OK I blame this on Nic's (aka Lucky Penguin) recent camera rationalisation policy. Since he spoke about essentials it really got me thinking about the fundamentals of my photography. Before I can answer why I need the gear I do, I need to understand the impetus behind my photography? I deliberately did not entitle this thread "Why do you photograph?", as I have met folks, on other forums, who are overtly into the form (the kit itself) rather than the function (what you can do with it) of the medium....not that there's anything wrong with that! C'mon a lot of gear is art in, and of, itself and deserving of collection. But to me, well I sincerely hope so anyway, there's more to this photographic malarkey that the acquisition of equipment. I'd hope it's about the images. But what images and why? So while I journey through this personal Dark Night of the Soul, I'd love to hear the perspective of others...if you care to share. NB: I know this was touched on in another thread started by Kevin (summerkl) a year or so ago, but we have so many more subscribers now... To get the ball rolling: What frustrates me the most about photographic fugue states, such as mentioned by Paul (aka pdh), is that photography to me is a personal journey. One side of the coin is the objective documentary - capturing the world as I see it. Simultaneously and intrinsically, it's also a purely subjective exercise - where's/what's the me in what I see - revealed in the act of conveying (and hopefully communicating) my interpretation of meaning or the aesthetic. So, ideally, photography is my mode of expression - I think it was HCB who said the photograph is my shouting how I feel. Handy because I'm a hopeless drawer, painter, sculptor, cook and cleaner. So I'd like to think that, to me, photography is about observing and capturing things happening outside myself to glimpse and better understand what is happening inside. If I'm being honest with myself, it's then rather troubling when things go dry, as I have to wonder what's going on internally. Also, how does this relate to GAS? Well this is a personal and immediate stocktake (hence, the caveat emptor that I might change my mind as we go along ), and one that I'd be curious to cast and develop through the experience of others. Others?