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Alkamar, the village in the moonlight
Self Portrait

I once finished a large job. The job was harder than I first thought. Just before the money was all spent, I bought a Leica M3 with a Summarit 50 mm lens. That way it had not all been in vain.

Copenhagen, London, Paris, every large city has a little street with a couple of stores that specialize in vintage cameras. And of course New York, where they have everything Leica. I salvaged a missing lens cap from a cardboard box in Paris. In a secondhand bookstore in Camden I found a fifty year old manual for the Leica M series. Year by year I built a collection of original parts: red/blue/green filters that fit the Summarit, reloadable brass film cartridges, flare protection, all the pieces in sturdy leather casing.

I had no light meter, instead I carried a notebook and jotted down the lighting conditions and exposure, working towards an overall understanding. I built a little darkroom (mostly a lightproof bag and a shelf of chemicals), bought film by the meter, experimented with different papers. I leaked light, scratched negatives, over- and underexposed, forgot to fixate properly, made every mistake possible. I got to know the M3 pretty well in the end.

After my son was born, I decided to sell the camera and spend the money on more useful things. Then I changed my mind. I wanted something unique to give him when he grew of age. I put the M3 and all the original parts in a black doctor's bag. I added a couple of leather jackets from a flea market in Paris, they would keep him warm one day.

One winter a couple of junkie burglars broke into my library and stole the kit I had built for my son. I can picture their smiles as they opened the doctor's bag. Oh well. They are still burglars. I still have my son.

Self Portrait

Travelling with the M3

Rome Night View

Rome from Trastevere

Paris The Bastille

The Bastille in Paris