May 1st, 2014 … Penelope Cruz … Woke Me Up In The Middle Of A Dream

Well, it’s 3:oo in morning and I can’t get no sleep. I finally dozed off and went into a dream state. Then out of nowhere, I hear in my ear….Knock Knock…get up shooter. I the fog of dreamland, I could see Penelope Cruz just smiling at me and wearing a nice white dress. I gotta tell ya, if this ain’t Heaven, it’ll be hard to top Penelope in my dream.

Then….! Listen shooter and listen good. Now I know I’ve dreamt of Penelope many times but I can’t remember ever telling her my name is shooter. I started tossing and a turning. The sweat was running down my face. Tremors started vibrating all over my body and then I could see Penelope moving closer, closer and I couldn’t stand it anymore!

I forced myself to wake up because Penelope deserves so much more from me than a dream.   As I opened my eyes, what do you think I see… My darling Penelope and she told me to check battery levels, clean her eye and we’re going out for a walk.

See, Penelope is my White Ricoh GRD4. She was upset because all the guys were having all the fun and she felt hurt that I didn’t express my love for her anymore.

05-14-0009-EditSo Penelope the White GRD4 and I hit the streets. She felt so good in my hand and responded to my every flinch. I guess I should explain myself here. I have always named a camera after a photographer or such. This camera is named Penelope after Penelope Cruz. Why, well for me she’s the most stunning woman on the planet. That’s that and that’s the truth!

She wanted to see Uncle Ben and I took her to the gravesite. Uncle Ben is Benjamin Franklin. Uncle Willie is on top of City Hall and he’s really William Penn.


We were just walking around seeing the sights that we both know so well. I was smiling like a youngster….well, If you were walking with Penelope, wouldn’t you be smiling? Ok then. She likes to use snap focus and auto ISO and of course I agree with that completely. It doesn’t get any simplier. I keep thinking out love affair goes back to release of the White model. That day, we were wed. Many cameras have bit the dust from me but she never even gets close. In fact, I call her and her cousins, the rest of the GRD4’s, the camera killers.

Whatever you do, whatever you think, whatever you hear….do not take a Ricoh GRD4 out for more than a few days. Ebay is full of cameras that the Mighty GRD4 has killed.


So I promised Penelope that she and I will spend time together until she gets tired of me. I could never get tired of her so it’s her call as to when she goes back to sleep.

Ya know something…..This camera has been in and out of my pocket more times than my wallet. It has been subjected to dust, dirt, sand cat hair, beer, wine and even Single Malt. The point is, ain’t no dirty sensor around here! Nada, nope! I actually bought a brand new backup a year or so ago thinking that the GRD4 is discontinued and I will have another if need be. I can see, never needing that camera. When the Ricoh GR came out, I couldn’t wait. I got it and now someone else has it….dunno.


We walked into Love Park and they were setting up for Mexican Appreciation Day. This guy started talking to Penelope and I didn’t really understand the language but Penelope just clung harder and faster to my hand. She felt safe and I felt safer. We smiled at him and we were on our way. Penelope is very loyal to me and I to her. With Andre’, Garry and Daido, I can let them rest and be cool with their absence. The same can’t be said of Penelope.


So this ends the first day back together and we are planning a longer courtship this time and less time off for her.

I only asked her to do me one favor……………. Penelope, the next time I’m dreaming about Penelope Cruz, don’t wake me up…..thanks darling…..

More Penelope stories tomorrow………………..later.


14 thoughts on “May 1st, 2014 … Penelope Cruz … Woke Me Up In The Middle Of A Dream”

  1. You are a strange guy but I love to read your articles. Ya know that they used to ask folks what they were smoking when they wrote that way. You are a natural. Can you lecture like you write. If so you can make a lotta dough. :)))

    On a serious note, I still have two of the Ricoh module cameras and lenses as well as a GR. If they had any idea about marketing they could have done well with their exceptional products. I really like their stuff. Not as much as my Fuji gear, but enough.

    1. Elliot thanks…not from me but from my shrink. He’s glad to see someone appreciate the way I write.
      He’s scheduled an appointment for you next Wed at 3:00pm.

      I love Ricoh cameras and have/had many for decades. When the dust issue hit my GR I was heartbroken and very distraught. I parted company with it and wait to see if they can deliver a new model without the dust issue. Toll then, Penelope makes me happy in awake time and in dream world.

  2. Don, I love Daido…my GRD4. He is stealthy…perfect for street shots. Several of the shots I took last Saturday were from the hip. Of course some needed a little straightening in post. Take care.

