The Library of Congress has an extensive collection of daguerreotype photographs captured over the past two centuries. In addition to browsing the technically perfect ones that document history and people, it’s also interesting to look at metal plates that are flawed.
People who collect Leica M rangefinders or use them as luxury fashion accessories take great care to keep their cameras in pristine condition. Photographer Blake Andrews is not one of those people. He has been doing film photography since 1993, and his trusty M6 has plenty of battle scars from seeing heavy use over the years.
If you want to see what a Leica can look like when it’s used as a camera rather than an accessory, Andrews has published a series of interesting graphics in which he treats his M6 as an artifact, pointing out various features that you definitely wouldn’t see on a babied camera body.
design mind has an interesting post titled “Aged to Perfection” that explores the issue of whether or not consumer gadgets age gracefully as time and use wear them down. They specifically compare a 3-year-old iPhone with a 7-year-old Canon compact film camera:
The camera’s emulated metallic finish is only surface-deep and its wear tends to emphasizes awkward artifacts of the injection molding process used to create it. At this point the Canon camera’s shell looks like garbage while the iPhone’s is starting to resemble something more like an heirloom pocket watch.
They also make the point that a product’s original “new” look normally only lasts a brief amount of time, while the user is forced to live with the “aged” look as the product decays. It would be interesting to see how modern cameras compare in terms of their “aged” look rather than what they look like out of the box. Have your cameras aged well?
Aged to Perfection (via Wired)
Image credit: Photographs by Remy Labesque of design mind