I travel for work and fun and get to see amazing art all over the world. I love oil paintings, sculptures and tapestries but struggled to find something worthwhile to do with them photographically. Taking a picture of a sculpture for the sake of art is really a form of reproduction which complicates my outlook. Let me explain.
As a photographer I strive to make art with my camera. I want that art to be built on a unique perspective. I don't want to recreate the snapshot seen around the world. I want to look at a scene in my own unique, if limited, way and capture it.
So when I look to a work of art, the challenge is how do you make a unique piece of work out of another artists work? If I just shoot the work and reproduce it, would my work not just be a copy of their efforts? Would my shot be beautiful because of their work? How could anyone look critically at the photograph and get something unique from it?
My perspective change with this sculpture that I found in Tuileries Park in Paris. As I stood looking at this sculpture it brought back my studies of Ancient Greek culture, my visit to Greece and my shear wonder for the art they created. I wanted to capture this in some way but again did not know how to. I took a few shots of it and left, disappointed as always when I take a picture that I am unhappy with. I took it because I could not because it was worth taking.
That night I was thinking about this statue and my struggle to capture it when I had an idea. Over breakfast I began playing with the idea and when I looked out I saw it very overcast and my idea took form. I would capture this statue digitally, with a very tight frame. The overcast clouds will give me a backdrop and will almost look as if this Greek Hoplite is making his final stand against the gathering storm.
I got very close to it and positioned myself so that the statue filled the frame. I did not want to crop the image after taking it so I shot three different shots to ensure that the statue went from corner to corner of my frame. The clouds were perfect, I got a little low and snapped the shot.
To be clear, the art was made by the person who carved this wonderful statue. This no longer bothers me because everything I shoot was made by someone else and all I am offering is a different perspective. So without taking the credit for the art, I can take credit for my perspective of it.
This fueled my imagination, and I began looking at sculptures in a very different light. I began to challenge myself to shoot them in a unique way.
One of my favorite works is the Winged Victory of Samothrace but I could not find anything to do with it photographically. I walked around it, along with 30 other people, and took a snapshot just to have it. I then saw the stairs and decided to include it in my shot. I waited for the number of people to drop a bit and chose my shot.
Here I got very low to be able to shoot this statue with a backdrop of the ceiling and window arch. I wanted enough of it to give some contrast to the image. Both the statue and the building are works of stone and I like the contrast between them. The same statue in a different location would not be nearly as interesting to capture.
Here is a sculpture from Easter Island, a gift from the Chilean government to the Louvre. I liked the mood lighting that they had on it. This was an easy capture but they had it displayed perfectly.
It is a moment I was not prepared for. This is not a new occurrence for me, my first child, an amazing daughter, has been pushing my boundaries since the day she was born. This day would be no different. She came to me and explained that there was going to be an environmental march downtown in Buenos Aires and she would like to attend.
For those unfamiliar with the latin culture and our famous hotblooded politics let me explain...you see for us, politics is something emotional and anything emotional can become physical. I am naturally weary of protest marches in Argentina however this one seemed on the tamer side of things. I offered to take her and she brightened up immediately. I would have been happy to drop her off but she seemed pleased I would be there. Again, another surprise.
I grabbed the Nikon F2 I had just finished servicing, and two rolls of film. I selected a 35mm lens as I am still not liking the 28mm lens I have for the Nikon (a matter of getting used to the perspective) but can quickly picture a 35mm focal length. I wanted something wider than a 50mm do to the tight area I knew I would be in but I also did not want a great deal of distortion.
Off we went to walk to the protest starting off point. The protest was to start at the Pink House (here the President lives in a pink house) and march to congress. At congress we were to hear a few speeches then it would end in a cloud of pot.
The march was wonderful, people were friendly and supportive and it was made up by mostly young people filled with illusion and determination. It was wonderful to walk around them and gain from their energy level.
