The Boathouse Cafe

It was a very still, cold morning when I viewed this scene over Barton’s Point Coastal Park near where we live.

Still dark when I started my walk with my dog, I picked up the camera with the thought of you never know. Not many people around at all but by the time I’d walked round to the location of the cafe, the sun was just starting to light the area enough and seeing the reflection over the lake, so I decided it might be worth a shot. One problem, the water was like glass, no movement and was looking perfect, too perfect in fact, that I wanted some moment on the water, just a ripple or two. It was then I noticed on the far right of the Cafe was a group of Ducks resting on the bank. Shame I thought, the ducks not in the water, if only they’d swim into the lake. Sitting beside waiting patiently was my dog Charlie, then a yap from him to throw his tennis ball. Quick thinking and not wanting being cruel to the birds, using his dog ball thrower and aimed the tennis ball in the direction of the resting ducks. I was no where near …my aim is rubbish, but it did have the desired effect as Charlie ran over to retrieve his ball the ducks jumped into the water and started swimming towards the centre of the lake …yay!

Charlie.

I shot the image at 1600 ISO and I have to admit I like the grain effect from the digital image (Sorry peeps, the word ‘noise’ doesn’t sound right to me, so grain it is!) along with the digital yellow filter gave a very pleasing result.

Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, at Barton’s Point Coastal Park, Isle of Sheppey, England. October 2021

Autumn View

I thought I had missed this picture when looked at the screen after taking it.

The sunlight was just breaking through the mist over the fields highlighting the dew across the grass and some people we know with their dogs walked into the frame, perfect I thought. Reviewing the image over a cup of tea at the local cafe, all I could see was just a two tone black rectangle and I felt sure I’d got the exposure wrong after which of course the scene had long since gone. Thankfully on the computer back home with a light adjustment in Gimp, I was able to bring the image out and found there was a lot more detail than I first thought. Reminded me of the occasions you get a film negative which on first sight seemed very dark and overexposed until you scan the frame.

Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, at Barton’s Point Coastal Park, Isle of Sheppey, England. October 2021

Grandfathers Pride

Came across this little scene of the grandchild in the push chair outside the grandparents caravan in Barton’s Point Coastal Park.

My wife was with me at the time and answered little one with a hello, without thinking I took this image. I didn’t compose the picture or really take in the scene properly. A few days later review my images I noticed the dog in the background. I don’t ever remember seeing a dog there at the time. Without the dog to the left of this picture looking over as well I don’t think the image would have worked somehow.

Taken with the cameras digital yellow filter and a B&W 2 X Neutral density filter does give the image a vignette look which I quite like. Only post processing has been a bit of dodge and burn on the grandfather in the doorway.

Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, at Isle of Sheppey, England. September 2021

No Fear

Came across this little chap along Minster Leas seafront. Just look into those eyes, absolutely no fear of me or my camera!

Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, taken at Minster Leas, Isle of Sheppey, England. September 2021

Street Portrait

A couple of years ago I dismissed digital photography as not being ‘real’ photography. My perception of digital was all wrong, believing that the digital photography was just computer manipulation and could never replace film was a very naive perspective on my part.


Now having used the M-P for a few weeks, I’m beginning understand where I was so wrong. Few years ago I owned a crop sensor Nikon D7000 and just didn’t get on with the camera or understand the controls let alone how use the it creatively. My images back then were to say the least, were terrible, so I sold the camera and returned to film photography. While I know manipulation in the digital can be done, I learned the format doesn’t have to be or need to use such techniques to get a pleasing image. To be perfectly honest this dim witted fool would have a clue or any idea of how to manipulate a digital image anyway.

It’s helped by the fact the Leica controls are, how should I say, to me are normal. Using the digital Leica like it’s film counterpart has helped a great deal and limiting my post processing to what I would otherwise use for negative post production. By sticking to just cropping, brightness and contrast editing plus some dodge and burn has not only won me over but made this very enjoyable experience. To only worry about composition, not be concerned what the camera is doing, which is probably where I went wrong the first time round with the Nikon.

I found these two young ladies in Canterbury and asked if they won’t mind a letting me take a street portrait of them. The jewellery and tattoos lent themselves to a black and white image.

Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, taken in Canterbury, England. September 2021

Wisdom

Last Friday I spent a day street shooting, while the wife was shopping in Canterbury, England. Standing on the junction of Burgate and Butchery Lane near the Cathedral, this elderly gentleman walked up, stopped, looked up Butchery Lane, I focused. Then he turned to look back down Burgate, just as I pressed the shutter. I was for a moment concerned he might be lost or a little confused but then a woman called to him.

