On this rainy and cold morning at the dacha it has suddenly become clear to me. My recent obsession with all handy things mechanical has a logical explanation.
A year ago I brought back from a trip to London a vintage folding Kodak camera, made in the 50s. It took some fiddling to make the back cover work. Otherwise the camera was in good condition.
Since then my collection has grown to over a dozen of cameras, mostly Soviet-made replicas and originals - brands like Zenit, Zorky, Smena and FED. My son and co-workers contributed by buying and consigning more vintage stuff, respectively.
I display the collection in my office. Not only it facilitates some good conversations and helps to break the occasional ice, it also tends to reduce stress from work.
A mechanical device such as a working vintage photo camera has a number of levers, buttons, switches and optical elements that immediately respond to your command. It is this predictable and immediate action, all man-made, that fascinates me.
The logic behind the fascination is fairly easy. In PR, results come in complex spring-like chain of actions, agreements and attitudes, stretched over time and space. Sometimes this may be testing for your confidence.
Mechanical cameras seem to restore your confidence by providing instantaneous and intelligent tactile feedback. And mind you, you don't even have to use them for real.