, there was not even even one item that I  wanted to own. The desire was gone. Gone I tell you.

No USB 3.1 peripherals. No more usb hubs.  No thunderbolt devices. No thunderbolt dock. No ‘other’ computer accessories. No new mice or keyboards. No new routers. No modem. No high-end scanners and printers. No network attached drives. No portable wifi drive enclosures. No optical drive. No new SDXC cards. No cloud. No data bank. No more storage space required. No storage case. No software. No  ipad. No new drawing tablets. No graphics card. No new motherboard. No interruptible power supply. No power strip. No new lenses. No teleconverters. No filters. No new cameras. No new micro 4/3rds cameras. No large format cameras. No flash. No tripod. No parabolic slider. No underwater housings. No more spare batteries. No video equipment. No projector. No DVD player. No flast screen television. No curved screen television. No 3D television. No holographic television. No television bracket. No television antenna. No streaming media hub. No HDMI extender. No digital voice recorder. No microphone. No headphones. No rechargeable power pack. No audiophile cables & connectors. No turntable. No AV receiver. No speakers. No sound bar. No sound system. No graphic equalisers. No digital preamps. No joystick. No steering wheel. No GPS navigator. No dashcam. No thermal imaging camera. No night vision binolculars. No multimeter. No new smartphones. No bluetooth cradle. No cordless phone. No smart watch. No heart rate monitor. No sleep monitor. No activity monitor. No other monitors. No drones. No security camera. No alarm. No 3D printer. No 3D goggles. No virtual reality. No new bags.

I am done. I am done with consumerism.

I know none of it will make me ‘happier’. I already know. I am happy now, in this instant, with what I have. Happiness is not an accumulation of possessions. It is a state of mind. None of it will make me more productive, either.

I did want a 24mm Nikon AFD lens. Because my 12-24mm lens is “too slow” at 24mm (being f5.6), fairly large, fairly heavy. And my next focal length autofocus lens up from that is 35mm. Because it’s ‘only’ about AUD$400. And I was so close to getting that a few months back. But you know what? I know, wisely, that if I get that lens, it will always be “just one more”. So I am going to stop right here. 24mm is still very wide, too wide, for a normal lens. And I have a small little 28mm lens. I have a 35mm lens also. So that is enough. Enough is enough. “!Basta ya¡” (enough already) as they say in Spain. “ya está.” (that’s it). “Ya bastante.” (another way of saying “enough already”).

I am done and I am happy.
I am done and I am happy and I just wanted to share that with the world.

My scholarship application for Eric Kim street photography workshop

In mental anguish by Dr. Leslie Dean Brown / August 16, 2016 / 0 Comments

First and Last Name *

Leslie Dean Brown
Email address *
Phone number *
+612 8502-3048
Which workshop are you interested in attending? *
 Sydney, Australia – October 8-9th, 2016 – Conquer Your Fears of Shooting the Streets
Please tell us a little bit about what you expect to get out of the workshop *
I have learned not to expect anything, that way I am never disappointed. However, I would like to be more motivated to go out and shoot street photography more frequently than I do now. I have been chronically depressed now for 2 straight years and would also like to gain more optimism about life in general. I would also like to meet new photographers and interact with them. I would also like to have fun, that is the main thing.
How would you take the knowledge you’ve learned from the workshop to better serve your community? *

I have two main long-term goals with my photography. As I get older, I would like use street photography to shine a spotlight on two massive problems that are prevalent in many societies today:

1) MATERIAL WASTE: I previously studied materials science and I believe that there is way too much consumerism in the Western world. Way too much. Mining leads to environmental tradgedies, yet we need the environment in order to survive. So we are eventually going to have to overcome this addiction we have of unsustainable synthetic materials and manufacturing processes, literally for our own survival. Recycling in its current form is still not enough, we need to be able to recycle all the elements on the periodic table, not just a handful of them.

In nature, there is simply no such thing as ‘rubbish’. One organism’s waste is another’s food. There is a girl out there somewhere who only had only accumulated one jar of waste after a whole year. I believe that should be our collective future; our aim should be to create zero waste. I believe that one day in the future, the large rubbish bins we see now today will become obsolete. Perhaps it will take centuries, but that is the way it has to be.

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