Monday, December 20, 2010

Miami On The Bay

Ho, ho, ho, and a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka,  Good Kwanza, Feliz Navidad, Happy New Year and Feliz Ano Nuevo.  Have I left anyone out?

For all of you in the frozen north, this is Miami in December.  The photo of Biscayne Bay viewed through a park bench was shot in Alice Wainright Park in the middle of a beautiful Miami winter's day with the temperature hovering around the low 70's.  Also, for those of you keeping score, I shot it with my Leica M8. 

This photo is available for purchase in sizes up to 20x30" on my webpage by clicking here.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Leica M8, redux

As I posted yesterday, I just recently purchased a Leica M8 with a Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 Nokton lens.  I'm still deciding whether to keep it or not. I took this photo yesterday and just love it.  I think it's got a real vintage look, almost like a 1970's Rolling Stone article.  I love how the Nokton paints the bokeh in the background.  Some reviews I've read are a bit critical of the Nokton, saying that it doesn't render the bokeh in the same creamy manner that Leica lenses do, describing the bokeh as harsh.  I wouldn't describe it as such.  I think it's more shimmering and it gives the photo character.  My Canon lenses render creamy backgrounds, but none shimmers and adds character like this Nokton.  

Auto focus, though, is still an on-going battle.  After ten years of shooting Canon 1 Series cameras with lightning-quick, razor-sharp auto focus, focusing by hand is a slow and painstaking process.  Henri Cartier-Bresson is famous for stating that photographers needed to anticipate, wait for and seize the "decisive moment."  I doubt he would have felt the same had he carried a state-of-the art Canon 1 Series instead of a manual focus Leica.  Just auto focus and squeeze off four or five shots.  The "decisive moment" will be in there somewhere.  Not so with the Leica.  Each shot is essentially "hand-made".

Still, I like the camera.  It shoots so differently from any other camera I own or have shot in the past few years that I feel it will cause me to stretch my boundaries as a photographer and artist.  In the end, that can only be good.  For now it stays. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Leica M8

Just recently purchased a Leica M8 with a Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 Nokton lens.  I'm still deciding whether to keep it or not.  After a decade shooting top-of-the-line Canon 1 series cameras with razor-sharp auto-focus and primo L lenses, going back to manual focus is a bit disconcerting.  Still, I'm very intrigued by this new addition.

This is one of the first shots, taken of friends while out at dinner.  Love the bokeh background, some say it's a bit jarring and not as creamy or smooth as Leica lenses, but I like it.  The lens renders photos in a really classic way, much like an old model from the 40's or 50's.  I took some shots today that I'd swear look as if they were taken in the early 70's.  I'll post those tomorrow. 

For now, the Leica stays.  Who knows, may be tomorrow I'll vote it off the island, but don't really think so.  Besides, it just looks sooooo cool on my shoulder.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Barcelona Street Scenes

Located directly on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, Barcelona has a rich history dating back at least 2,000 years when it gained prominence as a Roman town under its old name, Barcino. Spain's second largest and arguably most beautiful city "is full of what European cities are known for (outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums, and churches) and is fantastic for walking with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations.