So my girlfriend and I were camping near Death Valley over Thanksgiving break in a town called Tecopa. They have a hot spring under the town and, unlike the rest of drought-stricken California, all the hot water you care to bathe in. We were camping in a tent, but there were trailers and rooms to rent on the property, and four to five other guests besides us. The communal fire-pit was a great feature, and you never knew what would happen one night to the next once the drinks and the conversation started flowing. The first night, a guest showed up with a cello and played for us all. It was fairly magical to hear the warmth of the strings while reflected firelight flickered in the finish of his instrument.
Our last night there, and relevant to the purpose of this forum, I started up a conversation with a young man who turned out to be quite a photography bug. Looking at the desert night sky, I happened to mention "astrophotography" and the next thing I knew, he came back with a Canon 1Dx and a 200mm f2.8 IS mounted and we took turns shooting the full moon. When I went back to stirring dinner on the cookstove, he went back to his camera bag and returned with a Leica 240 and what I believe was a Chinese Noctilux knock-off. (I do remember that it was not rangefinder coupled, and that I had to use liveview to focus it.) I mentioned to him that I used to shoot weddings with M6's, and we then got into a lengthy conversation about film vs. digital imaging. So lengthy that my girlfriend shot me one of her, "Oh brother, he's geeking out, again" looks.
About this time, I started thinking that the guy had a lot of money tied up in gear for it to be just a hobby. I probe a bit, and he tells me that it's not just a hobby; he's an MIT-trained engineer in charge of camera incubation at Apple! About this time the others were pestering us to stop being geeks and join them in the mud baths, so we dropped the conversation and obliged them. I came away feeling slightly more optimistic about the future of photography knowing a young engineer as talented and curious about photography as he is is in charge of a fairly sizable slice of the digital imaging world.
Anyway, hope this is of interest. Here's a link to his personal website: mit
...and here's an obligatory "desert camping" pic from me...