Tools of the trade: Brassing

When I was a photojournalist it was exciting to get new gear but also a bit distressing to be walking around with something shiny and fresh. It was only a matter of time before these tools began to get some wear and tear scars, not unlike the fading of jeans.

Edges and corners were usually the first areas to show wear. That’s when the underlying brass would begin to be visible, hence the description of brassing.

In that era you could make a pretty informed observation about the seriousness of the photographer based on the cosmetic condition of their gear.

This beast pictured here has lived a gilded and protective life as do a lot of the so-called prosumer cameras that occupy my inventory. It’s noteworthy that this might be the first time that a Nikon D600 has ever been referred to as a beast by anyone.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer specializing in creating environmental on-location portraits and corporate photo libraries for blue chip companies.