Thursday, March 24, 2016
Under a Full Moon
It is almost nine, but the moon has yet to break the top of the big oak trees. I love film, and I love film cameras, but at night. . . oh, the beauty of digital cameras is undeniable. I snap pictures in the dark as if it were daytime. The camera seems to make light. I take pictures of the full moon and they are fantastical, unlike anything I can see with my eyes.
The Leica M Summicron 50mm lens came today. I got it by fortune as the mailman did not come before I left for work. I drove around the neighborhood trying to find him to no avail. After work, I skipped the gym to come home and get the slip that USPS tracking said was left for me. I wanted to pick up the lens tonight if at all possible. As I turned onto my street, I found myself behind the mail truck. I followed it, expecting it to stop at any moment. I followed it for about a mile. When the truck did finally pull over, I asked the mailman if he still had my package, and alas. . . he did. It was, as I say, fortuitous. And so now I have an outfitted M7.
And I want more.
I've been looking at sites tonight that showcase photographers from the 1970s and before. Mostly, it is black and white 35mm photography. I recognize it no matter if I have seen the photographs before or not. The sensibility is the same as mine. It is spooky wonderful. I look at the pictures and think the I took them, or at least a reasonable facsimile. That is what I used to do. That is what I would like to get back to.
But it is impossible to repeat the past, and anyone believing he or she can do it is a fool.
I am, famously, a fool.
Obviously. Look at the focus in today's photo. Surely I was focussing on the girl on the right of the frame. WTF? Again, I must by a new focussing screen. This one is definitely not working for me.
I am tired tonight. It is a common malady from which I suffer much now. My friends are mostly younger and finally they are winning in obvious ways. I am beginning to have a hard time keeping up. My eyes are no good at night any more in a manner you cannot understand until it happens. Much of what I experience now falls into that category. It is something that cannot be explained.
I will go out now and try to take pictures of the moon. To what end? Oh, I don't know. I'll do it because I can. It will make me look, and it will make me see. I will read some old Chinese poetry tonight, something I have not done in a long time. The trees have blossomed here and now the flower petals have fallen. It is that, I think, that reminds me to read. I have never paid as much attention to the fallen petals before, and perhaps I will find many new things in the poetry.
Sometimes, though, I find that what I have just discovered is something I knew awfully long ago.
And then you sleep under the full moon that wakes you in the night. All waking at night, you think, is bad. Babies cry, children come to sleep in their parent's bed weeping they had a bad dream. You. . . yours is bad, too. You've learned to palliate the fear and dread, though, with a little light and some soft music, and even if you do not fall back to sleep, there is some peace and a little rest. Surely, you say, it is the moon. It is only natural.