Sunday, March 04, 2007

Converging Lines / Converging Lives


I'd planned on writing more about the repairs to the house, then decided maybe I should write about the strange things wide angle lenses do to perspective. At dinner I decided that it might be more interesting to write about some of the various people who've walked through this front door of mine over the past forty years. I'll start with today's visitor.

I first "met" Michael Anthony Clark through one of the photography forums on the internet. He's a Philadelphia based photographer, a youngster really, only 21, but ambitious, bright and articulate. In this day and age he's really unusual in that he hasn't embraced the digital age. He shoots with Leica film cameras. Anyway, he Emailed me that he had a Miami trip scheduled for early March.

Today it was his turn to walk through that door. We chatted awhile about the state of photography today compared to forty years ago when I was about his age. I showed him some framed prints of stuff I'd shot back in the early 1960's and tear sheets of asignments I'd shot in the 1970's and 1980's. He seemed very interested in some of my oddball equipment, like a cheap 400mm Tele-Astranar lens that I'd modified before he was born to get infinity focus on my Visoflex II reflex housing, and as he looked at my ancient Speed Graphic he mentioned that he wanted to get one also. He has a 4x5 view camera but wants something he can shoot hand held.

We went to Jimmie's Place for lunch and he told me about his store, a traditional camera shop, that he'd recently opened. He sells film and supplies, and buys and sells used film cameras and lenses. I wish somebody would do that around here again. He said a lot of his customers are students looking for reasonably priced equipment, and supplies for the photo courses they're taking. Then, of course, there are the older folks like myself that are fed up with on-line ordering. It's nice to be able to actually handle a used camera before plunking down the money, and handy to have a place that carries black and white film, paper, and chemicals in stock and on the shelf. Maybe I can convince him to open a North Miami branch of 10th Street Camera, although I guess he'd have to call it 125th Street Camera. There are three colleges and universities within a couple of miles of here that teach photography and traditional darkroom techniques, so the customer base exists. If you're in Philadelphia check it out. He's located at 264 S. 10th Street. You can call at 215-923-1232.

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