For photographers, marches are wonderful events. People go to these events specifically to get attention to their cause and hence was photographs to be taken. They welcome it. So taking candid photos of people all over the street is simple and welcome. There is no perceived invasion of privacy and they want to be noticed.
Photographers of every ilk ran around snapping up photographs as if there was no tomorrow (and for digital there really isn't). People posed, sang, danced and obviously marched.
Whenever I photograph these odd events, where family and friends are not the subject matter, I usually do not come back to them. In other words, I shoot the images, develop them, may print a few but then I do not go back. Obviously I keep the negatives, but it is not something I typically return to. In order to make the entire process of some value, I need to tie it into a project, a short one but something that has a clear deliverable at the end.
I have developed the two rolls of film and now I will find four or five shots and make a type of collage out of them. All will be in black and white however I did take a few shots on my phone so I may have one printed in color for the middle of the collage. I will see how it all comes together and go from there. My goal here is to finish this weekend with a framed collage of this protest to give to my daughter as a gift to commemorate her first march.
Sitting in a Methodist Church in Nottingham England I began looking around and taking stock of my surroundings. There were massive windows that let in the wonderful UK light that I remember from my time living in London. There were desks put in a circle with a variety of tools laid out. There were large machines in the front of the room and a small snack for us to eat. As I looked to the other people in the room I saw men of different ages all gathering to see a Chinese man standing in the front of the class asking him questions.
I would later get to know the Chinese man and his students surrounding him. You see that man was none other that Mr. Sover Wong. Anyone who likes old Nikon F2 cameras knows of Sover Wong and his sterling reputation as the absolute best repair man for that particular camera (and no other).
How I ended up sitting in that little room in Nottingham England after traveling more than 7,000 miles, is a story that started back six years ago and evolved in five countries in a most remarkable turn of events and a story worth sharing. You see, I first learned of Sover when I began looking to buy a Nikon F2. The concept of an all mechanical camera scared me as these things are old, most being produced in the 1970's and most have not been properly serviced in a couple of decades if at all. How could I buy an old mechanical tool and ensure it is in working condition for years to come?
My answer was a proper CLA, so I began looking for someone who could do that. Every forum I looked at gave me the same answer, the best of the best was Sover Wong. So I decided to purchase a properly functioning Nikon F2 and send it to him for a CLA. He is not cheap, not by a long shot, but I wanted the camera to be in PERFECT order. So off to Ebay I went, found my Nikon F2 made in 1975-76.
The camera arrived in working order and I began using it. It is all manual, which forces me to think of the image I want before setting up the camera to take the image. It is ergonomically well thought out and once you get used to the shutter speed dial's location, is a joy to use.
At the time, I was living in Perth Australia and I began looking to ship my Nikon F2 to Sover. The cost of the shipping was a bit steep and I had to recover from the purchase of the Nikon F2 and it was working well. A couple of years later I was transferred to London and the very first thing that went through my mind was my Nikon F2. As soon as I arrived, hand carrying my F2, I went straight to the post and shipped my camera off to Sover for his "Standard Service".
A few weeks later, the Nikon F2 was ready and shipped back to me. It came with a Japanese Yen coin (to safely remove the battery compartment), new batteries, rubber strap protectors, a calibration sheet showing all shutter speeds now within ¼ stop tolerance and a CD. The CD had various Nikon F2 manuals, some pictures of the camera being worked on. But most importantly I received my Nikon F2 with the same outside character (the paint fading in all the right spots) but working as smoothly as the day it was made.
This Nikon F2 became my favorite shooter and I had become another Sover enthusiast. I was then transferred to Jakarta Indonesia and kicked myself for not purchasing another Nikon F2 and having Sover maintain it. I could always ship one, but the used camera market in Jakarta (due to the humidity) is a challenging one to navigate. But while there, I found a nice Nikon F2AS on Ebay and on impulse bought it. I had to wait a year before a trip to the US let me pick it up from my mother's house.
