I own 3 Leica cameras. I bought my first in 2010. A Leica M6 film camera with everything you need on it. It has a built in light meter, interchangeable lens system and shoots lovely lovely film. I bought it because it won’t age so in 30 years time I’ll still be learning from it whereas everything else will be virtual reality drone cameras. I’m not very good with this camera. I guess I simply don’t know how to really use it so I use it like a digital camera. The results are bad because the way I use digital is to take a photo and then correct my mistake. Read More
I didn’t blog about this last year because I didn’t really blog much last year. I was busy rebuilding my house. But anyway. Back in July 2017 I bought a Leica m240 with a 35 and a 50mm lens. I felt that I’d reached a point where I understood why I wanted one. The Leica M10 made me trust that Leica would continue making cameras like this for the rest of my life. I wanted a simple uncomplicated camera for daily and travel use that would be with me for my life. It’s a camera system that I can switch between film and digital too. I think it’s a fantastic (and stupidly expensive) setup. I use it like an analogue camera with an optical not digital viewfinder and full manual controls.
I’m still learning. It’s hard work. I’ve got a video in the works on where I’m at with this camera but for now here’s where I was. Read More
It’s been 2 months since I moved my studio from a space in Liverpool to a space in my house and because of that I rarely get the ferry any more. I think I need to do Ferry Friday or something. Have one day a week when I work from a cafe in Liverpool because I do miss the walk to the ferry and the ride over. It’s not such an issue this time of year because with the clocks changing we lose the amazing sunrise / sunsets and the ferry gets busier. Those winter months though. They’re the absolute best.
It’s been a while since I went to Chinese New Year as a normal every day human. I’m often commissioned to photograph it so it was nice to experience it in a more casual light. This meant I was free to take any photos with any camera and so I took my Leica’s in an attempt to better understand them. They are interesting beasts.
Looking at my results in Lightroom and I took 351 photos in total. After my review process I ended up with 19 from the Leica Q and 6 from the Leica M240. I constantly ask my self was the M240 worth it? I haven’t found an answer to that yet. But that’s a discussion for another day.
So. Chinese New Year. I’ve been visiting for a while and I had hoped that armed with new cameras I would produce fresh new photography. What I found was that I so easily slipped into old habits. Get close up to the main thing and photograph the action. I was basically doing my job. It’s good that I can easily slip into that mode when needed but I didn’t need to. I wanted to do something new. I bought my flash as I’m really enjoying using flash outdoors now but I just couldn’t get enough light from it. It wasn’t until later on that I noticed the darn diffuser was on. No wonder I wasn’t getting much light. Still, the shots when that worked looked good. I discuss the process and results of photographing Chinese New Year more with images in my latest vlog.
Chinese New Year in Liverpool has always been a crowd pleaser and this year the council and the Chinese Community really went all in. I missed the light up dragons in the evening (late lunch break) but they had light up dragons! That’s very cool. The whole event was really a step up from last year and very well done. The fireworks off the arch were pretty amazing too. I think, for me, I preferred the projection display from last year but that could simply be because it was the first time I’d seen such a thing there so I’m a bit more attached to that. Either way it’s great seeing this sort of event in town and I look forward to next year.
I recently rewatched this incredible video on swimming naked in the lakes of Wales. This is an amazing video for many reasons. The cinematography is fantastic. The story is really interesting. Everyone involved has done a great job. But most of all the idea of not only swimming in nature, cos like what else is there with you (fish, monsters, fish monsters, monster fish, captain birdseyes rotting corpse) but doing it naked too. Trout todger is a serious condition that affects many men.
I imagine you get in and its cold. Colder than the pool I’m used to. It forces you to work up a sweat to stay warm. It forces you to get the job done and then after relax a bit in the calm surroundings. It forces you to toughen up. There’s a part of me that likes that idea. Oh I know it sounds banana pants crazy town. You’re plum naked swimming in an ice cold lake. But take that in for a moment. You’re plum naked and you’re swimming in a lake in the middle of Wales with an incredible view. How many others can say they do that? You’re doing that. Take it in. It’s just you vs what you can’t do.
What else can you do? If you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything. A phrase I grew up hearing a lot as a kid, because I watched Back to the Future time after time. A phrase I never really really took to heart. I got it, sure, but did I ever really do it? Well this level of underachieving isn’t going to achieve itself now is it?
I doubt, seriously doubt I’ll be doing this any time soon. I’m 40 next year and as I get older I do think about the things I’m not doing a lot more because I’ll be 80 one day and what will I have done? I’ve met some amazing 80 year olds who have told me some amazing stories. I’d like to be 80 and have done things other than wait outside John Lewis for the iPhone X. My parents both climbed Snowdon before they were 30. I “climbed” Moel Famu recently, which is where the photos accompanying this article came from. I loved it. It was refreshing to go somewhere that wasn’t actively being Instagrammed. The highlights of our Iceland trip were those moments. My wife and I having an adventure that was incredibly anxiety driven but had moments where I felt like I could wrestle the arms of a gundark.
So in summary. I think there’s a part of me that would love to have the mental strength of this women to not only swim in a lake in Wales, which would be scary enough, but also to do it naked. How many things are you comfortable doing naked? I doubt that list has swim in cold lakes in Wales while YouTubers get b-roll footage. Massive respect to her.