Of Sprats and Mackerels

Yes, I DO live in a coastal town and I AM just back from my home in North Sea vicinity, but I am not talking about the decline of the fishing industry. In fact I want to talk about something entirely different, but the maritime proverb is pretty fitting: “you need a sprat to catch a mackerel”. 
Can you spot the mackerel and her sprat?
 I love fish and when it comes to sprats, I am a total mackerel. That is to say, I react very strongly to anything that is remotely related to photography. If you want to sell me something, make it a must-have item for any photographer and I am ready to splash the dosh! For example, I seriously had to have that invaluable camera strap that is anatomically designed for women only and sports not only a discreet floral design but also has an equally discreet “bulge” where it sits on the female chest. (In fairness, though, that investment in a 70 Euro camera strap was well-worth it – makes shooting at events an absolute pleasure!) In a (for me) very uncharacteristically feminine way I also own several pieces of camera-related jewellery (*blushes*). But the latest thing I just read in a German photography mag has me gagging. Or raging?

A prestigious photography equipment manufacturer, mostly known for their high quality tripods – are advertising photography apparel for women. Apparently they have had a men’s collection for a while, but now their photo waistcoats are available for women, too. *grah* Honestly? Jaysis, they are trying to make money where they can, aren’t they? Now, however practical this waistcoat is going to be, I won’t be seen dead in that garment. Because I cannot think of anything more superfluous than that. But I am sure a lot of enthusiasts will be quite taken with the features of this piece of practical clothing. 
For instance, it sports these massive, detachable pockets that you can put your camera into. Or detach and then use as knee pads (in case you are on location for a macro of mushrooms in mud or some such assignment…)! Or the strategically placed epaulets which hold the shoulder strap of the camera in place. (Do you know what epaulets are? Those decorative shoulder “pads” that officers have on their uniform.) Or the two tabs at the fron of the waistcoat under which you can fasten the strap of your camera to your belly. 

Have you recovered? Gimmicks and gizmos – love them. But message to the photography industry: you are overdoing it, guys! As much as we need filters and straps and padded bags, and however much we laugh about those cute little camera USB sticks, lens shot glasses and shutter-leaf earrings – at 229 Euro for an *BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP*ing waistcoat you have lost me. In fact you are making me angry. Because I do not see photography as an opportunity to cash in on moronic gizmo freaks but as a democratic and inclusive art form that should not be watered down by producing unnecessary luxury items that the world has no need for!

*phew* Rant over. I think I need a walk. Talk soon, peeps 🙂

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