I love cold weather. I love walking around with a thick hat that covers my ears and big fluffy gloves that can even keep an old man's hands warm. Cold and snow gives me an excuse to pull out that big pair of insulated hiking boots I bought years and years ago and to relish the fact that I can be ankle deep in wet snow but still keep my toes toasty. But the heat? Once it hits a certain temperature these days the raw yellow/red heat of Summer keeps me indoors. In the air conditioning. Glass of iced tea within reach. As I wile away the hours trying to find something about photography to read or watch on my computer. With very little success.
Swim practice was fun this morning. The water was reasonably cool because of the aerators that run at the club pool all night long. After swim practice I had every intention of making a quick pit stop at home to eat something for breakfast and then rush out to walk the lake or camera stroll through downtown. But I lingered too long and lunch crept onto the schedule and by the time I got organized it was too late. The temperature outside had already hit 103° and with the humidity factored in the weather service said it would feel like 107 to 110°. While I irrationally think I am still mostly bulletproof, in great shape and almost immortal I have to grudgingly concede that I am no longer 20 years old and that, statistically, older people are more susceptible to the effects of heat. And I've become aware that my endurance to that mean end of the temperature range has diminished just a bit.
Far be it from me to tempt fate when my own best interests are involved. Better to err on the side of caution.
Today I am mulling over the purchase of two more lenses for the m4:3 system. I had coffee with a friend yesterday and he brought along two lenses that he feels no longer meet his needs. No doubt he'll make me a good price on either one, or both. So I'm shooting them this weekend in order to make a final assessment of my own needs. ( Perhaps should read: "My own desire.")
"Needs" is a bit of a humorous concept for someone who already owns way too many lenses but that's how I like to couch the little gaps in the inventory of the secondary system in house.
Both of the lenses are ones that I've been interested in for quite a while but never had the final motivation to push the buttons and make the purchases. One lens is the Panasonic/Leica 42.5mm f1.2 lens. It's gorgeous and my friend's copy looks like it just came new out of the box. I've already convinced myself (not a difficult task) that this lens is very much a keeper and one I'll own. I'm only hesitant about the second lens which is an Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens, in silver finish. I love the concept of the 75mm but it's so rare that I shoot with a really long prime lens and I have so many zooms already that cover the actual focal length so well.
The 75mm is the lens I really need to put on the GH6 and get out and shoot with right after swim practice tomorrow morning; before the forecast temperature becomes a sweaty and real 106°. I need to give it a chance to show off, to shine and attach itself to my acquisitive gland.
On these hot days one always imagines that we'll put together an amazingly well thought out photography kit that fits in a small backpack, buy some airline tickets to someplace still cool and not crowded, and crank out a worthy adventure based around taking....more photographs. But there's the magnetic pull of the rambling and cool at all times house. The lure of daily swim practice. The familiarity of the local coffee house with the perfect Columbian Supremo Organic blend; roasted medium. And all the toys in the studio. Not to mention the luxurious couch that just begs one to nap under the quiet currents of the two ceiling fans.
I'll end up calling one of my beautiful friends and invite them for a sitting in the studio instead. That might be the right solution...
The week coming up is filled with normal work stuff of the business. We're photographing the staff of a medium sized ad agency on Monday. One portrait at a time. Post processing and gallery construction following on Tuesday. A hedge fund CEO's portrait on location Wednesday. Portraits of 15 directors of a corporate board down at the Four Seasons Hotel on Thursday and more post production on Friday. All the while trying not to miss scheduled morning swim workouts at the pool or dinners with B. By the end of the week all that will remain to be done is final post production on everyone's selections.
When I finish that I will have fully funded and freed up the rest of my Summer. Then the goal is to get out more and use some of this very nice gear for fun rather than profit. Which would represent a personal, non-fiduciary profit for me....or something like that.
If you own, or have owned the Panasonic/Leica 42.5mm f1.2 or the Olympus 75mm f1.8 and have opinions about them I'd sure like to hear from you. Drop a comment and tell me your experience with them. I'm afraid you'll be too late to dissuade me re: the 42.5mm but there's always hope for some modicum of restraint where the 75mm is involved.... will you be the one whole talks me off the GAS ledge?
Images from Santa Fe. The antidote for too many Austin photos.