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Declutter your gear (and your mind)

For many of us photography starts out as a hobby, and once you're bitten by the shutterbug there are an infinite number of things you want to shoot; from landscapes to wildlife to people. And all the different possibilities come with their own gear requirements, so along the way we tend to accumulate more and more gear. Ultrawide angle lenses and telephotos, maybe we take a sudden interest in macro or infrared. Before long you end up with more gear than you really use, especially as you start to find the photography that matters to you. For a while when I went on a trip I felt the need to bring enough gear to cover all possibilities - landscapes, wildlife and timelapse. But this started to feel like a burden, because along with the gear came the feeling that if I wasn't taking a photo of something interesting I was missing a potential shot. Recently I've found myself going down a very narrow path and focusing entirely on landscape photography, and within that, a very specific type of landscape. All of a sudden I've felt a burden being lifted from my shoulders when I go on a trip, I no longer feel the pressure of having to capture everything that might possibly be interesting, instead I can just enjoy watching the wildlife without feeling the need to grab a telephoto lens, or watch a sun go down without thinking 'I should really do a timelapse of this'. So to complete this mental decluttering I've started a process of downsizing all my gear to just have exactly what I need. I've boxed everything up and started listing on Ebay, this is a photo of the first batch of gear, and as I hope to become more proficient in film there will be a lot more to sell.

And if you know your lenses, you'll know that there's enough here to pay for a trip or two. So maybe it's worth asking ourselves from time to time 'Do I really need all this stuff?' and doing a good clear out, you might find that it also frees up your mind to focus on the photography that really matters to you.

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