I made this image one Sunday at the Beverly Hills Farmer’s Market.  We had stopped at the library to get a couple books for Ester and then walked over, thinking to score some seasonal produce–in particular peaches and nectarines which are just crazy good this time of year.  The best part about famers markets is that almost all of the merchants have samples available at the front of their booths, so you can try everyone’s offerings and then pick and choose amongst your favorites.  

My sampling wasn’t confined to just produce of course. 

I was booth hopping between the mediterranean spreads booth and this indonesian bread tent place when I heard a tiny voice yell “crash!”  I whipped around and the humus on the quarter-of-a-piece-of-pita-bread I was sampling went flying.  Perhaps it landed on an unfortunate passerby or perhaps it just landed on the ground, I didn’t think to check at the time.  The camera comes up to my face and click…

But there was no click.  Instead of that click, here’s a bit of historical context on the author.  I fidget with the Leica when I’m not shooting.  I swing it around on the strap or rock and roll the frame selector again and again.  My favorite bit of fidgeting is to turn it on and off, on and off repeatedly.  Over and over and over again.  I’ll be speaking with someone with the camera in my right hand, pointer finger turning it on and off and on and off and on and on and on.  It’s a nervous tick perhaps.  Almost definitely it a nervous tick.  I’m a very good driver.  That on-off switch’s very existence is almost reason enough for me buy an MP.  Almost.  

So I turn on the M7 and I’m reminded of the singular biggest design flaw of the model.  The giant total cluster-fuck of piss-poor engineering that will definitely force me to buy an MP.  When you turn on an M7 there’s a moment when it’s film barcode reader, the heavy-weight champion of all shitty barcode readers, tries and fails to ascertain what film you have loaded so it can automagically set the iso.  I’ve turned off the auto-reading by manually setting the iso on the back but it still takes a second to start and that second, when you’ve already lost several precious moments because you are a fidgety idiot, usually means you won’t make your image.  

A beat later and now the camera is on.  The kid yells “crash” again and collides with his sister’s cart and I finally hear click.  I finally hear that singularly satisfying mechanical click and I know that I have the shot.  I look down in admiration/irritation with my frenemy, the M7 and see a large glob of humous oozing down the lens hood.  


“Crash” shot on a crusty Leica M7 (with a crap-ass barcode reader) using a 35mm Summicron, amber filter on Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed to 800 at the Icon.  

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