Lens Envy

Over the past few weeks I’ve been to France and back (twice), visited a seal colony on the East coast, watched the famous Lipizzaner Stallions perform, completed two commissions for a colleague’s fashion blog and a friend’s Christmas card, I’ve been to three theatre shows and much more beyond my powers of recall. Is it any wonder that I’ve been rather lax with my cartoons?

While in France, I met with family to visit the annual natural history photographic exhibition in Montier-en-Der. The five day event brings well over 30,000 visitors to – as a French man put it to us – the ‘butt end of nowhere’.  Thousands of awe inspiring photographs are displayed at exhibitions in and around Montier-en-Der – it was impossible to see everything in a single day.  But we tried. We spent eight hours driving from village to village, ducking in and out of tiny town halls, schools and church yards, oohing and aaahing over the images.  For the most part, I was green with envy and had a persistent nagging feeling that I should give up my job, travel the world and track musk ox, or penguins, or polar bears, or field mice, or macaques, or whales, or lynx…the list goes on.

It was, of course, compulsory to saunter around the optics, camera and accessories tent – a place for those who had a bit of spare cash and were hoping to pick up a lens or two for the cheap, cheap price of £15,000 each! The poorer photographers, myself included, were simply left drool over the 1200mm lens which would give you enough zoom to photograph the nose hairs of a red squirrel high in a tree. If you were feeling particularly masochistic, you could test the equipment on your own camera.  Rows and rows of predominately male photographers could be seen with lenses as long as your arm, testing their ‘zoominess’ on the banks of the lake where one of the exhibitions was taking place. Over their shoulders peered green-eyed paupers feeling inadequate with their shorter, less zoomy lenses. I couldn’t help noting the similarities between this, and other male displays of virility… Lens Envy

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10 thoughts on “Lens Envy

  1. A while back, I was on a canoe tour of the Everglades with my family and in our tour group was none other than a National Geographic photographer. He was visiting multiple national parks for an upcoming feature article and just happened to be there that day.

    His equipment weighed so much, he needed two trips to load it all into the boat. The lens was so long, he had to support the length of it with a special stand. It took him forever to set up his shots.

    Now, if you extrapolate the penis joke, you gotta admit that it would be a hassle to have to travel everywhere with a stand only to take ten minutes to get it…um…ready. He was a nice guy and let me hold it to feel the weight of it.

    I’m talking about the camera, pervert. Stop giggling.

  2. And I forgot to mention that I am envious that you have visited France twice over a few weeks! Would love to be able to visit the country some day.

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