The Brand Worship Industry



There is actually something quite creepy about 'communities' of camera owners hanging around internet forums patting each other on the back because they all own the same brand of photographic gear. A bit like Windsor and Newton fans slagging off Loew-Cornell users and writing lengthy analyses about the merits of sable versus squirrel. (Paintbrushes) And there is a whole industry developing around it, which seems to have very little to do with photography. There are usually two varieties, one with the manners of a wolf pack and the other like some sewing circle on bromide. Several have been 'franchised' and the template is applied to several different brands, often with the same people running them.

So what's this all about? Just another of those "He's having a pop at someone again.' posts? Well, I thought I'd try to explain the two seemingly contradictory posts I wrote about whether m4/3 cameras can (or not) be professional cameras. The reason for the two posts is I have both points of view. Now this either makes me ultra sophisticated with the ability to handle opposing concepts or an indecisive ditherer. I'll leave that up to you. But the point is that of all the nonsenses of the internet, this is the one that annoys me the most. To me these camera supporters clubs are ridiculous and in many ways anti-photographic, because they ascribe a value to whatever camera and lenses people use way beyond what they deserve. They also make the very act of camera ownership more important than taking pictures and place the announcing, reviewing, purchasing and owning of photographic gear at the centre of these communities and the sole reason for their existence rather than treating it as a tool, a means to an end and something that is of interest solely because of what it can achieve.

So, the situation is not as one person commented on Google+, that there are four different people writing this blog! I'm afraid it's not that interesting, it's just me grappling with indecision, doubt and an ongoing debate about what I like using as opposed to what I think I should be using. And under all circumstances, all of that confusion is because I'm trying to produce the best images I can. And what I'm not trying to do is own the camera system that gets the highest approval rating from my fellow fans. 

There's the old apocryphal story of the burning house and the amateur photographer rushing back to save his cameras and the professional battling through the flames to save his pictures. I will admit that in the same situation I would attempt to save both, but on the brand worshipping sites there is no doubt what the majority of the contributors would choose to save. That is assuming, of course, that they had actually taken any pictures with their precious gear that they thought were worth saving.


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