Last week, a couple of old friends of mine came to visit me here in New York for a week and a bit. Here’s an incomplete list of the things we did while they were here.

  • Went to see Landmine Marathon and Salome.
  • Shopped at the farmers’ market.
  • Made dinner and drank wine.
  • Saw Heartless Bastards at Bowery Ballroom.
  • Imitated my sister Tullia.
  • Danced to the DJ stylings of The Roots’ ?uestlove at Brooklyn Bowl.
  • Looked at art in the Guggenheim.
  • Wandered through a healthy portion of Central Park.
  • Ate at one of my favorite diners by Columbus Circle.
  • Danced until delirious to 60s Soul Music.
  • Watched an entire season of The Simpsons.
  • Roasted a chicken.
  • Drove to Vermont.
  • Swam.
  • Fished.
  • Sent a bunch of logs to hell.
  • Ate the biggest marshmallows I’ve ever seen.
  • Drove back from Vermont.
  • Ate ate DuMont, which I love to no end.
  • Wandered through lower Manhattan until the girls’ feet hurt.
  • Bought delightful mugs at Fishs Eddy.
  • Watched the sun set over the East River and drank wine.
  • Sprinkled the week with bacon, egg, and cheeses.
  • Had an awesome time.

Really, it was the best trip ever. This summer has been so rad so far I might explode.

We were pretty busy and I didn’t really take as many photos as I’d have liked, but therein is the trade off. Do I spend time taking photos a few feet back from the action, or do I neglect the photos in order to be part of the game. In this case, the latter won out, so you only get 67 photos of the time they were here. Not too bad, but not a whole lot, either.

Here’s a link to the gallery.

Here is a quick selection of some of my favorites.

My prime-lens-only tear continues. After the disappointment I experienced with my old 50 f/1.8 in Telluride, I went out and had an impulsive moment and purchased the 50 f/1.4. Pocketbook lighter, I have to say I am not upset with the purchase. It brings that focal length up to par with my 28 and 85 in terms of handling, making it a much more useful and friendly place to work. Not only that, but if you manage to nail the focus at f/1.4, it looks great. The 50 accounts for 53 of the 67 photos in the set. To me it is obvious which ones are not the 50, but see if you can tell.

Anyway, I love the compositional restriction afforded by the prime lenses. No, that’s not exactly right. I love that there is no noodling about with zoom to make me miss a moment. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: primes rule. There is a time and place for zoom lenses certainly, like when your movement will be restricted or when you’re shooting a party and you need to be able to cover all sorts of focal lengths quickly. But for the type of photography I do mostly, primes are really nice. First, they’re faster than their zoom equivalents. Second, they’re less expensive. Third, they’re lighter. What’s not to like about that? So you can’t zoom between 28 and 135 mm. So what? Any zoom with that great of a range that is affordable is a piece of junk. Limits encourage creativity.

Truthfully, I’m not sure I’d think this way if I hadn’t spent so much time shooting with zoom lenses, first the Tamrom 28-75, and then the Canon 24-105. The Tamron is long gone, and the Canon gathers dust in the drawer. Who needs it?

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