Gear with soul

Posted by Douglas Drumond Kayama on January 08, 2022 · 2 mins read

Does gear have a soul?

Recently I watched a YouTube video from Ted Vieira, a well-known photographer among the Fujifilm community, titled Gear With Soul? He shows a magazine by KEH Camera with the tagline “Gear with soul for people with vision” and spends the video showing photos and talking about that.

There’s also an old video from DigitalRev TV where Kai Wong discusses what makes a Leica M unique. And the very last line is “it got soul.”

I remember being in a workshop and the instructor badmouthing Sony cameras saying “they have no soul”. A friend of mine joked “of course not, they are cameras!”

Why do some people say that some objects have souls? I have seen this also happening in motorcycle community and I found a pattern. Beware this is not a scientific study, everything is based only on anecdotal evidence. Both in motorcycle and photography community, it’s usually related to old or at least old-style cameras or motorcycles. It makes me wonder if it’s just a nostalgic feeling for people who lived in a bygone era or younger people who wished to live in that era or just people running away from the day-to-day rush and those objects remind them of a slow-paced time.

Maybe it’s just baloney, but if you feel inspired by that, go ahead. Enjoy the way the camera feels in your hands, the lens, moving the focusing tab. Pretend you’re Sebastião Salgado, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and go have fun with your camera. Who knows what kind of photography you’ll get in those unpretentious moments.

Photo by Le Khang on Unsplash