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Thread: Over a Bottle of Blueberry Wine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    close to Lake Ontario in Burlington, ON Canada

    Default Over a Bottle of Blueberry Wine

    Spent a interesting July 14 afternoon with my camera
    repair gentleman. I brought along a bottle of wine
    as per the header, chilled of course, he supplied the
    wine glasses. Being now off chemo meant I could now
    drink some alcohol and I like my blueberry wine; Hans
    being on radiation had no so such qualms and besides
    "a drink or two between old friends can often smooth
    the bumps of time."

    We talked, the A510 will be workable for a few months
    yet however he has warned me it will die at some point
    in the future. He could have spent time making it work
    even longer except the circuit board was starting
    to crack, a sign of too many drops from heights. He
    repaired the board, and then left the camera in pieces
    to show me how the little devil was assembled. As noted
    it should maybe last for a bit yet. As we talked he reassembled
    the camera.

    He then asked me why I had bought the used F80 a while back
    and in the same breath asked what was my main objection
    to photography using a digital sensor. Told him mostly because
    the result is to me not real and the image often has to be
    tweaked to make it look good. And also it isn't a colour slide.
    I thought the F80 was a good deal and I needed a back-up camera.

    Told him "that using a program to change something even if it is
    for the better; takes time, is a pain in the ass if it doesn't look
    good and often no amount of correction will help make it look
    good, to me at least."

    He sipped his glass of wine for a moment and then asked "and
    what about the slide bit?"

    "Well that for me just makes it easier, I have to get "it" right first time."

    "But Bryce, you're the computer expert, you run on both Windows and
    Macintosh computers and use Linux for your ham radio stuff.
    Working on computers is easy for you so this Photoshopping or
    whatever should be easy for you, yes?"

    "True" I replied "but photo manipulation to me is just plain wrong. I am too
    old fashioned and lose patience when I try and make something better,
    and for what? For somebody's rinky dink or even specialty website
    on the internet? Hans, I am writer, journalist if you want, wordsmith
    even, I am not a photographer! I shoot the picture and that's it!"

    "Good wine, you brought more yes?"

    I nodded my head, and told him "brought an extra bottle, I figured you
    could do well with another bottle," as I drained the remains of the first
    bottle into his glass.

    He didn't have to drive home, I did! The wine is potent.

    He thought for a moment, got up and walked over to the other side
    of the room. He brought back an Exa camera. "Remember this?" he intoned?

    I most certainly did. Had used a similar camera for two years as a
    second camera when I was doing freelance work and working at the
    school board. He gave it to me. Everything still functioned like new.

    "Bryce, the new digital cameras will never work for as long as that Exa,
    the little Canon you have is small well built but it too will die." He then reached
    over to the end of his workbench and showed me a recent arrival.
    a Fuji S5500 zoom,[4 megapixels]. Seems the owner dropped it
    while taking a picture and the camera bounced, but once.

    "The Fuji is a lovely instrument however I only now have been able to make
    it work. Inside, mostly plastic (or what Hans calls plastic) and the problem is
    as digital cameras become more complicated and they bring out more
    and more of them, your thousand dollar investment will be worthless
    after a very few years."

    "So," I asked "what do I do?"

    "Use the Canon until it dies, and trade that F80 to the highest bidder. Keep
    your F100 as you are happy with it. When the A510 dies then and only then
    go looking for a used digital camera. They will be like old cars on a lot;
    unloved, unwanted and available for cheap.

    Digital imagery is still in its infancy. You stay with your
    film, and if you want to copy slides for internet use, get a good slide

    "Oh," he said, "open the other bottle for me. That Exa you take as a
    second body instead of that motorized F80. A good manual camera
    is always an interesting device. You go practice, I don't think
    your photography is so bad. More likely you're more concerned with
    the hardware than the result."

    And on that note I left, with a repaired working Canon A510 in a padded
    pouch, and the Exa in its own case. Hans told me to shoot only black
    and white in the Exa, "it prefers real film versus that Japanese colour
    stuff you use, although your slides are darn good."

    As I was leaving he told me, "have two rolls HP4, shoot them
    with Exa. I am sure you still remember how to load film.
    Then bring them here and we'll process them in the darkroom.
    You do know my darkroom is available any time you need it.
    Have been doing a lot of printing lately of old buildings, maybe
    next time we preview those. Oh, and stay for lunch when you
    bring those rolls back, Emma (his wife of many years) makes
    an excellent schnitzel. Off you go then and ring me when you
    have sold the the F80 and bought a proper slide copier.
    I'd suggest Nikon.

    End of story?

    Not quite. The Exa is here on my desk loaded with HP4,
    it has been raining outside and the leaves on the trees
    are hanging just so. Out came the light meter and I took
    a few photos. Gee, it felt good to hear click and then
    the gentle turn of the wind lever.

    Bryce Lee
    Last edited by Bob; 07-16-2007 at 04:22 AM.

  2. #2


    OK folks, here you have the most unusual photo essay yet. A photo essay without any photos...

    I'm proud of the fact this site has no rules, guidelines or requirements. That means the authors can be creative and don't have to try and follow what I think the rules should be. I think that policy is a good one.

    I read this post this morning and realized it was a fine essay. I don't know if any of the few rules we have around here say that you need at least one photo, but if they do, I'm making an exception for this one. (If I do find that rule, I'll probably delete it anyway...)

    I think it's a great essay, and I vote for approval.

    You'll notice it says I've edited the post. The only edit I made was formatting, there were some odd line breaks. The text is entirely as submitted.
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  3. #3


    Sometimes you don't even need a camera. In fact, sometimes it is good not to be so quick to rely on taking the image at the expence of missing out on the experience. I think Bryce has done that with this essay. Placing the experience first, image second, (if even required), can, when the time comes, produce a much more powerful essay overall.

    Good job, Bryce. I'm a words guy myself...big surprise there, and enjoyed the read.

    I vote to approave.

    Martin Burwash

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Zanesville, Ohio


    I can't say that I agree with you Bryce,but I enjoyed the essay. I approve.
    Chris Crook

    pictures and yap

  5. #5


    OK, that's three yes votes, so this one's approved.

    There you have it folks, a "photo essay" without a single photo.
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  6. #6
    Two23 Guest


    At first I was thinking it really needed at least some kind of photo, but then I realized that it's a very good account of personal experiences/feelings. And it succeeds! SO, thumbs up here!

    Kent in SD

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    close to Lake Ontario in Burlington, ON Canada


    Quote Originally Posted by crook View Post
    I can't say that I agree with you Bryce,but I enjoyed the essay. I approve.
    Just curious Chris, why don't you agree, with what in particular?

    Bryce Lee

  8. Default

    Just wonderful Bryce. I really get the feeling that I'm in on your private conversation - lot's of mental images come to mind as a read through the text.

  9. #9
    Bruce Butler Guest


    A good camera repair person is really difficult to find - especially one who will work on the older cameras. Hans sounds like that type of person. I have a Retina IIIC that needs some work (mechanical problems with the film wind) and I would love to get it repaired. It has an excellent lens and always took great train pictures for me. If Hans would be willing to tackle something like this, send me a private message to "Bruce Butler". Thanks

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