I'm obsessed, are you?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Rockinggoose, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Rockinggoose

    Rockinggoose Mu-43 Regular

    The nature of my personna is that I will discover a new pastime and in a fairly short time it will be come all-consuming.

    It all started with angling when I caught my first Minnow on a rod and line when I was 7. This progressed to Coarse fishing, Sea fishing, Game fishing and fly-tying.

    Then suddenly after many years I lost interest and gradually got into Hill-walking which rapidly progressed to Rock-climbing, Winter mountaineering, Alpine mountaineering, Ice-climbing and Nordic skiing, getting qualifications in all disciplines.

    Then through my job I had a chance to spend a week on a yacht sailing from Padstow to Conway and I was hooked, soon had my own sailing dinghy and progressed eventually to Yachtmaster. Took lots of holidays chartering yachts from the Hebrides to Malaysia to the Carribean.

    Through all this my interest in photography, gained from my father, and natural history, from my mother, remained constant companions. I didn't always use a SLR/DSLR - a Ricoh half frame, a Pen and eventually a Monox 35MB being my weapons of choice for these more active pursuits.

    Now, well into my retirement, my interests are still Natural History and Photography but I am disturbed by the obsession of needing to take photographs all day, every day. When I was Rock-climbing I couldn't go past a crag or even a high wall without imagining a way to climb it, now I look around me all the time for scenes/objects/creatures to photograph or constantly look to the skies etc. for birds to ID. It is affecting my life in many ways - not concentrating enough on my driving is dangerous, not listening to my Wife is even more so! Through all this I don't think my photography is getting any better, only my ability to handle even more technical kit.

    I am worried that these passions will burn out like all the others, so today (the first in recent memory) I am not going to touch a camera, but catch up on essential admin, do some hoovering and clean the windows - perhaps it might catch on - to my Wife's delight!

    Anyone out there recognise this aberrant behaviour?

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  2. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    Oh Yes!!

    I can relate to this very well, unfortunately.

    With me, my first (expensive) obsession was Audio in my 20's. I ended up going down the full Linn Sondek/Naim route, searching out ever more exotic cartridges, and spiked support systems. Now I don't even have any sort of "separates" sound system in my house.

    Trekking & Walking featured too, every single weekend was a planned walk, OS Maps, compass, Sat Nav with plotted route for backup, all the walking gear, etc. Don't do that now either.

    Like you, I got the boating bug, but I went down the Motor Cruiser route, ended up buying a 34ft Flybridge Cruiser. First few years we spent most of the Spring/Summer/Autumn on her, going all around the East & South coasts. Last year, we probably only had 3 weeks in total on her.

    Photography was my last one as a late entrant, and last year my wife was fed up with me always envisioning photo opportunities whilst we were out, and not listening to her. The start of this year has enforced a bit of a break from this, for various reasons, which my wife is delighted about, but I'm hoping to pick it up again soon, though maybe not as obsessively - we'll see.
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Yeah, I absolutely relate, but I don't find any of it to be a bad thing. I've been similarly obsessed by music (both listening and eventually playing),basketball, baseball, computers, skiing, cycling, espresso, etc, etc, etc. I'm on my second round of photographic obsession - the first time in my high school and college years, about 25-30 years away from anything but family snapshots, and now in retirement I'm a few years into my second bout. I guess I could break it down into the film/darkroom obsession and the digital obsession, but both times it was all about making images and the technology was just as interesting as it needed to be to serve that purpose.

    I don't regret ANY of these obsessions. They all passed, as this second round of photography probably will some day too. But none of them have left me altogether. I still play a bit of guitar, listen to music with a pretty educated ear, make damn good espresso, ride a lot of miles on my bike each year (just not the 5,000 plus miles per year I used to do), love basketball and baseball as much as ever (but 99% as a spectator now). I still stay in shape in the winter months with yoga and kettlebells and riding on a trainer in the basement.

    Bottom line, almost all of these past obsessions continue to provide for a rich and varied life even though the obsession phase has passed. I do each of these activities with a level of understanding and appreciation and enjoyment I probably wouldn't have if I hadn't gone all in at one time or another. The only things I can't do well enough to really feel good about anymore are play my guitars and ski. I was never really that good a musician to begin with, but when I was playing a LOT, I got good enough to entertain myself and a few others, but that's about it. And when I'm not playing a lot, I don't maintain the physical skills or keep my meager musical ear toned enough to be at least decent. So that's a bit of frustration because I still have tapes of myself when I played a lot and they're good enough to enjoy hearing, but I know how much effort if would take to get back to that level and I'm not willing to put in the time. And skiing only worked when I lived in an area with great skiing and worked on the mountain so it wasn't an exorbitantly expensive activity - those conditions don't exist any more and I'm not willing to spend the time and money to stand in lift lines and ski in the crummy conditions near where I live.

    For now, I'm enjoying round 2 with photography immensely and spend way too much time doing it and thinking about it. But if it passes again, that'll be OK - I'll still probably retain enough of my skills to take much better photos of any future grandchildren than I otherwise would! And what's more important than that?!?!?

