gratuitous image
5 November 1996

Leicascan/Leicas can't

I continue to be on the verge of "real" photography. I dreamt last night that I was taking photographs with my Leica. (Unfortunately I'd mounted the 35mm lens wrong so it showed the 50mm frame.) A few nights ago I dreamt one of the neighborhood kids had a dozen different varieties of pilfered spot meters for sale; I recall that I particularly fancied the one that took half-degree measurements. I even went so far as to look at used enlargers yesterday. (I didn't consider bringing my fine enlarger that's been in storage for years across the Atlantic; that would be too rational. At least half the attraction to the medium is the hardware.) There was a newish Leitz Focomat v35 and a massive old IIc; I enjoyed being seduced by the Leitz logo.

I doubt I'll do anything about it. I love the concept of photography, but the idea of dust, getting the easel blades perfectly perpendicular, waiting a few minutes for a test strip (then putting it in the microwave to see how much darker the highlights get when the paper's dry), et cetera et cetera seems almost unthinkable ... it makes working with a plastic "focus-free" camera with a bad lens in only 16 greys seem preferable. The real problem with photography, though, is the prints: what do I do with 'em? Even an 8x10 box of paper takes up more room than dozens of gigabytes.

I'll compromise and scan my favorite camera instead. Scanning the camera isn't art, but neither is the camera itself. I need to remember that, but I probably won't.

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©1996 David Glenn Rinehart