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


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.

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.

Fishing on the quay

Honfleur, France – August 2020.

I was rather amused when I saw these two elderly gentlemen sitting at the end of this quay in Honfleur fishing. Not only fishing among the idle fishing trawlers and trawlermen’s equipment along the quayside but in a area they were sitting, I believe is supposed to be off limits to the general public!

…also think they looked a little old to be trawlermen.

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

Thoughts

I love this picture, it has so much within it, her mobile phone she is texting on, her face staring into space as she pulses between sentences and the glasses at the bottom of her nose over the face mask. I took this shot by the same vintage carousel in my image ‘Merry go round‘ Honfleur, France.

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

Boys & Girls

Honfleur, France August 2020.

Street image of tourists and cyclists on Rue Haute, Honfleur Normandy. Two men on bikes with the girls walking the opposite direction made for a perfect shot.


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

Merry go round

Honfleur, France August 2020.

Another very warm day in Honfleur. While the children were been boarded onto the vintage carousel, I was watching the parents reactions though my Leica. I love the way this man is watching and waiting for proceedings to start, arm over his head, wearing the ubiquitous face mask under his chin.

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

Postcard from Honfleur

I took this shot of Honfleur harbour purely for my own use as a desktop wallpaper for the computer, then decided to share with all of you because my wife and I love Honfleur, but not only that to show the harbour town houses which as you see are very tall.

In some case seven stories high townhouses, many of these buildings are very old dating anything from the 16th to 18th century and is a tourist hot spot in the summer. The streets and harbour front are lined with café and restaurants with other street hiding hidden gems like Saint-Catherine’s Church which dated from the 15th century.

If you are find yourself visiting Normandy, Honfleur is a must for a photographers for harbour views, scenes and street photography.

There’s even a very large ferris wheel which my Mrs just had to have a ride on and no you wouldn’t get me on it …I cannot stand heights!

All images taken with my Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 and Summicron 35mm f/2 lenses on Agfa Vista 200 colour film.

Look outside

Le cafe du Port, Honfleur France. I took this picture because of the gentlemen on the right, he kept glancing outside the window. Whether he was waiting for someone either that he seen something I don’t know but it made for a great street shot all the same.


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

Browsing windows

For the foreseeable future street photography not only looks different but I’m find more difficult with social distancing. You move in for the shot and because people are now more aware of someone standing closer to them, I found they tend to move out the way or look round at you.


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