Shining through

I’ve shot this sort of image before but this time the clouds where just right covering the whole of the sky giving very soft low light when sunlight wasn’t breaking through the cloud bank.

Picture was taken the following morning after Storm ‘Evert’

I just love the way our Met Office has for the past couple of years have to name these weather fronts we have from time to time here in the UK. Think they’ve got jealous of the United States and other parts of the world with the cyclone, hurricane and typhoon names.

Taken with my Summicron-M 50mm f/2, digital yellow filter preset and shot in Minster on Sea, England.


Colour saturation worries.

Finding my feet with my new Leica MP and I have been a little concerned about colour images being too rich. I discover there two colour film presets built in to the camera. Not wanting to get too deep into digital manipulation of any kind the original JPG image below was taken without ‘smooth’ film setting. This might look ok to some but me looks wrong, missing detail and doesn’t represent what observed this morning when I shot this image.

On the one hand I wonder if this is cheating but on the other realise it a get way of toning down the colours which would be in my eyes over saturated. Shot with the film Smooth setting, I still had to bring down the levels within Gimp to get the picture below just right though.

Taken with the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH at Bartons Point Coastal Park.


Reading the Leica M-P operating manual while walking around and using this camera I feel like the German officer played by Gert Frobe in 1956 film Those Magnificent Men
in their Flying Machines

In the film having never flown a flying machine, he said “there is nothing a German officer cannot do” …later you see him reading the aircraft flying instructions while flying the aeroplane!

Image courtesy of forgottenfilmcast.wordpress.com

Canada

Mote Park, Maidstone England. July 2021

Great day for light yesterday. Very stormy with broken sunshine here in the UK, some places like London had localised flooding but for us not much rain to speak of. Walking around Mote Park, Maidstone I found unfortunately there was very few people visiting and so I had to find different subjects to shoot with my new Leica M-P. Walking up from the boathouse in the background of the picture above I spotted the Canada Geese were standing in a row along the lake edge. Walking slowly around so not to disturb them I want to capture image with the storm clouds in the background but as I approached the birds to get closer with the Summicron 35mm many birds jumped in the water and paddled away leaving only half the amount of birds. In my mind I did wanted to get down to their level but with a lot of hissing I thought better of the idea …must carry my other lenses with me!


Digital filters

All went well with this shot even managing to use the built digital yellow filter. I’m half and half on using the built in digital filters, while the jury is still out on this idea seems to work well though. I would be interested to here other peoples thoughts and ideas on using this type of built in filter, maybe any pros or cons there are on using digital built in camera filters.


After a great morning shooting when I finally got home I noticed I’d still had forgotten to manually add the 35mm Summicron which is not a coded lens. May have to consider having my Leica lenses 6 bit coded. Final image is crop from the original as to the right of the picture was half a bird leaving the frame. Post processing was kept to a minimum as usual. Picture was shot in JPG, with a little dodge and burn mainly on the birds, plus the added frame by using Gimp 2.8.

Image taken on my Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH

First shots

It’s been a few days and I am struggling a little to get the settings right with my new Leica M-P. Keep forgetting to press ‘set’ on the back of the camera and finding the images are not black and white, forgetting I can change the ISO mid shoot or I’ve not used the manual setting for my Summicron 35mm or my 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit lenses nether of which is a non 6 bit coded lenses.

Early days I suppose, other than my user errors I cannot fault the camera.

This one of the first pictures I shot Dahlia in our new garden. Taken using the Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 hand held, with Weston Euromaster lightmeter. I then find out having read in the instruction manual that this camera actually has a spot meter. Think I’ll still carry my Weston lightmeter regardless. You know how it is, your dying to use your new camera when really you should sit down and read the camera instruction manual first. Still all was not lost, my wife likes the image enough it’s now used as a wallpaper on our desktop PC.

When I can get the hang of this thing, it is really something! Think it’s going to make street photography easier, both to shot and post process. Above taken at Minster Leas, England using the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH.

One decision I have made is to solely shoot JPG files. As I’ve said before, I don’t alter images very much nor use digital manipulation so I cannot see any reason to use RAW files. Most of my work is going to be black and white anyway and reading reviews it’s suggested that JPG files a better for monochrome pictures particularly for street images.

Image taken at Minster Leas, England. July 2021 with the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH


Leica M3

Just after we moved into our new house my wife was given some flowers, pink and white lily’s to be exact. Having a moment to spare I used the M3 plus the Summicron duel range 50mm and this was the result of my efforts. Not bad considering the Fuji Color 200 was from my late father’s refrigerated film stock and was dated 03/2002.

Natural light and exposure taken with my Weston Euromaster lightmeter. Film development was done by AG Photographic lab.

I suppose I’d better think about changing my blogs name now seeing as I’m using digital as well as film.

Changes

Things change, everything in our lives seems to have changed one way or another. Photography, particular street photography for me has changed in the last 16 months, a laugh, smiles or talking are hidden by masks and so my photographic life has put on the back burner these last seven months. The first three months of this year both my wife and I had a self imposed isolation at home, neither of us being the most healthiest of people. My wife Helen is a larger lady with related problems. Myself, I’ve had pneumonia twice before, an ex-smoker and was recommended by our Doctor if possible, that we both kept away from others. Other than going out with the dog for a walk, I find myself no longer carrying my camera because everyone is wearing masks, no one is either getting close or even socialising for the fear of the virus and restrictions on any unnecessary travel, my photography shutdown.

