Looking back, looking ahead

(A Post For No Particular Reason while it’s snowing.)

The snow today

Looking back on 2019 there were a lot of things that I could have done without. A certain mess-up by people in another country which necessitated my wife being away longer than intended, for example. A certain mess-up by people in this country which resulted in the sale of our rental house not going through would be another example. In both instances some of the people doing the messing-up were lawyers.

Still, by the end of the year I could have been cheered up by any number of unexpected pleasantries which might have occurred. None of them did, however, so I go into 2020 feeling a bit down. It doesn’t help that one of the first things scheduled for the year is re-doing the rental house sale, and that to be followed immediately by (or perhaps simultaneously with – don’t ask) my wife going back to England to deal with things again. It all sounds too familiar.

Sometimes I dwell on the “shoulda dones” even though there’s no point. Why, for example, did I not ship back my Exakta V in 2018? Well there were a number of reasons including the mind-boggling cost of shipping between countries, the fact I did not have a DSLR to put old lenses on at the time (thinking I’d never play with film again skewed my rationalization of what cameras to keep), and the fact I was way pressed for time to get it all done. Never mind, water under the bridge, can’t do anything about it now. Maybe someday I’ll even stop complaining about it. But don’t hold your breath waiting.

Still, some good in 2019. Took an amazingly large number of pictures, for example. Bought Jojo the Highlander. Watched a lot of good movies. It really doesn’t take much to make me happy. In fact the less going on the happier I am.

So what of 2020 beyond the scheduled events which I already dread? Well there’s continuing work on the cabin to be done so maybe, just maybe we’ll get to spend some time there this Summer? Nah, something will screw that up. Don’t get your hopes up or they’re bound to be dashed on the sharp, jagged rocks of reality.

Obviously there’s more pictures to be taken. It really has become quite the solace for me as it requires little exertion or expense and is simple happiness in images. I even like looking over the same pictures again and again, and not just my own; the various blogs I’ve been reading are enjoyable too and don’t require substantial effort to do so.

I was thinking, if I were to add any equipment this year what would it be? Two items have come to light: one is a 35mm Canon lens for the T100, which at $440+ is still expensive but less than the nearly $800 they want new. (Edit: the lens has already sold. I guess it was a good deal.) Another is the one kind of camera that would add something to my repertoire, a full-frame Canon 5D for $620. Still a lot of money and probably not worth it, but less than those beautiful Fujifilm rangefinder replicas which wouldn’t really be all that different in shooting from what I already have. Timing is everything here, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

And say, when it comes to surprises could they be pleasant ones this year? The novelty of unpleasant ones has worn off and I’m really sick of them.

Now for utterly crazy ideas I’ve come up with the notion of convincing some company to build “digital film”. It sounds absurd at first: a unit the same size and shape as a 35mm film cartridge with a ‘tongue’ sticking out that is the sensor for the film plane. This could be put in any 35mm film camera and produce digital results. Ah but how would you work it? Magic of Blue Tooth and an Android App. We already have wifi connections from the camera for moving pictures to other devices, why not make good use of it? The sensor would have to pick up on the exposure to register a new image, and the adjustments in the App would be only a matter of “film type” settings as focus, aperture, and shutter speed would be camera-dependent. Not for amateurs and probably most pros would not use it as their go-to unit, but the serious artistic photographer would not be likely to leave it on the shelf. Imagine being able to use all those wonderful 35mm film cameras so easily.

Unfortunately my engineering expertise is in the wrong field, not to mention seriously out of date, but if anyone out there wants to take this on – well I’d buy it just to use the Pentax Spotmatic again. Probably the most difficult issue would be protecting the sensor yet keeping the ‘tongue’ thin enough to be practical.

Yeah, I get crazy ideas sometimes.

I also have more experimental photography ideas coming up, and more blog entries to write.

Have fun. I try to.

3 thoughts on “Looking back, looking ahead

  1. The “digital film” idea has been tried a couple times. I even backed a Kickstarter on one; the effort ultimately failed. There seem to be technical issues with the idea that nobody seems able to overcome.


    1. They’re not trying hard enough. This is why it would need to be done by a company already making digital cameras, and let’s face it they have no interest in making their own competition.


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