Luckily for me I had focused the Summilux spot on with aperture wide open and later viewing the image on the computer, to my amazement the picture is pin sharp. Indeed I’ve had to do very little to the picture other than a bit of dodge and burn on the buildings behind plus add my copyright at the bottom.

This for me, this has got to be my best image of this year so far.

Click to enlarge

Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, using a B+W Neutral Density 2 Stop filter.

Folkestone

Thoroughly enjoyed being out shooting with the Leica M-P and the Summilux today. I had not been to Folkestone, England in some twenty five years and it has somewhat changed. Last time I been there it was a very run down seaside town, with little or no investment or jobs after the demise of the ferry service to France was closed down in 2000 and the Channel tunnel which had opened six years before. Today it’s a very different place to town I knew.

Although very harsh light all day, I made this work in my favour and managed to get some great street shots and this was after I’d realised I had left my Weston lightmeter at home, so leaving me with no choice but to use the Leica’s own built in meter. Think I’m starting to get the hang of the of the M-P now.

I even got some abuse from a young woman who told me I was breaking the law taking pictures of people in the street. I do love these individuals who like quoting laws that don’t exist in the UK!

Walking along this shore path made out of old railway sleepers located on Folkestone seafront I was looking at the light was shining off them. Just waiting for the right moment, this girl walked pasted me and managed to catch her in the 1.4 depth of field.

Coffee Folkes

Along the old harbour railway station this coffee vendor was parked between a gap under the old railway station canopy with sun lighting up his auto rickshaw. Little tricky getting the metering right but I got there in the end.

Art

Out of tune

Since last being in Folkestone, there’s a lot of art work around the town now. This one is by Norwegian artist A K Dolven called ‘Out of tune’

Quote from the Creative Folkestone website

“It features a 16th-century tenor bell from Scraptoft Church in Leicestershire, which had been removed for not being in tune with the others. It is suspended from a steel cable strung between two 20m high steel beams, placed 30m apart”

…must make a terrible noise on a stormy night!

Reading the news

There was two men on this bench but this larger gentleman appeared in the frame, sat down virtually pushing the other guy off the seat. Then started reading the other man’s newspaper.

Dots & spots

The above image is a crop from a landscape picture, annoyingly other people kept walking into the frame …hard life being a street photographer! This been a film negative I don’t think I would have got away with such a crop without losing detail.

The 50mm Summilux and digital imaging shines through again. If you can get your hands on an example if only for a day, I highly recommend you give it a try. It’s sharpness even wide open is unbelievable. The harbour shot below was taken wide open as was the other images in this post.

House boat

Folkestone harbour …don’t ask!


If your ever visiting the seaside town of Folkestone, I can highly recommend ‘Marleys’ café for a great cuppa at only £2.00!

Marleys

Also back down the same street there’s Nik & Trick Photo Services store. Well worth a visit, cameras, film and darkroom supplies. Link below.


All images taken with my Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, using a B+W Neutral Density 2 Stop filter.

Final image at ‘Marleys’ taken with my Samsung A12 phone.

Nik & Trick Services Photographiques

The revealing tide

I took this picture of a father and sons collecting their crab pots from the receding tide. This was two days ago on a cloudy, very dull looking the morning giving a almost winter feel to this image but later on Sundays weather would turn out fine and bright day. Shot wide open at f/1.4 with the Summilux 50mm lens once the picture is enlarged, the detail in the middle of this image I’m really impressed with.

Click to enlarge picture

Cropped top and bottom, it almost to me gives the image a look of being taken with a wide angle lens but without the distortion. Here’s the original image below before post processing.

Minster on Sea, England. September 2021

Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, using a B+W Neutral Density 2 Stop filter and digital yellow filter.

The storyteller

I was lucky with this shot. I’d taken a few images of people sitting outside this public house in Faversham, England on market day and as the sun had made an appearance I couldn’t clearly see what I had captured. Later, having got home I found this one which I thought was ideal with the gentlemen’s mouth wide open to the right and the woman covering her eyes from the sunlight.

I shot the images with the Summilux wide open, ISO 200 using my Leica M-P (Typ 240) and using a B+W Neutral Density 2 x Stop filter.

Faversham Market, England. September 2021

Suncream

I just love the way street subjects get distracted by my dog Charlie. In this shot he is down to my left side. Charlie has got to know me well that when I stop and hold funny black box to my face he knows he’s to stop. He’s very patient, he waits and sometimes wag’s his tail, which is very useful for distracting people. Perhaps it should be a tip for anyone starting out in street photography, take your dog with you!

Taken on my Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens and using a B+W Neutral Density 2 Stop filter.

Faversham Market, England. September 2021