Part of the diagnostic criteria for Photographic Hardware, Equipment and Software Acquisition Syndrome* (PHESAS) is this pressing need to mention the gear used in making a particular photograph. This seems to be more prevalent in photographers but it is creeping into stories announcing exhibit openings, feature stories, etc., in newspapers and magazines. It goes something like this:

(Insert name) who has been photographing (Insert subject) will exhibit (his or her) work (Insert time frame) at the (Insert location). All of the photographs were taken using (his/her) (Insert camera make)...

A second version of this, geared more to photographers, goes something like this:

"I used my (Insert camera and model) and a (Insert lens information) to make these photographs..." The story usually goes on to say "I processed the raw images in (Insert software package)..."

Most of the photo-sharing sites have places on their member pages where this information shows up (the exif stuff) but even this is not enough for some who will make sure they mention it somewhere in the the caption they add.

Another part of this syndrome is the need to include exposure information for a given photograph, information which seems to be more to impress other photographers than the general public. (Or perhaps it's there to impress members of the general public with the technical nature of the photograph... we'll never know.)

But here is the thing - and this is being put as gently as possible - nobody cares!

Back in the heyday of the PC - Macintosh wars, webmasters using the later platform who wanted to try to impress those visiting their sites would include the postscript "Proudly made on a Mac". Well, so what? Without the tag line you couldn't tell the difference between a website created on a Macintosh, a Dell or an HP. That is, it was a difference without distinction for the end user (the visitor to the website).

In reality, PC or Mac - again, the end user didn't care!

So here is the bottom line - You can't tell the difference between a photograph made using a Canon or a Sony or a Nikon or a phone. And for those of us "consuming" the photograph it's not important. (And doing this will help you start to conquer PHESAS.)

Please consider not including this information. It adds nothing to either the photograph or the caption. We certainly don't care what kind of typewriter Ernest Hemingway used or what word processor Steven King uses.

The gear that was used to make the photograph may be important to the photographer - you get used to a certain system and become vested in it. That is normal and natural. It is the best system for you because you know it and you know how to get out of it what you want. That is the point there.

But what's important to the end user is the photograph. 


* Formerly known as Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS).