THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER AND HIS LENSES
Just a story from some time ago:
Today, I reconcile myself with my new lens 85 1.4.
I explain. Today, I and my new 85 1.4 lenses learn to like each other. Before I has an 85 1.8 and I will call it 85A, after that an 85 1.4 which is the 85B, and, now, the new 85 1.4 is the 85C. This is because I will not be paid by brands and I am just a user, not a fan, brand names and models are for the advertisers.
This thing of being a photographer amateur, some who love being it, is very tricky. A photographic lens is a very complicated engineering optical and mechanical object designed to transmittal the light inside a tube with a glass lens on it and according to the length, we say that is x focal lens. If it has 5cm (50mm) it has a 50mm focal lens. That 50mm lens is what we call the normal lens and the one guilty why lots of people had lost their minds, wondering what they could be able to do with that, in the crazy world of photography.
The great problem with that object, thing, toy, tool…well, the lens is that after they leave the box where they, with great security, did an epic journey, from the factory inside ship containers, cargo planes, trucks, distribution vans and become inside them some restless souls driving their users to the limit of lack of mind, an exaggerated passion, well, those that only another lens user can understand, even if they will not know how to use it well. Only they understand how a cold metal, glass, and rubber have some kind of transcendent soul that will enable a new view of the world, after sprawling between glasses, focus rings, diaphragms, shutters, and, inverted, land in a piece of film or a digital sensor to the delight of eyes as if they were in love with a rock´n roll star from the 50s of the last century.
After all these adventures, one of them arrives at his user, chosen with careful research and, most of the time, with some sacrifices. Finally, she arrives at the table of the future user, her lover. We may find, at least three of them. The calm and serene, with all the time in the world and lover eyes, used to taste slow every moment, look at the box as an offer of the photon gods satisfied with his good life, from goodness. So, with very special care he open the box doing with all care to not damage the box, sacred temple of the goddess living inside. I still have the box he will say every time he will talk about their beloved lens that, finally, born from that transparent plastic bag as if it was a baby born placenta. What a delight. Or she may find the other one, the greedy. He throws himself into the package box like a kid waiting for ages for a toy, he rips off all the folded paper corners and before the light enters inside the box here it is in a passionate relationship with his camera which receives her with vibrant love and jubilee. The technician. With all care but with the fastness that someone with scientifically trained manipulation can have, with precise movements the box is open, the lens appears in his hands with the box and bags carefully dressed up in the right place. Both covers are out, the mechanism very well tested, the lens glass examined if they do not have defects, probably with the help of a magnifying glass, if some dust inside the lens can impure and, finally, verification of the camera connection. Cold, precise, and calculating person.
Now, you can understand the reason for my conciliation with my new lens 85 C. Before I had the 85 B and, before, the 85 A with 1.8 of aperture. And this is very important. Aperture is the diameter of the tube of the lens. Higher or lower can give the photographer slightly different results in the out-of-focus image. So, for those who do not know what this is, as I do not know what a football player does at his position, except the goalkeeper, the difference between the 1.8 and the 1.4 lenses, quickly, is that the 1.4 gives a melting unfocused part of the photo more in quantity but, better, in quality. But is not so simple: the great wonder coming from that lens, at that large aperture, is the child in us coming to the front and playing with the world in front of us, and, like a time machine, smashing it in that small rectangle as if a painter, playing with paints and colors, amuse himself transferring to dreams in the camera serving as a canvas. That is why I conciliate myself with my 85 C.
But, let me tell you why I think this is the explanation. Some years have passed since I read that book and because I have a bad memory that never remembers the exact things she absorbs, like a scholar, but transforms into clouds of glimpses, maybe by his limitation or simply because my memory likes to scramble and make my life not easy…or better. The book was The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham. It is the story of a soldier that, once the war was over, come back home where some easy life expect him and with no problems in the future. But this was not good for him and he goes on-demand trying to find how should be his place in the world. So he visits libraries where all the mysteries of the world live and human thought tries to explain it, but it is not what he expects. After that, he tries the hard-working days to survive. He contacts all the fellow people he can to find their joys, sadness, frustrations, and wishes. From this demand, Siddharta Gautama tries to find a solution for the misery of humankind but does not find an answer to the anxiety that pursues him. One day, sitting down on a rock, looking at a valley, he looks forward and, for the first time in his life, he felt that between him and all around him does not exist any difference. He felt an integrant part of all that surrounded him. Some scholars call this mystic participation.
So, if we take that story as an example there is no photographer out there, amateur or not, that does not experience that mystic participation every time he, or she, takes the cameras and lens and goes into demand. How many times, has every light strand hunter, when looking through the camera viewfinder, experienced some transposition into the subject photographed or looking at the resulting photo itself. That is exactly how my lens sends me to that land of the blessed ones by the love for photography. I do not say that this happens every time I pick up the lens, of course not, but when it takes place it is a blessing of contentment. I will not sketch out all my adventures, and miseries, with each of my lenses but every time I felt the need to change it was like I committed a crime against my last lens and, maybe because of that, it was difficult for my brain, with his complications, comparatives, dissatisfactions and desire to change, accept the new one just arrived.
It was like that. My dictator brain, with a will that my poor eyes are unable to knock back ou understand, decided that was time for a new one and the eyes, as in love with impossible love, were still faithful to my 85B. However, as the ancients said, time heals and some time ago my eyes started to caress, like a child when love, my new 85C with some acceptance that satisfied my brain and my heart rested. Now, the wedding photographer has a new tool…toy…!…