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 M-P, 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

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.

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

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

Fascination

This little fella is a rescue dog from eastern Europe and his previous life was to be tied up outside all day. Now living in the UK, with long walks everyday, everything is curious, fascinating or puzzling for this little dog. He stood staring at us for a good couple of minutes while we chatted to his new owner.

Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 using my Weston Euro Master V meter and taken on Fujifilm C200 film.

Testing, testing.

As many of you know I don’t often shot colour C41 or even E6 films, which for the life of me I don’t honestly remember when I last shot slide film. Having taken some colour images in Honfleur, France and watching Youtube videos, like by the German photographer Robin Schimko who sometimes uses colour film for street photography, I’m coming around to the idea of shooting a little more colour in my photographic life.

Kodak Pro Image 100 film

So I thought next year on our next trip to Normandy I try and use only colour film, just carrying my Leica M3 and Summicron 50mm. There is a possibility I might have a Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8 lens as well in my camera bag if I can find a good example. I have both the Summicron 35mm lens plus two 50mm Summicron’s and for a long time now have been thinking about getting a Leica 90mm lens. Don’t not think I’ll be buying a Summicron 90mm non APO or APO versions as although it’s extremely good lens, it is enormous! The Elmarit 90mm f2.8 is far smaller with a E39 filter thread as my other Leica lenses and having seen the specifications on the Summicron 90mm lens I think will be like shooting a rangefinder with a house brick attached to the front of the camera. This lens weights in at 17.1 oz or 484 grams compared to the Tele-Elmarit of 7.957 oz./225.6g

Ken Rockwell review of the Summicron 90mm lens https://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/90mm-f2-m.htm


Onto the results of using Kodak Pro Image film, in a funny way to me this film look reminds me of the old Kodachrome in these pictures below. All pictures have been shot with no filters, shot with different light conditions and where exposed by using +1 stop with my Weston Euro Master lightmeter.

Click to enlarge images.

I used various C41 films over the years, I think mostly either AGFA Vista 200, Fujifilm Superia 200 or Kodak Color Plus 200 but like many I miss the good old days being able to purchase reasonably priced 100 ASA colour print films. There are of course a few options on the market, Kodak Professional Ektar 100 is a great film but the colours look a little rich for my taste, Kodak Portra 160 Film for a pack of five is twice the price of the Pro Image film pack. Another option would be to use a slide film like Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100 but the price at £15 or $19 a roll with the processing cost on top seems somewhat high and to me looks as it would be better used for high end portraits or landscape images as would any of the dwindling offerings from Fuji’s Fujichrome stable. 

Recently I purchase a five pack of Kodak’s Pro Image 100 film and am pretty pleased with the results of this first test roll. I don’t do reviews but this film I found to give a very good render of all the colours I observed when shooting this film. The only issue I found was during scanning with my Nikon Coolscan V scanner was I did find the images appear with a blue cast and never noticed this with either Agfa Vista or Kodak’s Color Plus films. This was corrected easily with Gimp 2.8 and the only other step I had to undertake was a little straightening on some of the pictures.

One simple click of Gimp’s white balance control cured the blue cast.

All images taken on my Leica M3 with the Summicron 50mm f/2 on Kodak Pro Image 100 film in October of this year.

Development of this film was done by https://www.ag-photolab.co.uk/

Robin Schimko website: https://www.fotodesign-rs.de/

Fathers & Sons

Normandy, France August 2020.

Originally I shot the image for the reflections in the sand. Having processed the picture, not only have I captured the two men and the two little boys, the composition of the image is also most near perfect with the water running out across the sand out to the sea.

I’m pretty certain these are all members of the same family as further up the beach was mother and grandmother, in what was a glorious summers day at Lion sur Mer seafront.

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

Spot of lunch

Lion sur Mer, Normandy France.

I am pleased with this shot, it was taken from the hip while walking past this couple eating their lunch along the seafront on what was a very hot day in August. This negative had to be cropped in Gimp 2.1 to straighten the composition but that was about all this picture needed to complete the final image.

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

Outside

I shot this during my allotted exercise with my dog Charlie. At this time of the morning there’s a few people out along this stretch of seafront but there is no one around, no cyclists, runners or other dog walkers. A very strange feeling being alone, me my dog and my Leica camera. As we are only venture out and not go very far from home, it has made it an quite an interesting exercise trying to find subjects to photograph.

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Leica M3, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Ilford HP5 plus film expired 2006 and push one stop.

Seafront Parking

Hope everyone keeping well out there.

While out with the dog before the current curfew, I heard children playing on the beach below the seawall. It was then I noticed the two scooters and a child’s bike resting against the railings.

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Taken on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 50mm f/2 and shot on Fomapan 100 @ 800 ISO using sunny sixteen rule at Minster seafront, Kent England.