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Insights & Thoughts

CameraPunk is Everything Wrong With Camera Accessories

By Justin Heyes on September 10th 2014

Let’s face it, cameras are just black boring boxes that capture images. We try our best to bring a little character to our gear in different ways. We add grips, straps, and soft releases to make them more ergonomic whilst adding a touch of style, but there is a fine line between custom gear and a gaudy fashion accessory. CameraPunk is a project on Kickstarter that falls in the latter category (in my opinion).

[REWIND: 8 Fashionable Camera Accessories You Can Make Yourself (or Buy, If You’re Not Crafty)]

CamerPunk-Full-Set

CameraPunk are a series of accessories to steampunk-ify your camera and lenses. For those who don’t know, steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery. As of writing, there are only a few days left and a little over $9,000 or the $12,000 needed to for funding.

CamerPunk-Lens

While Kickstarter is not Amazon (some people think it is), the rewards are a bit skewed. For a $28 pledge, you get a painted lens cap with a chain. Creator Momo Lee says “My dream is to one day to be able to look around looking something like this.” Fortunately, Lee’s dream might not come true.

CamerPunk-Lenscap

Thoughts

How far is too far in customization? Photographic accessories, in my opinion, are meant to augment the creative process, not hider it into obscurity. The same way a painter uses their brush or a a sculptor a chisel, photographers use their camera for art. Do you see painters or sculptor bedazzling their brushes or chisels? No, then why do we have an incessant need to do this with our cameras?

 What are your thoughts on the project?

About

Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Steve Blow

    +Justin Heyes is a DINOSAUR, he is someone who dont Understand, DONT HAVE SENSE OF STYLE at all……..Photography is a Form of Art, able to merge with Fashion, Architecture, Design, Music Anytime Anywhere.

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  2. Jason Boa

    Pretty niche market I would think .

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  3. Clare Havill

    Not my cup of tea, to me it’s the equivalent of vajazzling your camera.

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  4. David Hall

    I’m not a steampunk fan, nor will I be backing the project, but I think it’s kind of a dick move to say that their Kickstarter is “Everything Wrong With Camera Accessories”.

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  5. Dre Rolle

    Something for everyone, I’ve seen far crazier things.

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  6. Ralph Hightower

    Nah, not for me. I prefer my cameras to be basic black, although I don’t mind a chrome top Canon AE-1. Three of my four Canon SLRs are classic cameras as in “retro” since they use film.

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  7. Vladimir Ladev

    Well there is a market for everything and people to impress, plus every concept product – usefull or not, often starts looking unfinished or just bad. I’m not saying this is my kind of thing but the girl looks pasionate about it and it may just find it’s niche.

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  8. James Bombales

    Oh boy. Well, at least its not a bedazzler.

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  9. Tom Marvel

    I think it would be cooler if the accessories converted your camera’s power supply from lithium ion batteries to actual steam

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  10. Peter McWade

    More power to ya buddy. I won’t go that direction but bling is a personal choice. No issues with wanting it at all. I’ve my own style of bling. Nice leather case and strap. I need a nice cable or chain for my lens cap though. :)

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  11. Adrian Jones

    I’ll not afraid to admit the strap looks kool. Im a fan of leather craftsmanship.

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  12. Eric Sharpe

    This looks crazy to me, but I imagine it’s going to be wildly popular among photographers that don’t take themselves too seriously.

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  14. Jim Johnson

    My problem is the same as yours. Photo gear as fashion accessories is… disheartening. However, this one does a lot less damage to the industry than, say, a Zeiss lens priced to be a status symbol.

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  15. Phil Bautista

    Sorry Justin, but they reached their target with 64 hours left. Personally, anyone who backed this project deserves to be parted with their money.

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  16. Stan Rogers

    Look, I *get* the steampunk aesthetic. In a lot of ways, I think I’d prefer a world in which gleaming brass, rich mahogany and rosewood, ash for strength, elm for durability, fine leather, the odd fleck of gold leaf and solid mechanicals you can imagine really understanding if you put your mind to it were the order of the day. (Heck, that stuff even looks somehow “more real” when it’s allowed to get into a disreputable state of repair.) And it can be convincingly be done with modern digital electronic cameras; a mirrorless, a Lomography Petzval and an enclosure mod would make an excellent cabinet or half-cabinet portrait view camera, something like a Sony RX-100 could be made into a beautiful bellows-type “pocket folder” with a little ingenuity and patience, etc. (And the homemade “mad scientist” variants would, I think, look equally convincing.) Gluing random gears and other crap to the outside of what remains unquestionably the modern plastic fantastic misses the point (“the point” being to imagine what things might have been like if the Victorians/Edwardians had noticed a couple of phenomena that, unbeknownst to them, they were actually able to harness with the technology and methods they had at their disposal) — even the ill-advised Hasselblad Sonys came closer.

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  17. Steven Mole

    I wouldn’t put it on my own gear but if I saw someone else with this type of customisation, I’d probably think it was cool. It does no harm, how is it “everything that’s wrong” with customisation? Live and let live, man.

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  18. Jeff Morrison

    thanks for sharing

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  19. Matthew Saville

    To each their own!

    Keep in mind that anyone crazy enough to sport this on their camera is probably the type of person who already goes around in steampunk costume anyways, so just think of it this way: they’re matching! Steampunk is awesome…

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    • Herm Tjioe

      Top image shown just doesn’t go the minimum to make it custom looking, enough to be a steampunk mod, IMO.

      I’d love to see the body broken down and repainted and rebuilt with surface wear markings.

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  20. Jeff Ladrillono

    When the hell did I commute home in a Delorean and get out on April 1st?

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  21. Austin Swenson

    The accessories in these photos just look like they will make the camera more difficult to use, like the straps of the zoom part or the manual focus ring of the lens. For that reason, I don’t think I’ll be investing in this… If they want to make a series of gaudy stuff though, the market will show how much value it holds.

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  22. Chuck Eggen

    Not my thing either but I guess it’s like adding accessories to your car or something like that.

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  23. Ben Perrin

    I’m with John on this one. Not my thing but if someone else feels the need for these then more power to them.

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  24. John Cavan

    I don’t know, I would never do this, but I can see this as being something fun for those that are into some fancy bling and a little caché. I try to avoid getting too worried about that sort of thing because, in the end, it feels a bit too much like shouting “get off my lawn!” at kids.

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