Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Silly but Wonderful

I haven't had time to shoot anything meaningful yet.  I had a tremendous scare yesterday with the new camera and spent most of the day trying to figure out what was wrong.  That meant walking around taking silly pictures while trying to get the camera right.  It is working fine now.  But what I have are a bunch of silly pictures.  I will be spending time the next few weeks trying to learn processing with the files to give them a "signature" look.  Fingers crossed.  But I have a few ideas. 

I read somewhere the number of Leica Monochroms that are extant in the world.  There are not very many.  Sometimes I feel foolish for wanting/getting it, but that goes away.  I've read reviews galore on the camera, what it can do and what it can't, and I've read many opinions on why or why not to purchase it.  It is all technical talk, or mostly, anyway.  It doesn't handle highlights well, they say.  It is tremendous in the mid-tones and shadows.  There are many recommendations on how to work with the files after they are shot.  Reviewers then analyze the restrictions.  They compare the final product to the black and white conversions you can do with any digital camera.  The advantages then seem minimal for the amount of money you have to spend. 

But I don't care as much about all of that as I should, maybe.  I want to take pictures and tell stories, and when I want black and white, sometimes I don't want to shoot film, but I want to shoot with a Leica M.  And when I come home after a shoot. . . there they are--pictures! 

The fucking camera thrills me.  As soon as I quit being afraid that it doesn't work properly, I will go gangbusters.  You will see. 

I showed it around yesterday.  People think it is a very old camera--old school.  I like that.  I really like that. 

Now I must make the time to work. 

I ate dinner alone last night after a long running and biking workout at the gym.  I was back in my old routine, the one I had for years.  I stopped at the liquor store after the gym and bought an expensive bottle of scotch because it was on sale.  The scotch was aged a long time in port casks.  Luxury.  Then I went to Faux Foods and bought a Thai-Coconut seasoned chicken breast to put on the grill and some Quinoa vegetable medley for the microwave.  Then home.  A shower.  Some correspondence and water.  Yes, yes, I drank water for a while before I opened a bottle of wine.  By eight, dinner in front of the television.  A knock at the door.  The tenant.  She was bringing the rent check.  I asked her if she wanted some of my very expensive scotch, and she said sure.  When she was gone, I answered more email.  There are many models who want to shoot with me.  They write and say they like my pictures, etc.  I have been satisfied not to shoot them, but last night I was getting itchy.  One model is a transexual.  Yes, I said, I would like to shoot with you.  She lives far away but wants to come to the studio.  I want to go to her, too, and shoot with the Monochrom where she lives, more documentary style.  But I have tried to schedule shoots with trannies and transexuals before and nothing has ever come to fruition.  There must be some ingredient of which I am not aware.  Surely there is. 

After that, I was still reluctant to go to bed.  There is much to think and do when alone, much for which to make up. 

It is one hundred and twenty degrees in Iraq I read today.  The electricity is out most of the time and only those who can afford generators have any relief at all, mostly electric fans.  The heat index is 150 degrees.  Drinking water is hot.  There is no solace, no comfort.  Iraqis say they are not afraid of hell.  They have already been there. 

Every country is overrun with refugees.  Only the violent rule. 

I went to lunch with some of the factory foremen yesterday.  They are a conservative lot.  Our boss, who is not, was with us.  I said, "I have one word.  Trump!"  Ho!  You should have heard them on that one.  They kept turning it to politics and other candidates, and I said that we should save all the money that is going to be spent on campaigns and just give the election to Hillary because we all know absolutely that she is going to win whether any of us like her or not.  But I don't want to talk about politics, I said, just Trump.  He is the symbol of our American times, I think.  He represents just about everything we are in every contradiction and bad, unthinking impulse.  He is absolutely amazing.  Trump will be the icon of our era.  He is what we have made of ourselves.  He is what we wish to become. 

Object if you want to, but I am right. 

O.K.  The factory calls, and I must work today.  My friend from Yosemite is in town, and he and his wife are coming over tonight.  There is much to accomplish before they do.  I must take my camera and away!


  1. So glad you got the camera. I am envious. I want a new camera now! :) I do object (and I never discuss politics) but I do not wish to become ANYTHING like Trump. Just sayin...

  2. The thing is a beauty, but I am a silly man for buying it, I'm sure. I was just trying to be like Trump :)