Have I mentioned lately how much my brother sucks?
So, there I am, in Brussels, minding my own business with a good book in front of the fireplace when Chris arrives with camera bags. “We are going to the Christmas Fair. One Leica for you, one for me. Let’s do it!” A film camera? How very… retro! I have not used one of these since 2001. I can’t even remember off-hand how to load the film! My brother is in fact completely passive aggressive on this one: totally setting me up for failure while giving the appearance of being the good brother who shares his toys.
Not being naturally mechanically inclined, I struggle loading the film while keeping all the parts in my little hand. My brother looks on, acting as if I were the biggest idiot he has ever seen. I may be, but no one has to rub it in.
As we drive to downtown Brussels, I resume the situation in my head. It’s dusk (very little light). We will shoot against the Fair’s lights (exposure compensation guesstimate required.) I’ll be using manual focus on moving targets for the first time in a gazillion years. I also happen to be as blind as a bat. I remediate this small impediment for a photographer by adjusting the diopter on my camera, but here… I’m shooting blind.
If that’s not setting up someone for failure, I don’t know what it is! Have I also mentioned how cold it is? It’s FREEZING out there! Have I mentioned my inner wimpitude? If it’s less than 55 degrees outside, it might as well be Alaska and I stay put in a heated house where humans are supposed to remain if they possess an ounce of common sense (which is obviously not the case for my brother.)
The accordeon is popular in winter because it allows the use of gloves. Guitarists must be starving.
Real cheese cut by an elf!
Yummy! Durum! Turkish Sandwiches. Expensive Turkish sandwiches!
Smoking warm wine and skinhead (either that or planetross took his shears to the poor fellow’s head.)
Two photos of the warm wine because I like the smoke and I was hoping the little girl would get warm wine too and I could get a scandalous photograph. She got a soda. I was sorely disappointed.
My favorite merry-go-round in the whole wide world: le Manege Magique.
A little out of focus but I wanted to show the cool submarine. Chris thinks I’m fixated on getting technically correct images and I need to let loose a little. He calls me a stick in the mud basically.
The pterodactyl seems to be one of the kids’ favorite rides.
Poor kids that ended up in the hot air balloon instead of riding a dinosaur.
After parents fought over the octopus, ungrateful little girl of the winning mother yawns and looks bored. She is not coming back to the fair anytime soon.
The Eminem shirt is ruining my ambiance!
This could have been taken decades ago. No Eminem shirt. No outward signs of modernity.
Then it was time for serious business. Messy business. Smooltebollen. Delicious beignet-like five minutes in your mouth five pounds in your buttocks type of deliciousness covered in powdered sugar. We put the cameras away. “Seven for both of us?” my brother asks. “Try fifteen!” I reply totally offended by his lack of good judgement. After we ate seven Smooltebollen each and fought for the last one, we drove home not feeling very well.
So I completely fell in love with my brother’s Leica and I bought his Hasselblad. I needed a light camera for traveling and ended up with massive studio equipment. That’s what I do. Chris never brought back the Leica. He likes to give me a little taste of something then take it back… So the M6 is on the list, right after the 5D Mark II, right after paying the bills and all the other stuff you have to pay.