The plan was to have it serviced by Sover as well, but upon my return to Jakarta I found out that Sover holds classes on how to do a CLA on a Nikon F2!!! I was thrilled and immediately emailed him asking to be signed up for the class. I had some vacation time saved up and was going to London for work occasionally making it possible to align it with a work trip.
The problem was yet another transfer, this time to Buenos Aires Argentina. With all the hassle of the move I put the course out of mind until Sover emailed me. I decided to double down and make this trip happen. To appease the wife, I suggested that we leave the kids with my father (they had school) and I would take her to visit some friends in Paris and then I would travel to Nottingham for the class. With her on board off we went!
As expected, Sover knows more about the Nikon F2 than anyone of us will ever know. He has a very keen eyesight and can immediately spot the slightest hint of a problem, even though the camera seems to be operating well. He was very forthright with us and explained that he would teach us all he knew about a standard CLA and how to overcome the most common issues. There are couple of things he will not teach as they have been learned through years of study and are not something that commonly needs to be used for a standard CLA. I was surprised he was so open and honest about everything he does know.
Over the two day class, Sover walked us through every step of disassembly, proper cleaning areas, where to lubricate (what type, amount and method), various potential problem areas and finally some common things to fix. He demonstrated proper re-foaming techniques and the various issues with foam and what to look out for.
Throughout the class, the one thing that kept coming up is "not to my standard". He has very high standards and would not allow us to take any shortcuts. He is methodical and highly critical of sloppy work. He wants each camera to leave the class as if he himself did the CLA.
Another key component of the class was the need to have special tools. No these are not available on Ebay and he does not sell them either as they take too long to make. But he is generous with the plans needed to make them. I took these home and made myself a set of these tools which took me the better part of an entire day to do.
One question I get asked, and wondered myself before attending the class, was why would Sover teach other people his livelihood? He does not keep things from you (aside from the two trade secrets he mentions at the start fo the class), he does not make the explanation more confusing, he honestly and clearly teaches you what you need to know. So what is stopping someone from becoming his next competition?
Simple answer is that what Sover knows CANNOT be taught in a two day school. He teaches the basics, enough to give you the knowhow and confidence to open up your camera and do your own CLA. What cannot be taught in such a short period of time, is what to do to solve all he problems encountered. Something stops working, why and what to do to solve it. Something is working but not exactly right, what are the potential implications on the shot and how to fix it. It would take months of study, working closely with him to learn all these things.
So why take the class? Well I can tell you why I took it. I wanted to learn more about a camera I like and this seemed an interesting way to do it. I walked away with a new skill set, more confidence and a better respect for a CLA done right.
When I see people offering a USD 50 CLA, I know this cannot be done. I know that even with Sover's skills and experience it is a solid day worth of work to do it properly. I know the shortcuts these "repairmen" take and the implications of them. I also know the amount of dedication needed to become a good "repairman" and respect this craftsmanship even more.
In short, the course taught me what it takes to be considered an expert. It showed me how much I do not know and yet what I can do with the right kind of tools and a bit of time. I cannot fix a Nikon F2, I cannot diagnose its issues and I cannot modify it but I can take a 40 year old working camera and get it operating like it was new. A proper Clean, Lubricate and Adjust. Not bad for a two day class!!!
To reinforce what I learned I purchased another Nikon F2 (my third) and did a full CLA on my own. It took me two days to do but is now working smooth as butter. As I sat back with a glass of red wine looking at my work, I could not help but smile as I believe even Sover would consider it "up to his standard".
This weekend was a darkroom weekend. I have enough negatives that have not seen the enlarger to last me a bit of time, plus my collection of paper has grown to an uncomfortable level.
I decided to open some larger paper that I bought. This is larger than my standard 8x10 paper. At 11x14 inches it is enough real-estate to have a little bit of fun. Last weekend I was at a ranch and took four rolls of 120 using the Mamiya C220 so I developed them and took them into the darkroom.
