The Gods of Photography are not dead! And furthermore, they do speak to us. What follows is a true story and, to me at least, it is pretty strange. Last week I was at my day job, you know, the one that I need but also the one that keeps me from my photography. Yes, that one. Anyway, it was lunch time and I went for a walk.
Not far from the office is a rail spur line into the local industries round about. I often walk here just to relax and take a break. Often I’ll have a Starbucks Latte in my hand but on this occasion I had my little Sony NEX-C3 with a Canon screw mount lens on it from rangefinder days. I’ll write more about that later but right now this is a different story.
It had been raining but that had stopped and the sky was a lovely blue with big clouds hurrying past. Everything was that lush lime green you get in the new spring foliage. As the summer comes on that bright green gives way to a deeper more muted mature green. Summer green may be less exciting but it is more restful and contemplative. But I digress.
When it came time to return to the real world, maybe a little past time, I left the tracks and walked across the road to the sidewalk which would take me back to reality. As I walked I was looking at my camera and when I looked up there was a fabric shopping bag on the sidewalk. It was right on the curb and there was no one anywhere in sight.
The bag was open, it was wet from the rain, and it was not empty. Looking into it there was a book, “The Enthusiast Guide to Portraiture” in the bottom looking up at me. It was wet but other than that, in almost new condition. I picked it up and realized that under it, wetter still, was “Mastering Black & White Photography”.
I looked around and there was no one. The books had obviously been there for some time because they were wet from the rain and that had been at least two hours previous. I have no idea why they appeared there. Needless to say, I am sure, I took them. I can only assume they are a message to me from on high that my photography needs help. “Here, read these!” is the obvious message.
And so, I have been drying out my gift from the spirits of photography. I am doing it very slowly, turning pages every day, to make sure the pages don’t stick. Soon I will be able to sit a read these books. They both look interesting, are full of great illustrations, and promise to be great reading.
So how do you explain it? How often do I find two expensive books on the sidewalk? Like …. never!. And of all the subjects they could have been about, they are photography books. How likely is that to find them. Especially on my way back from taking pictures. I think it a bit wierd. But it would have been most ungrateful to leave them on the sidewalk.
Oh, and I looked for names inside the covers: nothing. Come on folks, put your name and phone number in your books, especially if you are going to take them out of the house.
So how did my photo walk go? Good. On the left is one of my images from that happy hour alone with my camera my NEX c3 by Sony with an old Canon screw mount 50mm f/1.8 lens. I enjoy this small stretch of tracks. From this image you would not think that I am surrounded by factories, streets and bridges. But then that is photography: taking a picture of what you see in your mind and not what your camera sees.
I am not going to get into it right now but I have been having great fun with my little Sony NEX-C3. An older camera to be sure but perfect for what I wanted to do. I was looking for a way to play with my older Canon lenses. I have bought adapters for the screw mount rangefinder lenses and for the FD lenses. I will write in the future in detail about my experiences with this older equipment. I have learned lots.