The Rivals

Do you remember a wonderfully awful motion picture from the late twentieth century that starred Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel as French soldiers of the Napoleonic wars who fell into a repeated cycle of  duelling over some small affront? I think it was called ” The Duellists ” though I may be wrong. The chief point of interest for me was that it appeared to be filmed using graduated neutral density filters throughout every scene – to the extent that it became hypnotic to look for them and you lost the plot every now again trying to see if they had clapped a Cokin sepia onto the lens. I think for a couple of the scenes they filmed through the windscreen of a 1948 Studebaker badly in need of a wash….

Well rivalry and duelling are back in Perth in the camera trade with two shops deciding to conduct a photographic exposition or trade show almost exactly a month apart. Two different venues, somewhat different products ( but not that different…), and guest speakers of various kinds. I’ve no idea whether the respective managements planned their shows to cut out the other or not, and I don’t know if the wholesalers who hope to shift goods into both camps will make a similar effort in both instances…but I’m willing to bet there will be a bit of hissing and spitting nevertheless.

The punters seem to have a good time, and tour every stand, and nearly every little workshop or lecture – as they do it for a gold coin charity donation, it is a worthwhile Sunday for them. Of course some spend harder, but that is what they are encouraged to do, bless them.

I’ll lend a hand with the Camera Electronic one for a day’s pay and a free feed afterwards. It makes for a busy but interesting Sunday, and as I do not have to prop behind a shop counter for the rest of the week, I can stand it better than the rest of the staff. And to tell you the truth I miss seeing some of the customers.


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