Time For A Fast Piece of Glass!

by Jim on 2011/07/16

[Jimbaux will fly away again.]

“Leave me alone.  I don’t like fast women,” said Dr. Indiana Jones to the sexually pushy Dr. Elsa Schneider in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Contrary to what some people – including women who’ve told me they thought I was some kind of Indiana Jones, or, as another put it, the Marlboro Man – to this very day still think, the same is very true for Jimbaux, even though, if I’m honest, in certain situations, it hasn’t always been that way.  More specifically, I have had a difficult time respecting fast women, and I have, yes, had a difficult time respecting myself when the roles were reversed and I acted the same way, but, I’ve learned to forgive, forgive others, but also to forgive myself, which is a prerequisite.  Remember, forgiveness frees.

Anyway, it’s worth mentioning the obvious, too, that Schneider turned out to be a Nazi.  Make what you will of that.  (That’s part of why this blog is open to comments.)

“Let It Go”

Remember the scene at then end of the movie.  Elsa tries to reach for the Holy Grail, but she can’t, and she slips down to a presumed death.  This is followed by Indiana himself trying to reach for it, as his father, with whom he is reconciling, finally respects him by calling him “Indiana” and then telling him to “let it go” as the son tries to reach for the Holy Grail.  Letting go has been a large theme in my life in the last year.

False Grails

What in the heck does this have to do with anything?  Well, while I, like Indiana Jones, am repulsed by fast women, eve if I’ve occasionally fallen for them, I really do like fast lenses!  To be more specific, I really do like the types of pictures that fast lenses can make, a distinction that is an important theme of today’s post.  They help make the images in my imagination possible, so that you can also see them here.

Here Forever, The Spiral Never Ends

(I hope that you’re listening to today’s song!)  You might remember that back in April, about $3,000 worth of camera gear was stolen from me.  Read about it all, along with some of my better pictures taken with that now-gone equipment, here.

Rediscovering The Mind’s Eye

In my follow-up post to the announcement that my gear was gone, I posted an very relevant message from my friend Taylor, and I also lamented about how much I missed my big, fast lens, the Canon 70-200mm/f.28.  Read about it all here.

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

There are plenty of reasons why I cannot justify the expense of the purchase of a new 70-200/2.8, and I even seriously considered getting the f4 version, but I decided that the need for self-expression by exploring and conveying our fascinating world through fast, short-range telephoto lenses was too great.  It’s part of who I am.  It truly is, and recent posts here on Jimbaux’s Journal have been on the themes of accepting the true self, that which often lays hidden underneath, layers of fear and ignorance, compounded.  So, away I went to Penn Camera on E Street on Friday 8 July.

I’ve Done Something Like This Before

You regular readers of Jimbaux’s Journal have already read that I have already replaced the short-range glass that was stolen, and I wrote about that here.  Note the racism and sexism expressed and discussed in the comments section.

Past Is Prologue

I’m on my way to Penn Camera.  Here’s the view of the northern side (generally, the back) of the National Archives building on Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

I’m not sure what to make of that statement.  If past is prologue, are we prisoners to the past?  Is positive human existence, therefore, defined by breaking free of the past?  How does one honor the past while simultaneously not being a slave to it?  Please tell me!  As it relates to my photography, Mitch Hedberg had a joke about this, and I wrote about it and a great many other related things here.  I reread that post for the first time a few days ago, and I was amazed at how much I felt like I had written it a long time ago, like how it was written from a place of simmering discontent.

Photographically, though, look at the above picture.  For anyone who thinks I didn’t rotate it properly, yes, the vertical sides of the columns appear to not be level, but that is an optical illusion from the building of these Greco-Roman styles.  Rather, look at the vertical lines of the windows in the background.  As I wrote here recently, in almost all cases, vertical lines should be vertical.

Clouds Over the Capitol

About a minute later, I took the picture below.  I am still awestruck by the sight of the Capitol Building, but, as I wrote here recently, I’m growing jaded and realizing that neither it nor the city that exists for it and its purposes is the Holy Grail.  So, what to do?  What would Henry Jones do?  What would Henry Jones tell his son?

Again, for the sake of openness and honesty, the relationship between Indiana Jones and his father does indeed remind of the relationship between mine and me, for better and for worse.

Arrival at Penn Camera

So, I arrived at Penn Camera on E Street.  A check of the website the day before had indicated that a Canon 70-200mm/f2.8 was in stock.  When I got there, however, there was not one at this location.  I was told that one could be there Monday or Tuesday, “but you probably want to use it this weekend.”  Oh, yeah!  Yes, I do!  However, the helpful sales person did make some phone calls and found one at the Fairfax location.  No problem.  I told him I was willing to drive there, and he told the people at the Fairfax location to hold it for me.

