Sometimes, the stories behind why we may own a certain piece of kit can be more interesting than the item itself. This short film from Andrea Casanova of Branco Ottico embodies that idea. Called “The Camera Collector”, the mysterious narrator recounts his tales of gear acquisition over the past half century. The beating his father gave him after purchasing a Leica, and his determined response to make a living from photography.
He doesn’t collect just kit, though, but all kinds of photographic history. It really is a fascinating look at how we perceive things. What makes something special to us. Is it the item that’s special? Or the story behind it? The unknown collector does finally make peace with his father, in the end, too. The video is in Italian, but has English subtitles.
This is the first time I’ve seen a video of this type where the subject specifically avoids being identifiable. Immediately this makes things more interesting, and the question isn’t answered at the end of the video, either. Most other people can’t wait to show off and feel proud of their accomplishments. Our subject here, on the other hand, doesn’t care about adulation. He’s just wants to share his stories.
The film had previously been viewable via Vimeo On Demand, but with the costs all recovered, Andrea has released the film for all to see for free. You can find out a little more about the film on the Branco Ottico website.
Do any of your photographic items have a good story attached to them? Have you had GAS so bad you’ve become a collector? What’s your most prized possession and the story behind it? Let us know, and share your stories in the comments.