Good morning! It was a gorgeous day in Waukesha yesterday, with a soft primeval green rain in the morning and later, light that looked much more like Autumn than August. Dog training class yesterday afternoon was wonderful, one of Leann's best classes so far. The dogs did so well. (I really cannot say enough about dog training classes, as long as you have a gifted trainer.) Butters and I have been taking two-and-a-half mile evening walks, and the sun yesterday hung incredibly bright right on the horizon as we walked past the newly astroturfed high school football field. Spectacularly lovely evening.
My friend Gordon Lewis wrote yesterday to say: "Since you're moving and throwing out stuff, maybe you could list some of the now-anachronistic equipment you're tossing. Examples might be:
- Color contrast filters for B&W
- Developing tanks and reels
- Print paper exposure meter
- Polaroid slide duplicator
- Kodak Carousel slide projector...."
Amusingly, I had just cleaned out a fairly large box with a number of photographic items, and kept a number of things I shouldn't have. My hand-picked Canon FD lenses went to Goodwill, as did many "freebies" such as a still-sealed Carl Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit. (One freebie I wish I still had was a charm-bracelet-sized Leica M6 made of sterling silver on a keychain. I sold that on eBay during the lean years.)
But I kept a tiny Sekonic light meter my buddy Nick Hartmann gave me, and several yellow camera filters (to which I was addicted for most of my B&W-shooting life). I even have a print-paper exposure meter downstairs, Gordon! (The color printing filters did find the bin, I admit.)
Many books departed yesterday, along with lots of old camera sales material and many old manuals. A major closet dump is still ahead of me, but it will wait till after the move—I have lots of things I would rather see go to loving homes. I kept all my back issues of Black & White Photography magazine, edited by my friend Ailsa McWhinnie. Someday I'll hire a college student to clip the covers and all my columns from them and collate them in a binder. Not that I think my columns are the best things in them, because they aren't and I don't.
I've kept my collection of the superb Hewes UK reels, and even the brown pint pharmaceutical bottles into which I used to decant developer (I can't remember the name of the pharmacist in Georgetown D.C. who gave them to me—the father of a friend of my brother Scott's—but I recall his face plain as day.) It's a bit like a blind man keeping his eyeglasses, but they seem a part of me.
And who knows, who knows. Ctein is the one who's made the clean break. I have trouble making clean breaks. I do wish I had been as set in my ways as John Sexton or Michael Kenna when digital came along, and just carried on.
Of course then I would not be writing to you today.
"Morning Coffee" is published at 6:30 a.m. CT every morning except Saturday. It's a month-long experiment to give people something to check in with while I'm busy moving. This is not permanent. Want to suggest a topic or ask a question? Leave it as a comment.
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Featured Comments from:
Peter Williams: "'...Black & White Photography magazine, edited by my friend Ailsa McWhinnie.' If only we could go back to those days, it was an enjoyable magazine then, even if you were shooting digital, Ailsa was clearly very good at her job (and so are you). The magazine has never been the same since and I stopped buying it pretty much when Ailsa left."
Mike replies: I've just been speaking to Ailsa. It's been like old times. I'll pass along your nice comment to her.
Richard Man: "Some of us still shoot film. More and MORE films, so don't throw anything out that can be sold :-) "
Mike replies: I have actually set aside a number of things that are not monetarily valuable but that I know some film photographer somewhere will treasure. I'm going to try to get them into the right hands.