Yeah, Baby!

I got to the Fairfax location, and the sales lady there went and got the package with my name on it!

Oh, yeah, my dear 70-200mm/f2.8, oh, is it so nice to be finally reunited with you!  You just don’t know the frustration I have felt in these months of separation!  Oh, how eager I am to get my skilled hands all over you, twist your zoom ring, twist your focus ring, feel you in my hands, look into you, look through you, press your buttons, work you so well, yeah.  Oh, the love, the pictures you and I will make together!  Oh, you feel so good in my hands, as the sweat from getting the shot will drip down them onto you!  With your speed and your depth, we can penetrate into new photographic ecstasy!  You will make me do my best, and I will give my best to you!  The love we make will be immortal, lasting forever in the pictures we make, as you and I get creative in our love.

The sales lady couldn’t stop laughing as I went on with this routine.

See Her For Yourself

A few nights ago, I took a picture of my new girl for your viewing pleasure.  Here she is, naked, and not in action:

As a recovering autophobe, I’m getting over any fears about posting something like what my lens looks like.  Naturally, since my last lens of this model (along with another lens and a camera) were stolen a few months ago, I do have a small amount of concern about posting this so that the whole world – including the felonious lowlifes that surround me – can see, but I won’t be bothered by it.  As I’ve written before, I simply refuse to live in fear like I have done for so much of my life until recently.

In case I lose this lens, I’ll publicly post the serial number here: UZ0324.  While we’re at it, here’s the serial number for my new (since May) 15-85mm/f3.5-5.6: 7332504774.  Anyway, if either of these things ever gets stolen, you’ll already know what numbers to seek.  And, for those of you who plan on doing Jimbaux harm as you stare down his lens, be prepared to stare down his .44 too!  As that Jon Bon Jovi song says, “My old friends Smith & Wesson think you’re in over your head.”

Only The Camera Remains

It’s a huge irony now that although I own two decent SLR 35mm lenses, I don’t even own a camera with which to shoot them.  That will change whenever I have enough money or whenever the Super Hero Supreme decides he wants his camera back!  Out of the three, however, the camera is the easiest to replace, as the cheapest new Canon Rebel is cheaper than either of the lenses I’ve just purchased, at it would also be a great improvement over the camera I’m using now, which is the same kind I was using before mine got stolen.  Canon really improved sensor and processor technology right after the Super Hero Supreme and I got our cameras.

Keeping A Level Head

Ultimately, the new lens is merely a tool, not much more glorious than a sledgehammer, a shovel, or a toothbrush, and that’s one of several reasons why I take no part on the Canon-Nikon “holy wars” found so much about photographers.  Anytime someone starts a conversation with me by saying, “What kind of camera do you have?”  I know it won’t be a terribly enlightening conversation.  Umm, can we talk about photography, please, instead of talking about equipment?

Ultimately, a lens is not the end; it’s merely the means.  How the lens looks, or whatever, is no reason to buy it.  If I could take pictures with an iPhone as good as I could take with these lenses, believe me, I’d ditch the pricey camera gear.  The fact is, however, the current technology and the laws of physics and optics do not allow that to happen.

The Holy Grail Is Within You!

No piece of camera gear is the Holy Grail.  Remember what Henry Jones told his son Indiana to “let it go” after both of them had seemingly spent so much effort finding the Holy Grail that was literally at the younger Jones’s fingertips, and remember the younger Jones’s surprise at what his father was telling him.  That was the most poignant line in the movie, for it revealed that what they were both seeking was not the object but the “illumination” that came from finding it.  The “illumination” was was the true holy grail.  That illumination was more important than not only fast women and fast lenses, but even the physical grail itself.

Again, as my friend Taylor said, the thieves did not steal my most important tool, my imagination.  Maybe past really is prologue, and that the spiral will never end as we rot away and fly away again.  That, mes amis, is illumination.

All for now . . .


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Howard Bunte July 18, 2011 at 01:13

you GOT IT, grasshopper!…

nuff said…

but…glad you also ‘got the lens’…



2 Robert Pierce August 3, 2011 at 22:28

Congrats on getting back what I consider my favorite lens for railfanning. I wasn’t able to finish reading your mash note to your too-long separated 70-200 because I found myself becoming aroused. Maybe I’ll come back and finish reading it once everybody’s asleep….


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