Since the Mamiya shoots square format, I had to select a template to work on the 11x14. I made this out of some mate board I had laying around. This would help me keep it flat in the enlarger, ensure I had clean boarders and keep the image properly placed on the paper.
The goal with these images is to make a series and hang them in a wine cave we have finished building. The goal is to keep the theme consistent but fill a massive wall we have. I will keep printing from the images I have captured, and then pick a final four to hang. It was wonderful to see the images printed so large, with plenty of detail to nitpick over.
I am tired with this Photoshopped filtered solution to digital. Where everyone wants to portray an image of perfection, look at Instagram to see what I mean. We always wanted to be better but now we want to appear perfect. Film is my exploration into the fucked up, into the shadow under the eyes, sweat stained shirt, fat roll and grey hair that is us. It is about the mistake, the untucked shirt and the not-level horizon.
Film, exposed on an old camera, developed in a tank with chemicals and reproduced in a darkroom brings an analog truth to the artistic process. This is not about absolute image quality that can only be mathematically calculated. It is about capturing an emotion and as we are all painfully aware, emotion is not calculated or perfect.
I can only hope that hidden behind the grain, around the clipped highlights or too deep shadows, I am able to recreate something resembling a memory. So I shoot people, buildings and shapes. I shoot a great deal of crap but sometimes, hidden in the middle of a roll of crap, is a honest gesture, or an expression that tugs at a memory.
I can shoot a perfect image on digital, either through the camera’s help or some post processing magic, but my mind rejects it, I fight against that perfect image. I am immediately saturated by it, tired of it, insulted by it. The colors seem too rich, people seem too happy like a Hallmark movie. That is not my world, that is not your world. Our world is about the drunk uncle, the dirty car and the messy unkept life. That is what I wish to photograph.
We come into this world covered in shit and most of us will leave the same way, so why are we so driven to pretend otherwise in-between? Old age is wonderful, so why don’t we shoot it? Scars are evidence of survived battles so why must we hide them? Luggage gets lost, so why not show it?
When I look through a viewfinder of a camera made long before I was born, I am looking through the eyes of all the previous owners. I am looking through the same square inch of glass that they composed baby pictures, family vacations, grandparents visits and kids graduations. When I look through it I hear their voices whispering how wonderful life is, in all its ugliness. I choose to listen to them, to feel their finger on top of mine and I choose to snap that picture. And it is wonderful. Even devoid of talent, missed composition and poor exposure it is real. It is straight. It is simple. But it is as far from perfect.
Alfred Stieglitz started the photo secessionist movement in 1902, where pictorial photography was disdained and straight photography was embraced. This movement was about accepting photography as art without the heavy handed modifications to the image. A still life of harsh shadows that makes the image appear as something else was proof that impressionist art was not limited to paintings. Photography could be just as poetic, just as nuanced and it did not require post processing magic to do it.
We need a new secessionist movement. We need a group of artists that embrace reality. I don’t mean a conjured up, faux reality but an honest image of life, imperfect life. I don’t want to see a world of derelicts, the Diane Airbus of our modern era, I want to see the real. The overweight without a focus on the obesity, the short without the over dimensioned world of little people the cute girl without the Dovima.
We have been shown the way. We do not have to find it ourselves all we need to do is follow the map they left us. The maps of Robert Frank, Gerry Winogrand, Paul Strand, Henry Cartier Bresson and so many others. They have struggled, searched, gotten lost and found their way again. They filled up books and museums with the secrets of what they saw. They left us clues to follow and have shown us the way. All we have to do is listen. All we must do if follow. Then, when we have found their way we must make it our own, we must lose ourselves in their map and then make our own.
