I am back on a film kick, can’t you tell? This was from a work assignment to get relevant photos for our informational brochures and website. I have always loved this photo as it shows the amazing colors that come from the legendary Velvia 50. Shot with my trusty M6 and 21mm lens in beautiful Naples, Florida.
Developed and scanned my first batch of Kodak Ektar 100. The photos in less then full sun took a bit of work to get the colors right, but all photos shot in full sun turned out perfectly. Will have to shoot with this film some more to get it right, and pick up a scanner with digital ICE to get those scratches out! Shot with my trusty Leica M6 and 28mm Elmarit.
The shadows grew long and dark as Special Agent Fitz followed his mark. He was quickly approaching the van where other agents lied in wait to take the man they had been watching for many months. It almost seemed too easy, Agent Fitz reflected, but the man was obviously too distracted to know that Federal agents would soon be swarming down on his position and foiling his plot. Or does there man have something more sinister waiting around the corner for the unknowing agents…..
Okay, you can tell I have been binge watching The Blackilst while home with the baby. This is just a scene captured during my bachelor party in NYC, but seeing it though up this silly story and wanted to share with all of you.
Some beers are vaunted as legendary. Some beers have their own special release events. Being a beer geek, and more importantly a beer uncle, I have found that most don’t live up to the hype. So how about the infamous Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA? You know, the beer many restaurants sell for $20 per bottle, or boutique bottle shops only sell to their “very best” customers. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA is one of the beers that even non-beer drinkers know is something special. Produced one time per year, its release and subsequent fervor to grab as much as possible creates a mystique that expands beyond the world of zymurgy and nano / micro brew circles .
Now, this wasn’t my first time drinking Dogfish 120. Having had the beer “fresh” on several occasions, I always wondered how it tasted if aged as suggested on the bottle. Through some form of restraint usually not possessed by me, I was able to squirrel away a bottle for the past three years knowing there would be a special occasion to open the bottle. What else qualifies like the birth of a child!
So with the week off at home, it was time. Reached into the back of the fridge where the Dogfish 120 has waited, inconspicuously aging amongst other tasty, but certainly less rare, beers, and even though the label fell off some time ago, but I knew exactly which one to grab. Pulled out my trusty Duvel Belgian tulip glass and poured slowly so as to not disturb the yeast cake. From past experience, I knew Dogfish 120 is to be sipped slowly and allowed to rise to room temperature before reaching its true potential (told you I was a beer geek).
The beer poured a rich amber hue, with the right amount of carbonation evident from the head that formed. The beer had its usually Dogfish 120 taste, but much smoother with the high alcohol level really blended well into the beer’s unique flavor after commingling for over three years. There is a wine-like taste to this beer which time has pronounced; sweet cherry notes, a hint of spice and the well-balanced assortment of hops. Aging has done this already delicious beer a great justice and was well worth the wait.
Others can certainly more eloquently explain the taste, but I will finish by saying that the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA beer is one of the truly special beers almost anyone has access to. Not everyone can get their hands on Pliny the Elder, Heady Topper or Westvletern XII, but this beer is most likely in reach and certainly worth a try. If you have the willpower to age a bottle or two, your patience will be well rewarded!
The Leica Neoprene Case M may be the best investment you make for your camera. Really, what other Leica accessory can be this useful for only $54? None that I know of. The Leica Neoprene M case with short front* (14867) is as simple and as it is versatile. As Steve Jobs often said, “It just works”.
*Leica would heap loads of shame on me for crudely naming this gem the Leica Camera Condom, so thankfully they don’t read this blog.
Reading the specs we know it fits an M camera with up to a 60mm length or 65mm diameter lens, and for me has been used without issue on the M3, M6, M8, M9, and MP, with up to the 50mm Summilux. But its useful range doesn’t stop there as it has also worked with my X1 and X2 (though a tad large), and now fits the Leica X Vario perfectly.
Made of the ubiquitous neoprene (same stuff commonly used for wetsuits and laptop sleeves), the case provides basic protection for your camera and lens by adding a layer of synthetic rubber held together by the equally common Velcro. Minor bumps, light rains, and most drunken mishaps are covered under protection of the Leica Neoprene Case M. As an example, my wife once had the diaper bag which my M3 and this case were in. When getting out of the car I heard a thud followed by a stream of expletives about my cameras being in the wrong place and I dreadfully knew what happened. Besides the M3 being built like tank, the blow was severely softened by the case with only a small dent on the top plate to show damage. None of the main functionality or internal workings were damaged, and thankfully neither was the lens, which I wholly attribute to the Leica Camera Condom (oops!). I wouldn’t ever intentionally drop any camera or expose one to the elements, but I have done so out of necessity or error and have thus far come out unscathed. State Fairs, Disneyworld, kids birthday parties, and the good old pub crawl can all attest to this!
The protection this case affords allows me an even greater benefit; you can forego a bag and just bring this case and your camera. It can be thrown in your work satchel, field bag, the center console of your vehicle, a diaper bag, or around your neck or shoulder and the camera will be protected until its time to shoot! When not in use it can be crammed into a pocket and resurrected when needed. Its an easy-going accessory that adds another option when running out the door. Adding to its functionality, Leica states that the case can hold two SD cards which sounds nice but not too exciting. I can happily add that you can cram other essentials such as E39 filters, batteries, film, lens clothes and vials of ninja smoke for bad dates or dramatic exits.
So the moral of this story is that the Leica Neoprene M case is worth a serious look if you shoot with the Leica or other similarly sized camera as it is another tool for those of us on the move. There Leica Neoprene Case M has served me well for many years, and will so for you if given the opportunity.