The cameraman

I’M INTERESTED in taking better photos. I’ll need a new camera. My current ride is a Kodak Easyshare, inexpensive, but it works fine.

Except for one thing: It only zooms to 3X, which doesn’t get you very far, literally. It does have 16 megapixels, which means the photos are pretty sharp, but the zoom’s gotta go a lot farther.

I’ve asked some good photographers I know for camera recommendations. The Gold Standard is Billie Mercer, but that was like asking Donald Trump for a restaurant recommendation: First, take the Learjet to Paris … have the limo waiting on the tarmac.  Billie is way past my pay grade.

I’d have to rob a bank.

I ran into the same problem with Kim G. and Steve Cotton, good photographers both. But wealthy guys with sterling gear.

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The Canon

I’m just a poor, humble Mexican.

A recommendation more in my fiscal comfort zone, a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200, came from Angeline, but I opted for a Canon Powershot SX520, which is similar.

A slightly pricier version, the SX60 HS, had been recommended by Jack Brock who is, by the way, one of the world’s premier wood sculptors.

Then came the issue of getting the camera into my hands. I looked around my mountaintop to no avail. I imagine I could have found it down the slope in the state capital, but this is 2015, so I looked online.

First, I went to Mercado Libre (Free Market), a longtime website that connects Mexican buyers and retailers. I found the Canon readily available and was on the verge of buying it when I thought of Amazon, which just weeks ago opened its Mexican operation.

I love Amazon, capitalism at its finest. I found the camera for just a few pesos more, free delivery, and ordered it. They promised it by Friday.

One of the reasons I decided to get a better camera is a new photo website, Eyes of the Moon, I’ve opened on Tumblr.

At the moment, I’ve added a few of my older photos, but when the new camera arrives, expect more. They will all be black and white, which captures a certain elegance, plus it reflects my grim personality.

Maybe I’ll become a papparazzi. I’m so ancient, with white hair and glasses, perhaps nobody will punch me out.

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(Note: Also on Tumblr, you’ll find my other recent addition, Satellite Moon, progressing nicely. It’s a politics-free zone, all sweetness and light.)

Fifteen years a Mexican

DO YOU REMEMBER the movie Twelve Years a Slave, the one some members of the Oscar committee later confessed to voting as Best Picture even though they had not seen it? The PC theme swayed them.

Incredible, the terrible, phony times in which we live.

So I’m considering becoming a filmmaker next January when I hit the 15-year mark below the Rio Bravo. Since we Mexicans are almost as fashionable as blacks, I’m thinking I can just make the video on my two-bit Kodak Easyshare. I’ll have to find a distributor, but that won’t be difficult due to the trendy subject matter.

cameraNobody much will watch my flick, and even if they do, they’ll be afraid to say it’s trash because I’m Mexican (profiling!) and then the Oscar folks will knee-jerk me into wealth and fame!

I won’t be a bona fide Mexican for 15 years in January. I will simply have lived here that long. I became a bona fide, voter-card-carrying (yes, we must have a photo ID to vote, Gringos) Mexican nine years ago next December.

The first matter of business is casting. Here’s what I will need:

1. Imelda the sultry maid (brown skin required).

2. José the cripple in the wheelchair.

3. Manuel the arrogant rich guy (white skin required).

4. Lupe the bureaucrat who does nothing without a bribe.

5. Alejandro the cartel capo (brown skin required).

6. Axel the hit man (very brown skin required).*

7. Diego the beggar, age 9.

8. Jerónimo the alcoholic. He’s Diego’s father who beats him daily.

9. Valentina the beautiful female lead (white skin required) who swoons at the sight of …

10. Miguel Ángel the dashing male lead and incorrigible womanizer (white skin required).

I’ll be reading applications next week. Just send an email. The role of Miguel Ángel is taken. That will be me because I have white skin, plus I want to kiss and fondle Valentina.

We’re gonna get rich together, amigos. Practice speaking English with a Spanish accent. Hint: Pronounce “you” like “Jew” and stress every letter in English words, no matter how much you giggle.

All for now. I must go write my Oscar acceptance speech.

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* Bring your own machete. This is a low-budget operation.