We need to show this world that there is a path away from the over saturated, the high dynamic range, the more perfect than perfect direction. We all know perfect, there is nothing to search for there. We have gone down that short path and reached the end and it is a dull, faceless end. How many colorful sunsets must we be subjected to? How many young perky breasted influencers in the middle of a flower field? How many perfect back lit images of planes on tarmacs? Is it not time to rebel? Is it not our time to rise up against these imposters and cry out against their influence.
Do not misunderstand me, I like digital, I love my digital cameras just as I do my film cameras. This is not a film versus digital but it is a rebellion against the over processing of digital files. A digital image can be just as honest as a film image, it does not have to be a marvel of Photoshop skill.
A film image is more difficult (not impossible) to alter making it much more about the image that was captured and less about what you want it to look like. My digital files now see less and less time in post processing. Now I just give my digital files the same processing I could give in a darkroom. Contrast, burn, dodge, exposure and cropping.
Yesterday I was developing three rolls of film from test shots of three different cameras. The first, a Olympus OM-2 recently purchased, the second a FED-1 from 1952 and finally a Ihagee Exa camera from 1953. Little did I know, but the problem was not with the 50 year old cameras, but with the 24 month old developer!
I am not one to worry too much about saving a few bucks here or there. I have sufficient discretionary funds to enjoy my hobby amply. While I cannot afford all that I want, I can afford all that I need. So why risk using developer that was24 months old?
The answer is that I live in Argentina and have not tested out the local film chemical options. So all I have is what I have brought with me from my time in Indonesia and from recent trips to the US.
I had bought this bottle of Ilfosol about two years ago, and opened it after arriving into Argentina. I had all the warning signs possible, with the first few rolls coming out a bit weak. I assumed the problem was my development times and kept on going.
What aggravated the problem is that I was developing different films so it was hard to see the signs in the early rolls.
Then yesterday I dropped three rolls of HP5 to develop and ensured everything was properly timed. The result was three very thin negatives.
The good part of the story is that the pictures taken were not massively important and just made to test the cameras. All three cameras have been proven to work so the test was a success.
The bad is that I did capture some nice moments of my son with our dog. It would have been nice to be able to print a few of those.
The best part of the story, I have learned an important lesson and have seen the first hand evidence of a developer going bad. To be clear, Ilfosol is a GREAT developer as are all of Ilford's products, it is the photographer who was at fault here.
So last night, I took my frustration (at myself) and channeled it into some fresh ID-11 developer (my favorite) which I have in powder form. I have now noticed that I am down to the final 8 liters of developer. So I will test the local supply before I run out of good developer.
Here are a few rules I have decided to add to my developing process.
This weekend I got to test out to of the most beautiful cameras I have ever seen, the Fed-1 and the Exa 1.1. Both come from about the same time period (1950's) and both are from the other side of the Cold War. The build of these cameras is wonderful but they each have little tricks that one must get used to. Both have limitations one must overcome. In short, both require the photographer to think and understand photography!
They were a great deal of fun to shoot and learn about. Seeing how the engineers overcame challenges, what took priority and what was seen as an acceptable limitation, gives you insight into their thinking.
These are cameras I bought for my collection because I love the way they look. But no camera stays in my collection long without seeing a bit of film and some daylight. I believe cameras are works of art that must be used in order to be really enjoyed. Every camera in my collection is used, even if film is no longer available for it, I still find a way to shoot it.
I have a few other cameras that are in pretty sad shape that still need to be tested out. These use the old 127 film, which while it can be found is too expensive to play with for me. I will adjust a 135mm film to see how I can get it to work in these little ones. The only challenge is that the lenses have more scratched surface than good. So the pictures will be very soft indeed if at all useable.
Plenty more to come!
One of the most wonderful things about photography is that it allows us to revisit events of the past. I spent the other weekend printing some old negatives that I purchased off Ebay from the 50's, 60's and some glass negatives from the 1890's, but that is a story for a different time.
