The Leica S2. Behold it. And if you happen to find, say, $33,000 sitting around somewhere and you’re like, “Eww, I don’t want this $33K,” you can go ahead and hand it over to me and I’ll behold the S2 for myself (with lens, thanks – I’m looking at you, Brad Pitt. It’s nice that you can play Mr. Photo Man with your fancy, pricey, tricked-out Leica S outfit, but you already have a day job, sir, so help a sister out, yeah?).
The funny thing is, for all the megapixels in the world, one of the most talented photographers I know essentially shoots on whichever camera she grabs out of a drawer of point-and-shoots. And she gets THIS:
Granted, Arlene shoots a good deal of her work on 35mm (R.I.P., Kodachrome, the demise of which inspired the trip that brought about the photo you see here) and would probably look at me crooked for placing digital capture (regardless of its 37.5 megapizels or 30X45mm sensor) on the same stage, even in the same arena, as film, and, while my brain, eyeballs, and old-school vocational photographic education all concur emphatically, my heart and my, I don’t know, ovaries? belong to this overpriced pixel-hog beast… Oh! S2, you fancy vixen.
My friend Arlene Gottfried has been shooting in and around her hometown of NYC since the 1970s. Her latest book (which is just coming out), “Bacalaitos and Fireworks,” tracks her 40 odd years documenting her time in and around the Nuyorican community. From the quiet portraits of her dearly departed Miguel Piñero to the crackling, color-saturated moments stolen during parades and everything in between (a pig roasting in a rubble-filled city lot, little girls in crisp communion gowns marching past the dystopian, surreal setpieces of a crumpled car and a battered tv, bizarre moments of city life that would seem staged if the characters caught therein weren’t so irrefutably genuine), Arlene manages to make the viewer feel like he or she is with her in that moment, like a welcome participant in some grand secret, great spectacle, private moment, neighborhood function, or deep sorrow. She’ll be presenting her work at 3pm today at B&H’s Event Space on 34th and 9th.