view camera poisoning

I’d like to offer a little advice about managing your husband. A minor 35mm obsession is common and not dangerous. If he converts a room into a darkroom and starts bringing icky chemicals into the house, the situation is not yet serious, though you might want to drop a few mentions of the wonderful colors of slides on the light table. But if you catch him mumbling about “tilt” and “shift” and frowning at pictures of buildings, prompt action is indicated. These are symptoms of view camera poisoning. No cure is certain, but the recommended antidote is to suggest moving subjects: “Why don’t you get a longer lens, dear, so you can take pictures of birds? Birds are nice.”

Original version, December 1999.
Updated and added here January 2012.