January 9, 2013
by Richard Kalvar
What, me? A blog? I already spend hours at a time painfully composing emails, and I still have nightmares from 50 years ago about staying up all night trying to write term papers at the very last minute, when extracting words out of my brain was like pulling teeth. And do I have anything to say?
Well, maybe a couple of things, so why not give it a whack?
I’ll write down occasional thoughts and show occasional pictures, and hope that a few people wind up reading and looking, and maybe commenting. Since no one knows that I’m doing this I don’t expect an enormous following, but I’ll persist.
First, a technical point about these Magnum blogs. It would be nice to be able to intersperse pictures among the words, but for the time being that doesn’t seem possible; all the pictures must be shown at the beginning. That’s the 4732nd thing to be fixed on this site, which hopefully someone will take care of sooner or later.
So, about that picture up on the top of the page…
For the last 45 years or so I’ve been using Leicas on the whole to take my amateur pictures (the important ones) and various reflex cameras to take the professional ones (the ones I try to make a living with). That was with film, of course, but over the last few years I’ve been working more and more with digital. I didn’t think that Leica had a good enough digital camera, but there are things you can do with a discrete little rangefinder that are more difficult with a big bulky reflex, so in June 2011 I finally relented and bought myself an M9P. I haven’t used film since.
Not that I’m completely happy with the camera. I’ve in fact switched over to my Canon 5D Mark III even for my personal stuff. But I have great hopes for the M, due out next month…
Anyway, I started experimenting with my M9P, and took the picture above at – you guessed it! – a railroad station in Paris. Unlike my usual stuff it’s in color and it has no people in it, but I really like it. I think it deserves to be looked at for a while.