I normally defend Ken Rockwell

Started Jun 2, 2011 | Discussions thread
Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 12,702
Re: Tape

René Schuster wrote:

"I want everyone to see it" - well, another one of our cultural differences. Over here it is seen as proof of a rather primitive low cultural level to show off with what you can afford. Money only doesn´t really count, if it is not accompanied by a good education, good manners, class, etc. The admission ticket to the upper class is not just money, no matter how much you might have. Understatement would be the way to go over here, if you don´t want to be considered to belong to the group of the "newly-rich", just money but no culture.

Showing off I think is very often bad, as you point out. However, there are a few cases where a photographer has a duty to show off his equipment -- if someone hires a photographer to do a job, they may have certain expectations that a certain level of equipment will be used. The client may be disappointed if their hired photographer does not show up with premium equipment -- especially if the photographer charges premium prices. An eccentric, avant-garde photographer might be able to pull off showing up with a Diana toy camera, but the client must accept this sort of thing ahead of time.

In the US it might be different, probably based on the philosophy of the Puritans, something like if you live your life the way God wants you to, you sooner or later will be rich, so being rich is nothing you have to hide but is seen as proof that you live in the sense of your religion.

Puritanism runs deep in the U.S., and yes, showing off wealth is a part of this. But we also have a strong counter-current in the spirit of Emerson, Thoreau, and the hippies, which is the complete opposite. So many Americans embrace cheap lo-fi cameras, and the snapshot aesthetic. Personally, I think the virtuous golden mean lies somewhere in-between, but unfortunately that's un-American.

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