Sunday, September 27, 2009

Photographer Silliness - Who the Hell Cares What Kind of Camera, Lens, Tripod You Used?

Someone once asked Ansel Adams what equipment he used to make his marvelous photographs and he replied, "A camera was faithfully used." (photo at left, Ansel greeting us at his home in Carmel in May, 1968)

I've been guilty in the past of techno garbage data accompanying photos in some of my books because my publishers insisted that people wanted to know what camera, lens, f-stop, etc. was used. I relented and included the data in some of my early books, but it was mostly made up! In the early days before digital, who the hell remembered what lens or f-stop or even camera (I had several) was used? And who cared?

Today, however, it has gone to extremes. Not only is the camera and lens and f-stop given, but also the tripod and tripod head. Good Grief! What silliness! When it comes to judging photographs, it's the content, stupid!

But maybe I'm being unfair. And maybe I should follow suit, only I'm going to be much more complete in the information. So here's the tech data for a recent picture:
Kodak Instamatic model 2
Wal-Mart brand el cheapo, ISO 200 (sort of, depends on the day of the week)
Shutter speed:
1/125 second (approximately, it varies with temperature and phase of the moon)
Wobbly model 543678923 set at height of exactly 4' 8.27765"
Tripod head:
Grabber model 879965432100989076
Haines, briefs (NOT boxer) color blue
Target sport socks, gray, 10 for $1
LA Gear running shoes with traction tread, chewing gum courtesy of Safeway parking lot
Levis, traditional fit, boot cut, broken zipper, fly held shut by safety pin
Safeway brand, whole bean French roast, fresh ground, strong brew
Titan IPA, occasionally Bitch Creek Bitter (if you choose Budweiser or Coors you'll never make it as a photographer; these are only good for developing film and cleaning hubcaps)
none (I hate 'em)
Land's End, color heather, pizza stains courtesy Poppa John's
Hair Stylist:
Victoria Cramer; trim, mid-ear length, longer in back
Female assistant:
Wine (with female assistant): Iron Horse Vineyards, Rued Clone Chardonnay 2005

Now, if you don't match everything here exactly, you ain't gonna make it as a photographer!


  1. This is utterly brilliant!

    Esp.: "if you choose Budweiser or Coors you'll never make it as a photographer;"

    Love it :)

    - mike

  2. As an amateur Photon Wrangler, I resemble those remarks! Briefs, always (well, there are exceptions you know), Levis? If I can afford them otherwise cheap stuff from the bargain cave at Cabella's. Female assistant? Singular???? Single maybe but never singular. As far as beer goes, first choice is Safari and then Kili and instant coffee ala, Naabi Hil or Java Johns dark roast, Tanzanian Peaberry.

    Camera? With all that stuff, who needs one?