Friday, April 10, 2020
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Thursday news roundup: And a few things to do during lockdown

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No Bièvres to look forward to in June this year.

Don’t mention the war

It’s just three weeks since I decided to mention COVID-19 on Macfilos for the first time. I felt then that I should acknowledge the virus and then carry on writing about photography as usual. Looking back, though, this was a vain hope because the dreadful virus has since then come to dominate all our lives. Most of us, wherever we are in the world, are in lockdown and there is no exit strategy that sounds at all plausible. The result has been that almost every article since March 16 mentions the Coronavirus in one way or another.

Babsky’s Radio Daze: Leica heard but not seen

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Bert Hardy as a young photographer in 1941. Image courtesy of the Science Museum Group and Wikimedia Commons. Bert had put on a bit of weight when I met him forty years later, and was a big, jovial, red-nosed man, who took up farming after retiring from Picture Post. He’d taken the big billboard photos for the ‘Strand cigarettes’ ad campaign with his tiny coat-pocket Leica (he switched back and forth between Leica and this photo’s Contax) but that campaign — “You’re never alone with a Strand” — flopped because all the photos were of only one man, often on a bridge in the fog with a fag, who so very obviously, despite the tag line, really WAS very much alone with just his cigarette!

Are you sitting comfortably? (as that nice Daphne Oxenford used to ask on Listen with Mother on the BBC wireless back around, er, 1950)….then I’ll begin.

Life inside Melbourne’s COVID lockdown

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Where to start? What we’ve learned since the COVID-19 outbreak is that the minute a word is written, it’s out of date. Because things can change. Rapidly. This was penned last week and is already out of date, but we have to start somewhere. In some ways, though, I am fortunate because of my work. Or am I really, I wonder?

Farewell to the Summarits: Good and faithful servants but sadly misunderstood

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Amid the current crisis, it’s not surprising if you didn’t hear the news that Leica has dropped the venerable Summarit line of lenses. As usual, the faithful customers were not informed, but dealers confirmed the rumours on March 10.

L-Mount Deals: Time for a bit of contrarian gear buying?

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Buying a new camera or lens isn’t currently at the front of our minds. With many of us living under lockdown, the opportunities for photography are shrinking. And, along with our lives, I assume, our spending plans for new equipment have been put on hold.

Linda Lens meets Kid Click: A rare glimpse of the superheroes of photography

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Reproduced by permission of Flashback.com and used editorially without commercial intent

Did you know there was once a comic devoted to photography and superhero snappers? I didn’t — until our resident vintage camera expert, William Fagan, pointed me in the direction of a website which is a veritable treasure trove of flashbacks to all manner of esoteric subjects. Quite apart from this one article, you’ll find lots to feast on.

Best laid plans: Spain gives way to Mogo

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Spain in early May was scheduled for a three-week driving holiday. But fate in the shape of COVID-19 has intervened. Spain is definitely off so Mogo was in. The decision was taken to make a quick three-day road trip down to the south coast of New South Wales and to visit Mogo Wildlife Park before the local COVID-19 situation worsened. As it transpired, we were very fortunate in our timing as the day after we returned the NSW government announced a total statewide lockdown.

April Fools’ Day cancelled due to Coronavirus

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Usually, on this day, there is a positive tsunami of April 1 stories. This year, understandably, there isn’t the same enthusiasm for making jokes. Leica Rumors made a valiant effort with its fixed-lens medium format Leica camera. Ha, ha, although the bit about the limited editions isn’t so far-fetched. For most of us, though, fooling our fellow isolationees somehow feels a little tasteless. And it seems the Internet thinks so also.

Looking for a new set of wheels? Try this one for size and forget the other three

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Only twelve days ago I was writing about my last visit to the Brooklands Museum before the big lockdown. It feels like a generation ago and it is hard to comprehend the speed at which our freedom to roam and congregate has almost entirely disappeared. Most of us are now in lockdown with no clear end to our incarceration.

Seek and ye shall find or, at least, rediscover

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Cypriot villa in Aphrodite Hills. (Digilux 2 1/640 sec at f/8.0)

The ‘Search’ facility is possibly my most used feature in Adobe Lightroom. It is my usual starting point for finding pictures to illustrate a new feature article. The search tool opens up your catalogue and responds quickly to any category of data needed, either derived from EXIF embedded in metadata, or personal keywording. I guess most readers are familiar with this feature and use it from time to time.