This time, I delved into the digital archives and went back a little over a year to a trip we made to Cambodia. As is often the case these days, I had not finished going through the images I had captured back then. So I found hidden gems that I fully remember taking but had forgotten I had not finished processing them.
The picture above, taken with my Leica ME camera and a Zeiss 35mm lens, was selected and carefully positioned to have the statue on the right third balanced with the tree growing out of the rock on the left third. I had imagined this to be a B&W image, but as I processed it the glowing green moss pushed me to leave it in color.
Some of the images I had processed but the revisit allowed me to look at them again, and tried different techniques. Above, an ancient hallway, long open to the elements, shows some magnificent stone carvings as well as an ancient plaza. I had originally selected this as a B&W image, initially taken by the focus on the texture of the rock that B&W allows. In this second pass, I liked the highlights of blue and green with the warm sun reflecting into the old hallways. And so, a second attempt at this image was made.
The next image was taken at a temple during a prayer. Again I had selected a B&W processing, because this is what I saw at the moment of taking the image. My second pass highlighted some of the wonderful colors, in fact, I was forced to reduce the saturation a bit as it was far too strong for my taste.
The floating Vietnamese village was difficult to capture as the compositions were not very obvious. My first pass, did not result in any keepers however on this second pass I found a few that more or less work. Here we have a local delivery man, almost like a mail man in these parts, going about his daily route. There was an odd haze that day, one of the issues with the pictures taken, as it covered the clouds and did not help the images at all. This time around, I am more focused on the people, their houses and the deliveryman's boat.
Photography has been around since 1855, so for me to believe that I am beginning to understand this artistic medium would be pretentious or delusional. But I am still shocked at how quickly my perspective and understanding of photography can be altered with a simple phrase or idea. This happens so often I have actually named the process as a "Instant Conceptual Breakthrough" and they can be profound.
The first time I recall this happening was a couple of years ago, when I read an article where someone articulated something I had been feeling for awhile. This is in reference to digital photography versus film where the author, whose name escapes me, explained that so many digital pictures are made through the computer it stops being about photography and is more about computer animation. This simple sentence explains my embrace of film as a medium.
Another recent phrase that has got me thinking was written by David Company several years ago, when he was referring to the photography of Lewis Baltz in his essay "Fast World, Slow Photography: Lewis Baltz". First of all David has a very remarkable perspective of photography and its place in modern society that I have not seen since Susan Sontag.
Here, David explains that our "Fast World" changes things.
"industrialism leads to the standardizing of appearances. Architecture steadily morphed into the plain, geometric box. Production lines made identical commodities. Advertising created shared desires. Eventually, the things that were once mechanical began to be replaced by electronic equivalents that offered less to the eye and camera"
What I take away from David's writing in the the world is advancing quickly and that speed creates the need for industrialization which removes a great deal of beauty. I have mentioned my love for old typewriters and telephones, I consider them wonderful works of art, but I do not feel the same way about laptops and cell phones.
These two concepts, so eloquently distilled into simple English is why I turn to Film Photography. I have explained this using much less precise language by saying that I stare at computer screens all day for work, why do I want to bring that same approach to my hobby? But the truth is deeper than that. I want to push back agains the "Fast World".
The world is moving fast, and digital photography is struggling to keep up with it. Consider that the Smartphone as a camera is quickly overtaking dedicated cameras. Sure their quality has improved but it is still no where near that of dedicated DSLR or dedicated mirrorless cameras. But they offer speed, take the picture and upload it to Facebook, Instagram or whichever social media account you are using.
The need or desire to print pictures is quickly disappearing and people are focused on the immediate gratification of sharing an image. Even professional photographers are forced to use social media more and their turn around time has to reduce as well. Speaking to one recently I found out that he uses Lightroom CC on his iPad to start working on some images in the parking lot of the venue. He can then send it to the bride and groom immediately to buy him some time to work on the full set of pictures.
