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Thursday, 29 October 2015


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here's my experience with a photographer who makes his living selling spur-of-the-moment portraits to passers, albeit with his parrot -


That's a top-rangefinder Graphic, not introduced until the 1960s.
Did he use 4x5 or 3x4 film?

I see Louis from time to time in front of B&H.

A few weeks ago, I took my son to an event in Brooklyn (vintage buses on display!) and there he was, the man himself. He smiled when he saw my Canonet GL17 GIII, so I went over to say hello. He said to my son, "oh, yeah, I know your dad. He's a real photographer."

Never have I felt like such a real photographer. Thanks, Louis.

Mike, I know you have a sense of humor, you certainly leave me laughing and smiling quite often, and you show a zest for life. But I have to ask, do you ever smile? I've only been following the blog for a couple of years but I can't remember a photo of you where you look like you're enjoying the moment.

Not a criticism as I hope the preceding paragraph make clear. Just curious.

Fuji stopped making instant film in 4x5, which was a thing of beauty. I want to weep whenever I am reminded of it. So my guess is 3x4, which they still make.

Mike, check that on the smile question. Ya got a big ol' one in the Instapix shot in a post below!

Full disclosure, my wife always asks me why I don't smile in photos and I'm alway "Huh? Im smiling!"

Cheers, Bobby Straighface.

More Mendes:




It certainly makes the leica SL look small :-)

A little mystery solved for me!

At the 2007 Atlantic Antic, a HUGE street fair held on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn the last weekend of September, I took this image of a photographer with Speed Graphic.

Certainly looks to me like Mendes, but all the gear and an assistant seemed to me different than the way of working outlined here. I assumed he was taking sots of the fair.

I took the shot, and included it in my book Three Days in Brooklyn, as a contrast. Here were this guy, Picture Man, according to the brochure, and an assistant, with a mass of photo equipment, sitting down, while I was up and actively taking pictures.

Knowing now what he was likely doing, I imagine they were just taking a break from a very busy day when I happened by. Electronic flash for the realities of working for hours; all the gear probably being power/recharger for the flash and lots of 4x5 instant film packs.

(Couldn't get a good shot of the guy with the then new Leica M8, who had it unused, hanging from its strap, the whole time I saw him.)

Here's one of Louis that I shot at the recent Photoville in Brooklyn, NY.


He is generally using a crown graphic, not a speed graphic, which makes sense; he is using lenses in shutter for the flash sync, and doesn't need the focal plane shutter of the speed graphic. Plus the crown is lighter and thinner.

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