I’ve also had to change since moving into our new home. Developing films in the new house isn’t very easy as it was in the old property. The bathroom, (also known as the washroom in the colonies) in the new house is in fact just a shower room with a very small hand basin, not even big enough to get a Patterson developing tank in and so it’s the kitchen then. While my wife is pretty easy going with most matters there’s a line been drawn …I can, but only on a Saturday morning while she’s out doing her volunteering job. There’s no room in the new home although bigger house, for a dedicated developing room. Also with work commitments and continuing work for yours truly to do around the house, I’m finding very difficult to allocate time for film developing but hopefully as this latest lockdown ends I’ll be able to start getting out shooting.

Having time think while driving the truck at work has given to the idea that maybe I should think about using a digital camera, no developing, just upload to the computer …but then I would dismissed the idea a number of times before, cost, new system, not understand what all the buttons, knobs do, file systems and sizes, finding my mind going in circles back to where I started to the original answer, I don’t need one.

I’m not a technophobe, I am just don’t like a lot of unnecessary controls and features that I’ll never use or just confuse the hell out of my simple brain! For me a camera needs just three things, an aperture dial, manual focus and shutter speed dial and this why I couldn’t get on with digital cameras in the past. I’m not interested in noise, histograms or any of this digital manipulation, a bit of dodge and burn, cloning out any spots and adding a frame, then yes.

Then I was reading Thorsten von Overgaard blog about using a Leica digital rangefinders which I know these cameras are very good but getting one of Leica bodies are somewhat expensive. In the back of my mind is also the worry of the electronics with second hand cameras around the £3000 to £4000 mark which could become an expensive problem. Further on, his website has a link to Thorsten’s Youtube videos, one is about buying and using Leica M9, M240 and the new wallet busting Leica M10 in which he mentions the price of second hand cameras. He also goes on to explain about the simplicity of the camera menus which from what I can understand seem no worse than my Samsung phone.

So we come to today, after a lot of research, I decided on a Leica M (Typ-240) body which now retail for around £2500 for in good condition. This went slightly awry when I discovered the Leica shop Mayfair in London. It have never occurred to me that they sell second hand Leica cameras, let alone ex-demo cameras. Having a little money from my late fathers estate I made a telephone call, card in hand. I’m now the owner of a ex-demonstration Leica M-P (Typ-240) complete with it’s box, papers and associated accessories, plus 12 months warranty as it’s classed as a new camera still. Don’t ask how much!

I’ll be selling my M4-2 body to off set the dent in my bank account a little but will continue to use from time to time my Leica M3 with it’s Summicron 50mm duel range lens.

Just hope this new acquisition works out for me …wish me luck.


All images taken with my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and shot on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.

The M3 image was taken with a Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on Kodak Tri-X film.


Thorsten Von Overgaard website link below

https://www.overgaard.dk/thorsten-overgaard-photography-lounge.html


Among the birds

Arromanches, France – August 2020.

These people had been out sea fishing and were just returning their boats ashore. Apart from the reflections I was taken by the amount of Herring Gulls swimming around them hoping for any scraps. The image is cropped from the original as I only had the 35mm Summicron to hand that day.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800

Tails wagging

Honfleur, France – August 2020.

One of those days that was really far too hot to have dogs outside really as the temperature was up in the 90’s. Anyway this fellow had spotted my dog and along with the girl at the back of the group peering over at him made for a interesting street scene at one of the many Cafés in Honfleur.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.

Retirement

Taken on another very warm day in Arromanches-les-Bains, France, 2020

Moments after I took the shot our dog Charlie barge in to make a fuss and luckily for me they where very accommodating to him but didn’t notice me taking pictures.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800

The Clarinetist

Must apologise to people who follow me, I been so snowed under with the house renovation work and moving that I lost touch with time.


Honfleur, France – August 2020.


Funny how you remember days like this one. My wife and I where trying to find somewhere to eat out on the harbour front in Honfleur and with Covid restrictions relaxed in France last August, you wouldn’t have realised there was any social distancing rules going on at all! Every outside table was full and with the temperature up in the nineties, we really wanted to be outdoors as many of these great restaurants unfortunately do not have any air conditioning. Making our way through the masses, trying to keep our distance I could hear a what I thought might be a Clarinet being played and eventually found the person standing in the middle of the street playing a very soulful tune.

I had to wait for the right moment to take this image as a some ladies with shopping bags kept standing beside him chatting (bottom right you can still see a bag) but not only that the little girl at the table behind was distracted by his music and looking around to see.

Only after I’d taken the picture did wife point out his face mask below his chin, which for my adds to the image the history of when this was shot.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.

Messages

Bayeux, France. August 2020

I do like trawling through previous images I have taken but dismissed at the time. Looking at this picture, lord only knows why I discounted this one, I think flipping through the scans I failed to notice the reason I had taken the picture in the first place. Not only the two girls looking at the phone but up on the balcony above them was an lady doing the same. Did think about cropping the image to portrait, maybe some of you would of done, maybe it should be. Either way I’m happy with the picture final look.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.

Eastern Patterns

Sheerness, England – February 2021

Morning after Storm Darcy, aka ‘The Beast from East 2’ a cold front eastern Europe and Russia. I’m going start a new club called the ‘Frozen Leica Society’ because oh boy was I so cold my hands started to hurt in the -7°c wind chill …We English are not use to this sort of thing you know!

Anyway I shot this picture purely because of the pattern of the snow fall along the seawall. Later on, further along the front in the distance you can see the waters edge looks very white and as it turned out the sea was starting to freeze.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Fomapan 100 Classic film at an ISO of 800