Here we are, back after a couple of weeks of rest following what eventually turned out to be a hectic 2020 for the Macfilos. Although I’ve kept the site going for twelve years and never before taken a substantial break, I needed some days off after a stressful year. Glad to say, I’m feeling refreshed as a result.
First, I want to thank all our readers, contributors and enthusiastic commenters for helping to push Macfilos to new heights in 2020. It has been a tough year for everyone, and the pandemic is by no means over. But we can now look forward to the next twelve months with more optimism than we have been able to muster for much of 2020. A rather belated Happy New Year to everyone!
Swiss Roll keeps on rolling
William Fagan’s Swiss Roll article has now reached the far corners of the earth and has produced a flood of comments and emails. Since December 22, the fascinating update story has attracted over 8,000 readers and 90 comments. And, by today, the original article has notched up 54,000 views and over 300 comments, many of them crucial to the investigation.
Thanks to the band of amateur researchers among Macfilos readers and from the Leica Forum—where there is a viral thread going—all the sites have been identified. What’s more, by diligent detective work we actually have a tentative date for the trip.
The journey is likely to have taken place between the fifth and eighth of June in 1950. This conclusion has been made possible by analysing the images, particularly those of Bahnhofplatz in Zürich, and looking up weather records for 1950. And there’s a further bit of wizardry—it’s even been possible to pinpoint the hour when some of the photographs were taken.
All this is welcome, of course, but we are still no nearer to identifying the missing couple.
Here in England, most parts of the country are back in lockdown mode following the emergence of the more virulent strain of Covid which seems to have started near the Channel coast and worked its way up through Kent and into East London. It has now taken over in most parts of the country. I’m keeping my head down and hoping to get the vaccine during this month.
A million people had had their first jab before Christmas and the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine, which is much cheaper and less temperamental than the Pfizer version, has started the roll out today. Ten million doses have been earmarked for distribution soon. Late last year several older friends (all over 80, in the first batch) told me they had been vaccinated with no side effects. This personal hear-say is more persuasive than any newspaper statistic.
Therefore, there are very tentative grounds for optimism, provided the vaccination programme can meet targets in the face of the usual bureaucratic hurdles. For one, I can’t wait to see the back of all the jargon. “Social distancing”, something we hadn’t thought of until a year ago, is the first for the chop, I hope.
Looking at Lightroom statistics, I see that 2020 has been a washout for my photographic efforts. I pressed the shutter just over 4,000 times compared with my usual crop of 25,000. Of course, I like to think I was a bit more selective in 2020, but this doesn’t disguise the few real opportunities to get out and about with a camera.
There has been nowhere to go during the stricter lockdowns, and nothing much to see (except wonderful landscapes) and I have sorely missed the many events I used to attend, many of them at the Brooklands racing circuit which is my local window on the classic automotive scene and a fecund provider of photo opportunities.
My number one resolution for 2021 is to get out there with a camera and stoke up my enthusiasm for photography. I suspect many of us are in the same boat.
This brings me to our enthusiastic band of contributors. Without them, I would have run out of ideas during the past twelve months. But our friends have delved into their archives and produced a steady stream of fascinating material that has helped Macfilos achieve a record year for readers and comments.
We start the year with new contributors, including Chris Rodgers and Roderick Field, whose articles you will see in the coming weeks. And existing contributors have been busy. Jörg-Peter Rau in southern Germany, a newspaper journalist and photographer, has put together a series of eight features on non-M M-mount film cameras if that isn’t too much of a contradiction. Look out for the introductory article next week.
To start 2021, therefore, we have an exciting programme. If you would like to receive an email update with details of the latest articles, subscribe below. Emails will be sent only on days when an article appears, which is usually Mondays to Fridays. Your details are not used for any other purpose other than this regular update, and you can unsubscribe at any time simply by clicking the link in every email.
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