Let’s be clear… I’m no saint. At times, I’m sure my mouth gets ahead of my brain… even my heart. But, like most of us, I try to be a good person and I hope I treat others with respect and kindness.
Years ago, when I first started creating online content and maintaining a web site, I made a personal promise not to use that space to attack anyone or for promoting “negativity.” Having always believed we have an obligation to “share and to teach,” I wanted to use the opportunity to do just that. And of course, selfishly, promote my “brand.”
I also made it a point to always answer emails or inquiries through my page with consideration, honesty and above all, with a kind demeanor. No question is a “dumb” question.
Many of you who have followed me over the years might remember my love of the Leica Digilux 2 camera. This was a unique digital camera produced by Leica around 2004. It wasn’t their first foray into digital, but at the time, it was their best. And frankly, they were a little ahead of their time. Not so much from a technological stand point… in fact, from a technical specification measurement, they were probably a bit behind. But, the package went completely against the grain. The Digilux 2 was an “analogue” digital camera. Like film camera, the shutter speed was set by a dial on top, the aperture was adjusted on the lens barrel. Theoretically, you could set up your shot before turning the camera on. However, it wasn’t until a few years later that people pick up on the nuance of the Digilux 2’s design… making the camera a bit of a cult collectible. It had two amazing additions that went beyond the analogue controls… a beautiful 28-90mm Summicron lens with an aperture of f/2 - f/2.4 and incredible image quality.
I wrote about the camera ad nauseam. I collected them. I customized them. I loved this camera… and because of it, I made a ton of online friends all over the world.
To bring this story full circle. I recently heard from a friend that I came to know via email. He had originally asked questions about the Digilux 2. True to my promise, I answered him courteously and to the best of my knowledge. We exchanged a few more emails. He moved on to other Leica equipment… as did I. We even met up for a drink in San Francisco. Talked Leica and played with different lenses we each owned.
Though our communications fell off to some photo exchanges now and then, the online contact remained via the usual… Facebook posts, commenting on photos on Flickr etc. Then recently, I received a message through Facebook with a request for my thoughts on a camera purchase/direction. I gave my opinion… supported it with sound reasons and advice, to which my friend agreed. And then he added….
“By the way, I need your shipping address.” I provided it. “I’ve had something I’ve been meaning to send you, I think you’re going to like it.”
Today, I received a pristine Leica Digilux 2, in the original box… I won’t mention the gentleman’s name, but I will say thank you. Thank you for the thoughtfulness… more than the generosity of sending me a camera, the heartfelt gesture, the personal touch of sending something so meaningful to me has left me speechless. Thank you!