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‘The Cameras We Bring’: Every Camera We Use, We Use As An Extension Of Who We Are

By Kishore Sawh on July 15th 2014


Part documentary, part story, Fidelity Format’s ‘The Cameras We Bring,’ is 3 minutes of photography romance, with a dose of sentimentality. For every one of us who have had a camera passed down to us, or have formed some other real attachment to a piece of equipment, Valeriie Lin, and this video, speaks to us. We tend to purchase and carry particular cameras not arbitrarily, but with keen specificity.


The choice can be based in prejudice and be very personal, but usually not capricious. However, the cameras we keep with us most, tend to be there for the capricious moments in our lives and we can love them all the more for it. The description of the video, perhaps is one of the most brilliant expressions of what a camera is, and does.

The photos we take are an expression of what we’re looking for, not necessarily what we’re looking at. Every camera we use, we use as an extension of who we are.


This Fidelity  Format does a really fine job of capturing the introspective, personal side of photography. Lin, addressed well, some of the reasons we choose the gear we choose, and how we choose to use them. The camera itself, for all the talk we like to make about how the gear is not important, does have an element of importance as without it we couldn’t do what we do. It can be incredibly personal. It’s partially I think, why we tend to just keep our old cameras and not get rid of them, and why a loss or destruction of one is particularly painful

[REWIND: The Pain & Rewards Of Large Format Photography Shown In This Elegant Video]


Normally, with objects of utility, if something goes wrong with it we generally care from the perspective of the human element. For example, when a plane goes down, we mourn for the souls on board and not the airframe itself. There are occasions though when these objects become a bit more than just machines.

To follow along with the theme here, we can look at Concorde as one such example. When Concorde crashed at Charles de Gaulle in 2000, we mourned for the people, but many also mourned for the loss of the machine. Why? Because Concorde represented something human – an achievement for mankind. Cameras, albeit in a less grandiose scale, can have a similar quality, as they represent something human as well. It could be a memory, a time, an experience, or simply they can act as an anchor to any of those things. I have an old camera which took the first photos of me as a child, and if my house was to burn down, it’s one of the things I would miss the most, even though I hardly use it.

What camera do you have that means the most to you?

Source: PetaPixel, (Images are screen captures from video)

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ian Moss

    I still regularly go out with my blad and gossen meter. While I love my digital cameras, if you want to understand photography, learn with film.

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  2. Herm Tjioe

    Just don’t think about using that old analog camera sitting next to you. Just load it, and take pictures with it. It’s bringing back the fun.

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  3. Emilio Savov

    Amazing video .. it’s tells so much in some 3 and a half minutes. It really makes you think what are the important things in your life… Love the video and the message! :)

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  4. Greg Faulkner

    Sold my Hasselblad recently but still got a Nikon F90x, it’s gathering dust though I only really used it while at university

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  5. Gareth Roughley

    The first slr I had was a used Olympus OM-10 when I was 12. My wife has an Olympus OMD-EM5, I reminisce about my old camera, and wish I still had it every time she pulls it out

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  6. James Matthews

    My Pentax K-1000 from the 80’s is sitting next to me. Unfortunately it’s more of a prop these days to remind of the old days but I just can’t let it go :)

    Maybe I’ll dig up some film and have a play with it next week.

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  7. Ralph Hightower

    The camera that means the most to me is the Canon A-1. I bought the camera new in 1980 and I still use it. Even though I now own a DSLR, I still shoot film with my A-1 and F-1N which I bought a year ago.

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