The cynical among us would immediately leap to the conclusion that I was being played. That something better came up for the sitter. But I really do believe that most of my clients are honest and reasonable people. Why do I feel that way? Because I've been observing clients for decades and in the final mix they mostly all do what is right, and take responsibility where things are their fault. Sure, there's always a few bad apples but there are a lot more good apples and I'd rather not carry the endless burden of cynicism around with me all the time. Can't think of a quicker way to become bitter.
But now I get to decide how I want to spend the rest of the day. My first inclination was to head to San Antonio with the new, little Leica CL and spend the day making photographs. The only wrinkle right now is that the city utility company has contracted with a big tree service to trim back branches from the power lines so that the next time we have a "Ted Cruz Style Winter Ice Event" here in Texas our branches don't bring down the power lines. The tree company has an operational method that conflicts with our basic homeowner strategy. We want them to do the least invasive job possible with our 100 year old, giant live oak trees. They want to aggressively trim back everything even if it means hacking away at 6 inch and larger (diameter) branches. They do a better job when zealous homeowners supervise by observation. But waiting around to watch people trim branches is boring, frustrating and basically just makes the inevitable more painful.
Like a typical privileged person I found myself wishing there was someone I could hire to be an ombudsman for our trees. Someone I could task with being an informed expert and a champion for our trees who could stand in the yard with their hands on their hips looking....doubtful. But, of course, that's silly. The service doesn't exist and if it did one would always have to consider the old adage: "You can't fight City Hall." To which I would add: "Or their hired minions."
Ah well. I guess I'll figure it all out. But it seems that there's always something afoot with owning property. Makes me envious of those hearty souls who scrape together a few wind blown acres in West Texas in order to toss a used house trailer of some sort on it and then live off the grid. I couldn't do it. There are no good coffee shops out in the middle of the desert. None. I know, I've been there.
On another note...
The Leica CL is getting me trained bit by bit. I've figured out the phantom menu changes. Seems that the button in the center of the left hand dial brings up the mode menu. Clicking on that moves the camera away from the previous selection ( user profile one ) and everything resets for the new (unprogrammed) mode setting. Note to self: Keep damn fingers off button or use the key lock to lock it out.
Otherwise the CL and I seem to be getting along even better than I anticipated. It's refreshing to work out in an urban setting with a very small and discreet camera. I feel as though I've gone completely low profile. I feel like Robert Frank prowling down the decaying streets of America. The addition of the tiny, TTArtisans 35mm f1.4 lens makes the ensemble complete. The lens itself adds about an inch and a half to the depth of the camera and essentially disappears from the front view. I posted some shots I'd done with it on Saturday and while they might not satisfy a Zeiss Otus owner, or a guy unwilling to stand down from his collection of Leica SL Apo lenses, it's perfectly fine for me. Any sharper at f4.0 and I'd probably hurt myself.
I'm ready to add the TTArtisans 17mm f1.4 for APS-C to the collection. It's a bit bigger than the 35mm and much pricier at about $120. I think I can risk the expenditure...
These lenses are fun. And nice to work with. And reasonably good. Not perfect...but who is?