Wanna See My Collection? Aw, C’Mon…


Here they are – I’ve mounted them with pins on a cork board and there are little paper slips with names underneath. Don’t touch them – some of them are fragile.

1. Street Man – who made street photographs. They were mostly of people who he did not know. From the look of the subjects and the results he achieved, this was a two-way blessing. I am still mystified as to why he took the pictures and even more puzzled by why he kept them. They were not published in books, shown on screens, or made into fridge magnets. The closest I can come to understanding this is that they were trophies of the hunt – it is better that he did it with a Leica and a 90mm lens than with a Mauser, so we are all better off.

2. Wedding Girl – did a course at the technical school or University and was set to become a wedding photographer. She had a DLSR, a speed light, and a 70-200 lens. Once she had a set of business cards made she was be ready to enter a fertile field. Note: you can tell a fertile field by the lumpy bits in it. When you push the shovel into the lump you’ll find out whether it is a potato field or a mine field…

3. The Newbie had a friend who was a photographer and was going to set up a home studio to take newborn photographs. Bless her. She got a 50mm f:1.4 and a set of Elinchrom D-Lite lights and a white fake fur rug. At least the fake fur rug was be able to go in the washing machine, but she had to sponge off the lights and the camera. Isn’t life wonderful?

4. Landscape Man. He had a DSLR and 4 lenses and a Lee filter system and a Really Right Stuff tripod and a backpack the size of a Volkswagen and two water bottles. His shoes could actually stick to the side of a cliff. He was going to drive to the southwest and the northwest and make misty waterfalls and dark brooding skies and oversaturated gorges. At one stage in his career he would have been content with a ghost gum in a paddock and a rusty ’37 Ford truck but times, and the magazine articles that drove him, changed.

5. Emerging Talent. I am not sure if this specimen was male or female. I have not been game to look closely at the middle bits. The hairstyle, the tight jeans, and red sneakers were the first clue but the confirming characteristic was the giant two-shoulder video rig with the extra monitor, sound processor, matte box, focus pulling knob, and mirrorless camera in the middle. The lens was plastic and made in Korea. Emerging Talent came in a matched set – with a producer, associate producer, sound technician, stylist, and art director. There was a faint smell of Arts Council money about them, but they didn’t spend much of it.

6. Money Man. Actually this could as easily have been Money Woman. Perpetually ready to depart for Africa, Alaska, or the Greek Islands and always in need of something in two day’s time. Willing to spend a tiny amount of money to get a large amount of expensive equipment based upon the fact that he wanted to do it. And who could say him nay – he was money man. Or so we were lead to believe…

7. Birder. The dried specimen does not really do it justice as you cannot see the quick darting movements of the head or hear the persistent piping cheap of the voice. No, that is not a typo. Carried phenomenal amounts of gear to pester nesting birds. Then carried phenomenal amounts of nesting bird photos to pester everyone else.

8. The Artists. I find I am unable to comment on these specimens as I am not an artist, but they said they were, so I had to take them at their word. I believe there is a packet of postcard pictures they made somewhere in the bookshelf, but I can’t see it at the moment.

9. Test Shot Guy. Had never taken an image of a human subject but did have 450 separate exposures of the R&I building that showed the effects of varying the shutter speed and aperture on the entire range of the Flapoflex cameras and lenses. Perhaps the only human that ever lived who actually memorised the depth of field tables of the entire Zeiss production of 1957. He is still spoken of with awe in Jena.

10. Wotcher. For years we did not know the name of this specimen – we just worked on the name Wotcher. Then he died and the police broke into his flat after a week ( the smell…) and went through his papers. Turns out he was really a she – Wotcher Lois Price – and every time he…err…she came to see us at the shop and said that, she was really just trying to introduce herself. We always thought it was a ploy to get a discount.

I think we are going to have to have a discussion at the staff meeting about Emma Chizzit.



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