Tag: leica

The first week with my Leica m240

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.

My initial thought was it’s heavier than I expected. Heavier than the Leica Q but a good heavy that’ll take some knocks. I love the look from it. The colours you get are wonderful. But it’s so hard to use. I really wasn’t prepared for how hard it was to use. I grew up using film cameras but in such a basic way and they were all autofocus. My photography career has been with run and gun set it on auto digital cameras. So trying to nail the focus at f/1.4 is an experience. In time I hope this will all become second nature. That’s what people say about Leicas. It’s got the fastest autofocus around because it’s you not electronics. I just need time.

NYC Diary Day 1

It’s 2016. My dad recently died. My first cat, my first real pet away from home just died. We decide to spend Christmas in New York because I want to get far away from traditional Christmas. Our flights were with IcelandAir which lets you stop off in Iceland at no extra ticket cost which we do on our way back for a couple of days. Spoiler alert Best way to avoid jet lag ever. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Dec 23rd. We fly to Iceland where we change planes and fly to NYC at night. Iceland is beautiful at dusk. It was snowing and even before we got to NYC we were super excited about visiting Iceland in the snow on our return. We switched planes which meant getting off the warm plane and out into the cold snowy emptiness of Iceland. Some poor kids who were going to Florida and were clearly dressed for it had to get off the plane in shorts and a t-shirt.

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A wander round London

Every 6 months or so Sam and I take a trip to London to see some photography exhibitions, art and design, and generally wander the city. It’s a day trip city break. We did this back in July last year. Cheap tickets. Good exhibitions. It’s a simple thing and I’m never bored.

FYI there’s an exhibition on video games coming up at the V&A later this year. I have high hopes for it as it features Journey, The Last of Us and No Man’s Sky (which I really need to return to). We’ll be going down for that and another wander.

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Switch House by Herzog & De Meuron

Designed by architects Herzog & De Meuron the extension to Tate Modern is stunning. I need to go back and explore some more as there’s a lot to take in. I love the way light reflects off the buildings over the road. At the top there’s a viewing platform offering views across the river.

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Lumiere London

I thought it would be nice to end the week with some pretty pictures so here’s a series I produced while in London earlier this year. Created by Artichoke, Lumiere London sees all sorts of interesting light installations around the city. It’s a big 4 day event and you’ll easily need 3 days to really take them all in. We just about managed. It was nice to see locals The Lantern Company there too.

I think my highlight was Waterlicht. It felt like I was back in Iceland watching the aurora, except with a thousand Instagrammers. But still, oddly calming.

Liverpool Chinese New Year

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.