Speed is overtaking quality in photography and this is what I am trying to push back from. I take a roll of film and put it into the camera. I feel a world of possibilities right before me. These 36 images can take me anywhere. With them I can capture the big and the small of the world around me. I cannot manipulate or alter the images. I have to use my instrument correctly, I have to have the final image visualized before bringing the camera up to my face and I know that once taken it may be months before I see the final result.
I have a roll of film that was used to shoot in London, Buenos Aires Argentina and Jakarta Indonesia. All on the same roll and all developed months later.
This image, taken on a Leica M6 using HP5 film, is an example of Fast World and Slow Photography. Here I am taking a careful picture, framing two very different worlds. The high buildings of first world finance in the background, with a bubble maker having timeless fun with kids in the foreground. My careful composition, patient waiting and decisive selection of moment all captured through chemistry on a film that was developed weeks later and printed months after that are a rebellion against the fast world we live in.
It took David's clear thought and spectacular command of the English language to articulate the way I have been feeling all along.
While the main purpose of the trip was the GGB and Alcatraz this did not mean that I did not just walk the streets taking pictures. We had a blast just getting lost in this city, knowing Uber was just a few clicks away. Rain or shine we had an Uber in minutes which gave us the confidence to get lost a bit.
We had a few days of rain, which we did not mind in the least. As our English friends insist, there is no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choice! I love umbrellas in photos and the contrast that is added from rain. I took full advantage of this and have some wonderful shots thanks to it
One odd habit I have begun to do is to photograph the hotel rooms where we stay. The objective is not to capture the entire room, or even make it appear something that it is not. The objective is to capture the light that comes through the window and the feeling the shadows capture around the room. Some are converted to B&W while others are left in colors. Either way, very little editing is done.
Below you have our window on the 23rd floor of the Francis Hotel. I love the shadows and focused on keeping the highlights from being blown out and letting the shadows fall where they may. The end result is exactly what I had hoped for with all the detail of the sun behind the clouds and the light fall off being very natural.
I took the liberty of getting some general street shots. These are not real street photography but more of an architectural exploration of how the city is laid out. This helps remind me of the feel of walking through those streets and the fun we had.
While in San Francisco I stopped by the Leica shop in order to pick up a 28mm lens that I have had my eye on for some time. The shop itself was just next to the entrance of China Town and had some wonderful windows which looked out onto some old buildings. With the overcast day, the light pouring in was delicious so I had to take a few pictures of it. Again exposing for the highlights and allowing the shadows to fall where they may.
I took advantage of the rain and captured some images through bus windows or Uber windshields. Again, this is not about lazy photography but has to do with the emotion rain brings to a pictures. The sense of protection from the elements while others are out exposed.
Night did not bring and end to the images available, just the way I tried to capture them. I did not take out the tripod and focused on the city lights to illuminate the scene. High ISO shots are not usually my cup of tea, but sometimes they allow us to capture things we would otherwise miss.
Here there is a shot with medium ISO but a wonderful capture of the night life, a firetruck that was returning from a call and a fellow tourist capturing the image with a cell phone. I have several images of these scene including some taken before the fellow tourist showed up, but this is the one that I liked the most. I used to regret it when people walked into my scene and now I love it when they do.
Any city shots are screaming for a regular lens (50mm or so) as well as wide. While extreme wide angle shots can add some energy to a photo, I only use it sparingly as it becomes a tiresome crutch. Most of my shots were captured on the 28mm but this is because it was a new lens. A 35mm works wonderfully well.
I took my Leica M10 and M6 to ensure that my lenses could serve double function. I shot most of my keepers on 28mm, 50mm and 38mm with a handful at 90mm. In retrospect I would not have taken my tripod but I did enjoy taking the Hasselblad 500cm. This heavy camera stayed in the hotel the entire trip save for the day I went out to GGB. This is the best of both worlds, the detail that Medium Format files camera can give you without carrying the bulk all day.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.