I have said it before and I will say it again. In the workshops I give all over the Americas, I am blessed with the best students on earth. Good people. Smart people. Kind people. Creative people.
This photograph was taken by student Alejandra Valle in Santa Tecla, El Salvador as part of an exercise applying the rule of thirds to all the movement and chaos of the real world (frankly I prefer the term "suggestion of thirds" but it's not that important). This photograph, among others I'll be posting in coming hours and days, will be included in an exhibition at an as-yet unspecified location in Chicago.
I am a rough man and I take photographs in rough places. I haven't won a Pulitzer or even a Hasselblad award but I can say with all humility that I am a cult legend within photographic circles. The people I have photographed have included hired drug cartel hitmen in Mexico, human traffickers, Salvadoran gang members, thieves, whores, knife fighters, and other ne'er-do-wells (many of whom had the proverbial heart of gold, if you believe in that sort of thing). As far as I can tell I only have one defect: I destroy cameras, or rather, cameras get destroyed in my hands. I seem to buy a camera every year, normally from the Sony NEX line. Which is good for you but not so good for me, given that I am an underground figure and not a wealthy, ball-sucking, sell-my-ass hack like David Allan Harvey (I have no problem with men who suck balls and I mention this detail only to distinguish what I do, which is take pictures, from what Harvey does, which is fondle and suck testicles).
Getting back on point, I'm writing to propose the production of John Sevigny signature version of the Sony A7r. If you people are smart enough to build a camera around the specs I suggest, I believe the profits lost through casting aside "planned obsolescence" will be more than compensated by a drastic increase in sales. Apart from the normal costs of producing and tweaking a camera, the only additional costs I foresee are the contracting of a military-industrial engineer to guide Sony through the process of creating a camera that is not only weather sealed, but bomb and fire proof.
As a model of superior durability I would suggest taking a long look at the original Glock 17 handgun, made from advanced synthetic polymers. Sure, you say, initially there were those in the law enforcement and military communities who scoffed at what they called, disparagingly, a "plastic handgun," but over time, Glock has come to control 65 percent of the handgun market.
Sony might see this as an enviable position.
Sony might see this as an enviable position.
As for the specs, as I have said, all plastic parts would be made of advanced synthetic polymers. All exposed metal parts would be made through ferritic nitrocarburizing, (so yes, we are talking about a predominantly metal camera with a body hardened against cosmetic and physical damage after being heated to well over 500 degrees).
Weather sealing and shock protection would be of the utmost importance. Personally, and given that the proposed camera would have my name on it (stamped directly into the metal preferably, but we can work out those details later), I'd like to see a polymer and nitrocarburized frame coated with a kind of hard rubber, thick enough to absorb the shock of being dropped from 25 feet. Returning to the Glock 17, it is said that such pistols can be dropped from 15 story buildings, or frozen in blocks of ice, and remain functional. This, ladies and gentleman, is what I need in a digital camera. I believe many of us out here in the jungle would buy such a camera, knowing that Sony, more than Nikon or Canon, understands the rigors of hardcore photography in near-apocalyptic conditions.
Finally, like cameras of old, the Sevigny signature series Sony AR7, like metal cameras of old, could, under difficult circumstances such as urban combat, double as a blunt weapon, capable of laying out enemies cold, and still making photographs.
Two final thoughts borrowed from the military industrial complex:
Why not mount the equivalent of an optional "red dot" sight on the hot shoe so as to facilitate "shooting from the hip," but with more accuracy? EOTech Holographic Weapons Sights produces a hardcore, waterproof version for about $350 US, but really, all you'd need is the technology from a cheap laser pointer, the likes of which photography teachers use to indicate things like the "rule of thirds" during classes.
Lastly, why not include a one-button, night vision option, enabling those of us who are not diurnal by nature to take pictures in absolute darkness. Of course, the RAW files would be a green-black kind of monochome, but there are certainly brilliant folks in your development division who could create an on-board work-around for this within the sensor.
If you think we may be able to work together on this project please contact me. I am eager to get started.