When my Grandfather, who was a carpenter, died, no adult in my family had sense enough to save his tools. The old craftsmen not only loved their work, and its products, but also loved the tools that helped them make a living for themselves and their families.
There are some wonderful books of photographs of hand made tools and toolboxes from around the turn of the century. One toolbox I have in mind must have taken over a thousand man-hours to make.
Tools are latent wealth full of promise, and it saddens me to see them taken for granted. Fine cameras are not only a testament to the craftsmen who made them but to the long line of engineers and inventors who found new and clever ways to make them work better and more reliably. Anyone who has ever taken the time to puzzle their way through the workings of even a simple shutter can?t help but be awe struck by the evidence of genius that resides there.
It saddens me when I see a screwdriver that was used for a pry bar, and broken. I have one camera that was used by a professional photographer who worked to his 70?s. He was a friend of mine, and he is dead now. It has marks on it, that are his marks, and I revere those, however it doesn?t show abuse or lack of maintenance.
Real manual labor is a fine schoolmaster, that teaches the value of things that are made, and the labor that was put into them. It gives one a respect and reverence for them.
One of my next projects it to photograph grain silos. I suspect most people think that they are ugly, but I bet those that think that they are ugly haven?t ever been really hungry.
Photography is art, but it is also craft, and true craftsmen, take care of their tools.