“He shot me dead! Bang bang! That awful sound! Bang bang! My baby shot me down…” (Y’all know the song from Kill Bill Vol. 1, right?)
OK, so I may be a shooter, but all of my victims walk away unharmed. Well, as far as I know. And it’s been a while since I shot for a newspaper, so I’m not gunning for anyone on purpose anymore.
A recent conversation in an online forum got me thinking about the convention of “shooting photos.” Stuart Richardson, a damn fine photographer, photo lab owner and all around good guy, posted about a visit from a pair of graphic designers to his lab, one of whom had a Leica M8 with her. Stuart compared the super-quiet, even more quiet than a Leica, sound of his Konica Hexar AF to the M8 as such, “I was showing them the Hexar AF. I think its shutter made them jealous as their M8 gunshots went off! (kidding of course). “
He may be kidding, but he’s not wrong about the M8’s insanely loud shutter. This Spring my SO and I went to Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum and I brought the M8 along, shooting pix in the galleries and on the grounds. When we were in the Michael Forsberg gallery, which was practically empty, I fired off the shot that’s today’s photo. Right after I took the photo, Michael spun around and exclaimed, “Good god! That must be the LOUDEST SHUTTER IN THE WORLD!!!” True story; there was even an echo. Well, two echos, if you count the shutter and then Michael’s exclamation.
Now, Leica was properly embarrassed by this, and they offered a paid upgrade to the original M8 and even brought out an M8.2, complete with a much more quiet shutter. Now, did I get my M8 upgraded? Nah, it would have cost crazy money and besides, since I no longer am paid to deliver a large number of photographs in a timely manner, I shoot with a pair of smaller, quieter and, dare I say, more fun, film Leicas. One of which, my M4-P, cost a third of what the M8 upgrade would have cost. Oh, aren’t I a smartie? Well, there is the cost of film and processing and the film scanner and…oh, bugger. Maybe not so smart, after all.
Bang bang! I shot myself!