Sure, I’m famous. Wildly so. It’s the inevitable result of writing a website that careens schizophrenically between existentialism and nihilism, and that delights in discussing ancient film cameras and niche products, rather than popular modern photo offerings. But just because I employ a small community of servants, use various classic Bugattis as nothing more than glorified rolling camera cases, and breed my own genetically-engineered flying dogs, that doesn’t mean I don’t have obligations. I am, alas, just like everyone else in this regard.
Take today, for example. I have a few spare minutes available before I rush off to a training session for my upcoming Russian space tourism flight — a perfect opportunity to cross another mundane task off my to-do list. But which pressing demand should I address first? Should I catch up with emails and other correspondences? Or should I craft another entry for the ULTRAsomething website?
And then it occurred to me — why not do both? Thanks to my soaring online popularity, there’s a strong likelihood that everyone to whom I intend to send an email or letter is likely an ULTRAsomething reader. So why not kill two birds with one stone, and publish all my personal letters on the website?
So without further ado…..
Could you please reconsider your whole “slave to tradition” design conceit? Specifically, could you dispense with the anachronistic baseplate that covers the battery and memory card compartments on your digital M series cameras?
Keep in mind that the crazy gene knows no boundaries — thus, any customer who’s crazy enough to buy a digital M-series camera is likely crazy enough to still be pushing Tri-X through an older M-series film body. The fact that my M9 looks so similar to my M6 has twice resulted in fogged film — the inevitable result of accidentally removing the baseplate from an M6 when I really meant to simply change the battery in the M9.
Thanks for your consideration,
I had that dream again — the one where I inadvertently go to school naked, only to find there’s a pop quiz in geometry class and I haven’t studied.
Following the advice of my personal psychiatric team, I’ve taken to wandering the streets naked — an act I’m told will cure my vulnerability phobia, and thus the impetus for these dreams. During my subsequent 30-day incarceration for indecent exposure, I had time to address the second half of my dream — diligently studying an old high school geometry book from the prison library. At last, I’m now fully prepared for all nocturnally-administered pop geometry quizzes.
Because of my studies, I have uncovered a major design flaw in your digital camera sensor design! Apparently, camera lenses create circular images, yet your sensors are rectangular. This means that a large portion of the image data actually goes unused. Might I suggest you manufacture a round sensor, instead? If this proves too eccentric, my calculations indicate that a square sensor would actually give photographers 8.5% more imaging area than a 3:2 sensor designed to conform to 35mm standards. Not only that, but my personal chiropractic team has suggested that a square sensor would alleviate the need to constantly contort my body every time I want to take a photo in portrait-orientation. With a square, there’s no such thing as portrait or landscape orientation! Besides, it’s just so “classic.”
Note that I don’t actually own any Sony cameras, but since your company currently makes the lions’ share of digital camera sensors, I figured I’d send the idea to you. Should your engineers require any assistance, the aforementioned geometry textbook is available in the Vancouver City Jail. For your convenience, I’ve bookmarked the relevant pages. Ask for either “Snitch” or “Nine Fingered Sam,” and they’ll set you up.
Dear Mr. Friedlander,
My eternal gratitude for constantly reminding me that photography is fun.
Dear Director of Marketing,
I’m glad you liked my marketing proposal, and that you recognize the invaluable contribution my writing, photography, music and reportage would make to your corporate image. However, you may need to look up the meaning of the word “invaluable,” because I don’t think it means what you think it means — otherwise you wouldn’t have asked me to perform this function for free. Therefore, I must humbly decline your offer of indentured servitude and poverty.
(not so) Respectfully,
I just wanted to send you a quick note of thanks for always being there when I need you. Like, say, when I’m stuck in a banality rut and you deliver a well-timed failure to my camera’s transport mechanism — thus reminding me that literalism is not, nor has it ever been my goal. How will I ever repay you?
Dear Mr. Cartier-Bresson,
I hate to disturb you in the afterlife, but have you seen what’s become of photography? Is there any chance that you and some of your buddies could get together and haunt the various photo sharing sites? Nothing too spine-tingling or blood-curdling is required — just a bit of supernatural intervention. For example, if someone uploads a photo with ridiculously over-amped micro-contrast, you could aggressively and awkwardly crop it. Or perhaps, each time someone snaps an iPhone photo of their lunch, applies a trendy retro filter and uploads it to Instagram, you could add them to another telemarketing list — thus insuring their iPhone rings every time they try to photograph dinner. And I don’t think it would be too unreasonable to delete the contents of someone’s hard drive whenever they post more than 300 photos from a single, mind-numbingly platitudinous event like, say, a friend’s birthday luncheon. Of course, these are just suggestions — I don’t pretend to be an expert in haunting, so I’m sure you’ll come up with something.
Think about it.
P.S. Please say “hello” to Thelonious Monk for me. I still owe him an email about the current state of popular music…
Here’s an idea: Since many of us only ever need to use 3 or 4 programs from your entire Creative Cloud suite, how about a “name-your-own-bundle” package that provides a subset of Creative Cloud services for a reduced price? For many of us, this would leave us with enough money in the monthly budget to actually pay the electric bill…
Your customer since Photoshop v1.5,
Note to self:
Never lose the ability to find delight in everything that surrounds you.
Dear Mr. Jones,
Thank you for your recent inquiry. In answer to your question about whether I’m a right-eyed or left-eyed shooter, the answer is “neither.” I thought that would have been obvious.
Dear People of Earth,
Keep doing exactly what you’re doing. Thanks.
ABOUT THESE PHOTOS: “Dear Leica” was shot with a Leica M6TTL and a v4 35mm f/2 Summicron on FP4+ at ISO 250 and developed in Diafine. Fogging courtesy of the “problem” mentioned in the letter to Leica. “Folly” was shot with a Leica M9 and a v4 35mm f/2 Summicron, then obliterated in a fit of ill-conceived Photoshop mania. “Fate” was shot with a Leica R4 and a 50mm f/2 Summicron-R on Kentmere 100 at ISO 100 and developed (inappropriately) in Diafine. “Delight” was shot with a Leica Monochrom and a 28mm f/2 Summicron. “Thanks” was shot with a Leica M2 and 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M ASPH on Plus-X at ISO 125 and developed in DD-X.
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