Kind of sounds like the title of a soap opera; “As The World Turns”, one of my late mothers favorites, I can still see her planning her lunch hour around it as I grew up in small town Kansas. Boy they sure haven’t seemed to change much except for the infusion of newer younger blood into the mix of high drama. But I digress from soap opera talk, this should be about photography and how we change to keep up with “things”. The “things” I refer to are our material possessions that seem to constantly be nipping at our behind.

Take my case for example, I have shot with the same dslr for almost 4 people years, that’s like 28 in camera years isn’t it? I really don’t feel the need to mention brand or model for the simple fact we get so brainwashed about such frivolous facts like megapixels and the latest bells and whistles, I have no intention of starting a Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony vs. even Hasselblad or Mamiya. Besides what in the world would I do with a $40,000 camera beside freak out every time I pulled it out of the bag, the stress alone of holding such an expensive item would surely dampen the creative process. But the time has come to seriously consider a new piece of gear. Besides I can justify it, can’t I? To late for the question I already have in my own mind.

There seems to be new expectations associated with my upcoming purchase. Questions I keep asking myself, what do I need/want that will provide additional benefits that I lack now. I believe this to be an important consideration. When holding the new gear will my thinking process be expanded to consider new opportunities? I can only hope it will, as we go through the creative process of the capture there must be limitations which we are dealing with or why would anyone make a new purchase?

Our possessions such as our lives are in a constant transient state, it’s never about permanence but constant flux surrounded by a barrage of choices. How we deal with this flux and make choices will be our immediate future which we then must deal with until the next go around. I find myself always asking many questions, seeking answers which for the most part are like the quick glow of fireflies in the dimming light of evening, blink and you may miss it. Does this have such an influence on our society today, an influence that makes for decisions that are always questioned?

I may be sounding way to Freudian as usual, but the recognition of which hopefully exemplifies the plight. The battle is not one of owning the “proper” material things but learning to simplify, benefit from and enjoy those we chose to own. Creation of art can be as simple as picking up a pencil and applying it to a single piece of paper or, purchasing of thousands of dollars worth of gear both hardware and software to achieve a similar goal, a visual representation of personal meaning to help instill beauty and worth to our lives.


Nature Photography Kansas

© Brad Mangas