in Honor of
John Clellon Holmes & Jack Kerouac
A mistake I see many of the young gun, camera fondling photogs make is using big, bulky straps and half cases for their cams. They like to pimp their cams with loads of unneeded crap that weighs them down and makes their cam harder to use.
Some fondlers spend more time changing their shutter buttons than actually pressing the button….
Cartier-Bresson on what is needed for doc work…
The camera fondlers are on an endless search for the perfect cam that somehow is just beyond their reach and is the ONLY reason why they can’t produce anything worthwhile.
All the while the fondlers load their cameras up with fancy push buttons, thumbs up, custom skins, hand made straps, leather half cases, fat grips, screen protectors and ever other GD thing they can think of to put on a cam to bloat their ego and make their cam more useless.
I see some camera shoulder bags selling for $750. Of course such an expensive bag will boost the poor fondlers ego when their photos won’t do the job. I don’t give a shit what cams I use or the bag I carry them in…as long as they do the best job they can for me freezing time.
Of course, when I bring this subject up on the photo forums…they ban me. I’ve been thrown out of a number of forums just for using the words camera fondler. People do not like their bubble burst.
Gamblers Anonymous on the subject of what may drive the fondlers compulsion…
“A lot of time is spent creating images of the great and wonderful things they are going to do as soon as they make the big win. They often see themselves as quite philanthropic and charming people. They may dream of providing families and friends with new cars, mink coats, and other luxuries. Compulsive gamblers picture themselves leading a pleasant gracious life, made possible by the huge sums of money they will accrue from their ‘system’. Servants, penthouses, nice clothes, charming friends, yachts, and world tours are a few of the wonderful things that are just around the corner after a big win is finally made.
Pathetically, however, there never seems to be a big enough winning to make even the smallest dream come true. When compulsive gamblers succeed, they gamble to dream still greater dreams. When failing, they gamble in reckless desperation and the depths of their misery are fathomless as their dream world comes crashing down. Sadly, they will struggle back, dream more dreams, and of course suffer more misery. No one can convince them that their great schemes will not someday come true. They believe they will, for without this dream world, life for them would not be tolerable.”
OK, the camera fondler may not be a compulsive gambler, but they surely fit into the compulsive spending category. Many addictions share this same dream world addiction. They need their drug of choice to use as an escape from the reality of the life they have created for themselves.
If you read the camera fondler’s threads on the photo forums they are always about ‘What did you buy?’ and ‘What are you planning to buy?‘ Why don’t they write about, ‘What did you shoot?’ and ‘What are you planning to shoot?’
The only good thing about the fondlers is they keep the cam companies in biz with their continual spending. More than a few guys on the Leica forum wanted to spend $20,000 for a Leica with no screen. They felt the screen was the root of their problems… SAD.
Well enough ‘Sontag theory’, lets get back to earth with practical application…
Personally, I use a shoulder strap less than 5% of the time. The only reason I would use a shoulder strap is when I need to carry and use 2 cams.
This is how I roll most of the time…
The camera fondlers want the most ego boosting strap they can get. They gravitate towards expensive, bulky, wide, handmade, custom leather and sometimes very bright straps.
When the accessories are not enough to satisfy them, they will buy a pre-distressed camera that has been sanded down to boost their ego…
When it comes to straps, I prefer minimal bulk with my wrist straps. The camera fondler would never go for one of the little straps I use. No ego boost nor would they trust their cam with it…the strap could break!
I put the little straps I use to the test. They have a 30 pound bursting strength and will hold 25 pounds with no problem.
Joel Meyerowitz recounts a story of Cartier-Bresson throwing his Leica in the face of a drunk to stun him while retrieving the cam with the shoulder strap. I can’t say the little wrist strap will take that abuse and not break. But barring that use, they have never let me down and I have owned many dozen of them.
Listen up camera fondlers, anal pixel peepers and fanboys…
All things being equal, it is the photog and not the cam that brings in the iconic shot. If you wish to improve your photos do more button pushing and less gear fondling. Get a boyfriend or girlfriend to fondle and use your gear for what it was intended for…freezing time.