    1. Dave, I get that. ya know…there’s something about lowering the camera way down whatever and tilting and still seeing the screen. Very nice to work that way. I use a wrist strap only on Penelope as I want her close to me…real close!

  3. Don, I have been listening to the podcasts you and Olivier make and I now read your posts in my head with your accent. It adds to the realism. While I also love the GRD IV and still have mine, I felt I had a higher hit rate with the GRD III. Maybe I just tried harder back then. I’ve see a lot of Cruz’ movies!

    1. Tim, you’re my Ricoh brother more than anyone. I also loved the GRD3 and sold mine right after the GRD4 was released. That is also an amazing camera.

      Cruz movies….you should see the ones in my dreams……

  4. I have never met a Ricoh I didn’t like. Dust issues and all. I still have my original GRD. Years ago I got the GX100 as an “upgrade” to the GRD. Maybe, I’m patient, but I never let the dust issue bother me. Yeah, it may be a pain to sit and dust bust an image these days, but it keeps me out of trouble. I put on some music, have a wee dram, let the wife and son sleep, and I go to work. Last year I got the GR to replace them all, and so far so good, except for the color “bleeding” at higher ISOs.

    Naming cameras? Doesn’t bother me in the least. I could think of worse things. Anyway, I for one appreciate your writing style. Even better, I like your photos. Feels comfortable, friendly, unpretentious, and yes, I could sit and have a beer, whatever, with this guy……

    1. Thanks Keith. I for one wouldn’t have a beer with that guy shooter. No, nah…not that. See, if that Shooter guy drinks…the Russian Wifey well…it ain’t pretty.
      The GX200 I had and loved. One day I went to my friends in CT and late night we were drinking wine, eating and I started making photos with the GX200. Well, back in LR, I saw the files exposed at around 800-1600. I got good money for that camera on the bay.

      As far as the dust issue with the GR, I for one find it unacceptable and won’t get complacent with a camera made as nice as that. I’m hoping for a new version that resolves the issue.

      Have a good weekend….don

  5. Hi Don,

    I that really bad the dust issue on the Ricoh GR, as in you’ll eventually get it? I had one that I returned because it kept freezing all the time, to the point it did not unfreeze. Loved to ergonomics and B&W, but I’m reluctant to spend 750 on a unreliable camera.

    What do you think of the m4/3 at Inspired Eye, btw? I never read any comments on them. You guys seem to like the smaller sensors as much as, or even more, than the ape-c, for the grittiness of the street they render – as far as I understand. Aren’t them m4/3 a nice compromise of quality, compactness, and ‘organic-ness”. The Lumix GM1 looks like a perfect street camera, even the GX7 slightly smaller than the X100S.


    1. Talia,
      Agreed on the GR unfortunately. I was the admin a for a few years and I tried most of the cameras. I have to say that it’s the most interesting format going. Optical quality of even the lower rated lenses is very good and the higher rated lenses is excellent. The cameras have evolved to a point of amazement and performance that inspires wanting to work. I probably won’t go back to M43 format but I do respect those that hang in there.
      Even when I was deeply entrenched in the format, I preferred APS-C for many reasons.

      I would strongly suggest you join the forum at Good luck in your quest.

  6. Hi there Don. Thought you might be interested to know that William Penn lived in Rickmansworth, my town in the UK.

    1. Treve, all Pennsylvanians are aware of the fact that Uncle Willie lived in the Old Country, in a town named … Rickmansworth.
      That’s why we placed him so high on top of City Hall so he could see his way home.

      So because of him, you and I are connected. So when you come to visit Philadelphia, we will hold a spot for you on top of City hall to make you feel at home.
      Have a good day…..don

  7. don,
    you guys are really growing on me, i have to say. i’m a mostly nature-shooter. my street photos are usually trash cans, windows, and litter compositions, but if i don’t take my camera with me when i walk to the market i always regret it. i am addicted to my holga lens on my pentax k7. they deserve a name as a combination, but did frankenstein have one? – not sure. it’s not stealth, but the litter doesn’t flinch, either.

    my wife is mexican, not russian, but i get those looks too. (“do you need another camera?!”) i try to intercept the postal carrier (mail-woman doesn’t sound right) even if it’s just a used filter coming…

    i found a similar love letter to the grd4 that i thought you might like at:

    sincere regards to you and penelope,
    marke blue

    1. Mark, thanks for stopping by.

      The common denominator is not, Russian, Mexican, or anything else…I think it’s ‘WIFE’. There are those amongst us and others too, that think naming a camera is more of a joke than anything serious. For those shooters, my heart goes out to them as they have lost the sense joy and humor. For me it’s the entire connection to photography and my place within it.

      Frankenstein, was that his name, I always wondered about that……

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