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  4. moonmando

    moonmando Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 16, 2012
    Real Name:
    Matt Caldwell
    I,also like so many on this forum,am of the obssesive compulsive variety.My first love being guitars,having spent a small fortune through the years aquiring all sorts of instruments and dabbling in varying styles but not really mastering any one.I decided to take up photography very recently and i find myself once again becoming obssesed with the latest gear.Fortunately,my wife has put her foot down and ordered me to concentrate on just one,and that was the Olympus E-p3,(although i bought a nikon d300 off e-bay that shes oblivious to),which suits my needs very well.It also ties in with my guitar playing as i can combine both through the creation of slideshows which i had`nt thought about before,till a friend mentioned it. I had my first go last weekend and hope to do more. Here`s a link to it [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb8FR0-_Gxko[/ame]
  5. MikeR_GF1

    MikeR_GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Kindred spirits

    Reading all the above posts, I found myself nodding in agreement with almost all of them.

    Flying disrupted my photography path for almost 20 years. Now that I am back into it, third episode, I regret having dismantled my darkroom and selling off my enlargers, as well as my Speed Graphic and Kodak 8x10. Not that I was very good at any of it, mind you. :frown:

    Maybe three's the charm?:wink:
  6. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    WARNING: The following is an opinion-based response not to be taken seriously!

    I, too, am obsessive compulsive.. I'm hoping that I'll direct it towards something that will alleviate me from this neurosis. The mind, however, does not like its programming messed with! Meanwhile, I try to enjoy my OC life and not take myself too seriously! In the grand scheme, IMHO, this mindset is very predominant and has much to do with the path the world is barreling down. With OC behavior, one does not stop to see "what's going down" until it's too late!:eek:
  7. wallyrulz

    wallyrulz Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2011

    My regret is that my obsessions cost money instead of making money. :rolleyes:

    At least I have had the privilege of doing things I love.

    Fun thread. :thumbup:
  8. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Man, thanks for starting this thread David - between yours and Ray's posts I feel so much better knowing I'm not the only one that does this. My wife joked the other day it's like getting a new husband every 2 years :biggrin:

    I'm turning 30 this year, and I've already been through obsessive periods with: Reading - trust me, it was a LOT of reading, Close-Up Magic (performed in restaurants), Golf, Weightlifting & Bodybuilding, Guitar & Blues music, Luthiery/Woodworking - guitar building mainly, Bushcraft & Wilderness Skills, and now Photography. I'm sure I've forgotten a few in there.

    Almost of these I still do to some extent, but the current passion is definitely photography. I find I can usually only focus on one consuming passion at a time generally, so the others become less frequent. Like Ray, the one I am disappointed with is guitar; I was never that great at it, but I miss the music and have been breaking out the guitars again sporadically. There are days I really miss performing magic too, but like golfing and guitar it requires a huge investment in practice time that I am not sure I can manage these days.

    Anyway, I'm right there with you, and I do worry sometimes that I'll burn out on Photography like I did others. The good news is twofold - first, I last a lot longer in my interests when I have a community of like-minded folks to share with (that's you guys). Secondly, I have found photography has a unique trait in that in can be done just about anywhere and it neatly dovetails with my other pursuits. I can take better pictures to document my camping trips, photograph jam sessions or concerts, etc. My sincere hope is that the photography won't die off as a hobby for me even if I move on to the next thing, and it will just coincide with other things.
  9. Strick

    Strick Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2013
    Columbia, MD
    Real Name:
    I, too, am victim of this dreaded affliction. Started with music - listening and playing drums, then the ukulele.
    Then came off-roading in my truck. When gas prices went through the roof, I decided a home theater would be nice and dove into that.
    Then I discovered that my little point and shoot camera could not take the types of pictures I wanted to take and moved into photography. Three cameras later I have the camera that is perfect for me, the EP-3.
    In between all that I dove into motorcycling as well. That was a tough one to get past the wife.
    So, I join the obsessed here and am having a blast here learning from like minded friends here and my photography has actually improved. Now if I could just make the time to really learn lightroom :wink:
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I guess I'm fairly obsessive - if you're going to do something, might as well do it well, and do it 'right'. I have a job that I love (medicine, currently a PhD programme), but I need creative outlets to balance the intellectual challenges. For me, that's photography (mostly while traveling), guitar playing, guitar building (whenever I can find the time, not easy), traveling and cooking.

    Plus sports, because a healthy mind is useless without a healthy body, but I only really compete with myself in that arena.
  11. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord

    Nov 4, 2010
    Real Name:
    I dont obsess on a lot of things, only things i ever had passion as hobbies are racquet sports (tennis badminton) and photography.... And my shoes. :cool: I dont think i'll ever get out of the photography bug but for sure there are days/months (like now) where i cant find the creative juice in me.

    And this is the time where i spend 5-6hours a day playing online multiplayers. Productive, i know :rolleyes:

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  12. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Real Name:
    From reading the other posts in this thread it is obviously not aberrrant behaviour, unless of course we are a sub species of compulsive addictives ... mine were boxing, cricket, football, running, squash, golf all of which finished when I couldn't do them well enough anymore, then came woodturning, flyfishing and shooting all of which which finished when my back hurt too much to stand, now it is gundog training and less shooting, less woodturning and more stickmaking, less flyfishing and more resting between casts. Photography has been a constant for years but now I am working on improving and not just taking pictures ... like Ray I make a mean espresso.

    Someone asked my advice on Photography the other day and I don't think they believed me when I told them how little I knew, I made them a coffee though ...