27 Jan 2013

A photographer's tale

As a complete break from "Technicolor" Myanmar images here is a story from Clarence Boudreau who lives in Canada.
I am surprised and somewhat flattered  that The Rolling Road blog should produce such a response.I'll hand over to Clarence-

The Digilux-1 breathed new excitement for this tired, old photographer. Actually, many would say this digital camera from 2002 is tired, old equipment. Well then I am happy to say we were meant for each other. It was a match made on The Rolling Road blog. On July 6, 2012 I first visited the April 27, 2012 posting by John S which was named "Leica Digilux 1 Infra Red". I had my very own Digilux a month later and I was loving it. It was so easy to use I had great photos within minutes of receiving it in the mail.  
So why was I tired? Well I cut my teeth on film. I made a living with the stuff. I didn't need a light meter let alone auto focus. I used Hasselblad C, Arriflex S 16mm, 4X5 Graflex, Leica M3, Kowa Six, Bronica S2A and countless others. All these did not have light meters built in. I eventually had a Gossen Luna Six but rarely used it. Then the electronics technology started. I was there when the first video equipment made the scene. It was awful. The consumer-aimed 35mm cameras offered built -in exposure meters and eventually matrix metering and auto exposure. Then auto focus became all the rage and finally digital cameras.  
I held out using film until 2004. I was scanning photographic prints into the computer. I got an assignment requiring hundreds of images. The client provided a digital camera saying "Keep it." I managed to do good work but found it difficult and time consuming to operate with many controls "hidden" in the menus. Shutter lag time was stupid to say the least.
For years I struggled with that 2003 era "gift" digital camera. Static shots worked but not candid or "street". Many times I reverted back to film. However shooting film for fun or spec. was getting expensive. After reading many reviews on the newer version of the "gift" camera I bit the bullet and purchased one. It was so much more complicated. It was difficult to understand the instruction manual or the menus and get the feel of it. The electronic viewfinder had what may as well have been a two-day lag time. I was depressed over the complicated digital experience, the degrading of film processing services and diminishing availability of dark-room supplies. I felt that photography had moved beyond my comprehension and left me behind with a lifetime of now worthless technical knowledge.
I visited photography blogs to see what others were doing. What were they using? There is a lot of information on the web.Then I found The Rolling Road blog with that amazing infra-red piece. I was intrigued with this low pixel Leica camera as the photos were just as clear and presentable as those of bloggers using more modern digital cameras with many more pixels.  
I searched for reviews and other sites dedicated to the Digilux-1. The more I learned the more I felt a connection to it. I decided I had to have one. I am very pleased with it. It is so easy to use. The photos are warm and life like. Infra red is stunning. My favorite controls are on the outside and not hidden in menus. For example the self timer and flash buttons are right next to the shutter release. It has an optical viewfinder! I rarely use the LCD display when shooting. The macro setting is awesome. Over the years I have spent a small fortune on bellows, close-up filters and micro / macro lenses for various film cameras and the Digilux 1 has it built in. Its just another feature of the high-performance, high-speed LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON f/2-2.5/7-21 mm ASPH. triple zoom lens. Yes, that was f/2.0 ! It's magic.You don't need to be Houdini to come out with a good photo.
I am excited about photography again. Now I am back with tons of enthusiasm. The Digilux-1 incorporates the familiar, manual controls with digital technology. It facilitates intuitive "on the spot" shooting, offers excellent results and robust reliability. I just love it. I am grateful to John for posting his blog. He may live "down-under" but he is "up and over" in my book.

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