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What?s the use of roots if you can?t spread them?

dudler

Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Whatís the use of roots if you canít spread them?

11 Jul 2021 8:04AM   Views : 928 Unique : 371

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'Whatís the use of roots if you canít spread them, whatís the use of wings if you canít fly?' to quote Brian Bedford's soulful lyric more fully (titles are limited in length, it seems.)

A Silly Sunday topic, in my book: possibly highly offensive to some of my readers, so Iím not going to say what article in which magazine inspired me to write. Iíll just say that as a fan of the Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy, I know a Magrathean tendency when I stumble upon one.

Magrathea, non-fans need to know, is a planet that gained immense wealth constructing bespoke luxury planets for the mega-rich: Jeff Bezos has probably already placed his order for somewhere where the sunsets are precisely the right shade of green. Weíre talking about the collecting of cameras, and the likelihood that a collector wonít take things out of the display cabinet to soil them with a roll of film.

These are the same people, I suspect, as have several supercars in an air-conditioned garage in Monaco, and fly by personal jet to every grand prix. One Casio digital is not enough: nor is the latest Apple watch, or even my 1957 Omega Seahorse (which, like my Alpha 7, is pretty slender and light). For them, it must be big, heavy, waterproof to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, and preferably encrusted with diamonds, rather than just keeping decent time.

I told Mrs D that I was going to write about this, and she said that I have a load of stuff I donít useÖ There may be some justice in that: I havenít used the second Contax RTS I bought (LCE, Southampton, 1980) for years, but I keep it in case the others cease to function. Itís semi-functional: the autoexposure system doesnít work, though the meter is accurate, and the electronic shutter is fine (or was, last time I checked). Itís the sole manual-only RTS in the world!

I have had it in mind to write a blog about genuinely useless things that I own (there are a few), and Iíll save that for another Sunday, soon. Today, itís all about things that are too expensive to risk using and wearingÖ A recent comment in my favourite weekly photo magazine suggested that a camera isnít a proper Leica until itís Ďbrassedí Ė a little bit of metal showing through the black paint. Mine passes the test!
AndÖ some of the superstar trappings are a little bit beyond me. I donít like a watch thatís too big and heavy, for instance (the same goes for cameras: your EOS-1 D is safe from me!), but I am not at all sure that I could own a truly fast car without booking myself and it onto a track day to see just how fast it will go. Having it polished once a month simply wouldnít hack it.

I like value, and I like things that are simply what they are, unashamed and uncompetitive. (I was really rather sad when a painting Iíd bought for £17 proved to be worth several times that when the artist came back into fashion!) Itís a very provincial attitude, but then, Iím provincial: born here, live here. And even a gold Hasselblad with blue leather would have to have a film put through itÖ

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Comments

dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
11 Jul 2021 8:05AM
This could be an excuse for everyone to photograph some of their battered and treasured posessions...
af1 Avatar
af1 Plus
10 1 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2021 11:33AM
Maybe the missus John...SmileSmile
waltknox Avatar
11 Jul 2021 6:04PM
Stuff that works .... stuff that holds up
The kind of stuff that you donít hang on the wall
Stuff thatís real, stuff you feel,
The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall

This blog immediately brought to mind the stellar Guy Clark song ďStuff that works ď
Thought you might like Guy Clark if you havenít already discovered him John .

Cheers Walt

dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
11 Jul 2021 9:01PM
I hadn't heard of Guy Clark - listening now...

And yes - stuff that works, and isn't shiny. Except where it's supposed to be matt...
pablophotographer Avatar
pablophotographer 12 2.2k 451
12 Jul 2021 12:43AM
Omega Seahorse?
I thought it says Seamaster.
No Leica. It's only me ageing.
Oh! And the computer.
The Zenit looks as it did 35 years ago.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
12 Jul 2021 9:44PM
You are absolutely right, Pablo. I've used it for so long (I inherited it when my Dad died in 1969, and I've used it at least half the time since then) that I only see the time, not the name in that intricate script!
waltknox Avatar
12 Jul 2021 10:28PM
Hope you liked Guy
John ... just thought of another song called ďI found a picture of you ď he dedicated to his late wife whom was a painter. A few references to portrait
work in that number so thought of you .
His Dublin Blues album May have one him a Grammy and is my favourite album.
waltknox Avatar
12 Jul 2021 10:29PM
Correction ! Song is called my favourite picture of you
Cheers. W
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
13 Jul 2021 8:56AM
Liked Guy. Now listening to My Favorite Picture of You...
topsyrm Avatar
topsyrm Plus
12 28 United Kingdom
17 Jul 2021 9:53AM
Ah Omega and Leica a man after my own heart.

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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
17 Jul 2021 11:48AM
Suitably battered - used and loved.
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