09 August, 2014

Craftsmanship

Central Station, Brisbane

In my (relative) youth I owned a chronometer wristwatch. (I won't name the brand.) In those days, if you wanted a watch to keep good time, then you needed to pay for both engineering and craftsmanship. That's just the way that it was in the mechanical and analog world.


Times have changed and it's now an electronic and digital world. Craftsmanship isn't dead, but in many places it's been supplanted. Some bewail this shift, but not me.

I can't afford a Rol... chronometer wristwatch anymore. But I can afford an equally robust, waterproof, quartz watch with a wind-down crown that keeps much better time for little more than the cost of a service to that chronometer.

And so it is with cameras. I can't afford a Leica with its precision rangefinder mechanism; but I can afford a NEX-7 with (I think) a superior sensor and focus peaking.

I don't have the space for a darkroom, but I do have the space for a Epson printer.

The digital age has delivered into our hands the tools that were out of reach for many not long ago. The challenge now is for us to become master craftsmen/craftswomen with these new tools.

In choosing sides, ask yourself:
Which side would be happy with peace, and
which side would remain set on extermination?
—Yllib Ybnad (b. 1948)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your photos!

Agree that we live in (at least in this way) a Golden Age where everybody can afford reliable timekeeping and cameras so good that one can't blame one's equipment. Having said that, I own Rolexes, Leicas, and Hasselblads and prefer their solidity and haptics.

I wish we lived in a saner world where you could say the last bit without having to be quite so elliptical. You're right, of course. FWIW, I don't think that the interesting characters of West End would fight your corner if the Deen Bros came calling.