I often refer to our field of photography as a species, because it’s as wide and varied as one in the animal kingdom – hell, it’s close to being an allegory for one. Through all the variances across the taxonomic unit, there’s a similar baseline, and for us picture makers, that’s typically been the film medium itself, and the camera.
It’s strange how we can have an emotional attachment to a tool, to an inanimate object that you’re typically in love with until there’s a younger, hotter model. But that’s not always the case because for many of us the tools represent a time in our lives, an experience, a struggle, an adventure. Often too, if you’ve had them or worked them long enough you notice quirks particular to your camera and you learn to get around it and work it better than anyone in your own way. This behavior usually stems from a flaw, and that is the most human of qualities, and where a camera can perhaps cease to be soulless. Then, we’re attached.
For some, the pursuit of photography is as much about the equipment and appreciation of its evolution as it is about what they produce, and in the short film The Camera Collector: Story Of Passion, we are greeted with someone who embodies that, and someone we can all share a connection with. But you’ll never know his name…
The short film was created by Andrea Casanova of Branco Ottico, and it is a visual and narrated guide through the collection of one of the most impressive camera collectors ever. That his face is never shown, and his name never mentioned sort of adds to it, and while his collection is vast, immaculate, and meticulously curated, the stories around the acquisition of each (like being beaten by his father for buying a Leica) is where the man behind the mystery will hook you.
The film was once for purchase on Vimeo On Demand, but is now free, and 13 minutes of time well spent. It’s a little bit of camera escapism.
PS – unless you speak Italian, turn on Closed Captioning.
Please do check out the official site to learn more, get more background info on the project.