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That light

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Veronica is cleaning the ship's hold with a powerful water hose.

I thought this could potentially provide some good photo options. Water, light, a lot of dark areas and some real life action, what more can you want.

Measuring the light was a challenge. 
If you expose for the overall scene the way your light meter will suggest, where the meter wants to create detail in the shadow areas, you end up with blown unrecoverable highlights. The contrast is just too big. In other words, automatic exposure is out of the question.

As you might know I use a Leica M10, which uses a center-weighted light meter. That helps a bit in these circumstances because it will allow me to select my metered subject as opposed to multi-field exposure systems where the camera's electronics decide on what to meter and how to expose. 

A spot meter would be the technically preferred option, because with that I could meter the exact dynamic range of the scene, but with the changing positions of Veronica and the w…

Three layers

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At Terneuzen, strolling along the Westerschelde. 
While sitting on a breaker and enjoying the sun I decided to create a photograph where I would force the attention on one single pane in the picture, using the depth of field, or better the lack of depth-of-field.
The two people on the beach would be the main focus point.
To achieve this I tried to have the first pane, the foreground, sufficiently close to the camera to be blurred and I could only hope that the subjects in the third pane, the ships, would be enough out of focus as well. I use a rangefinder camera, so I could only check if my attempt worked out after the picture was taken.
This was a '50mm day', meaning I went out with my 50 mm Summicron attached to the camera and nothing else. Selecting only one lens can be very liberating and forces you to focus on a pictures content and not on what lens to select for your next photograph. You have no choice, which is a good thing, you can concentrate on that what really matters.

F…

Life

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Our son is moving to another house and we had some stuff stored at his old place, a good opportunity to assist him a bit in getting things organised. As you can see, he appreciated us being there.

I have been making photographs of my life and everyone and everything associated with it for as long as I have a camera. I photograph everything that I am remotely passionate about so photographing life is unavoidable for me.
That means that my relatives are very much used to being photographed by me and will not act unnatural when confronted with a camera. When I am there so is the camera, it's as simple as that.

The photograph above is the last one of the series of pictures below. 











Mother and sun were removing a desk. 

The window on the left provided a good primary light source with the walls reflecting enough light to fill the shadows. 

The photographs I made were ok, but a real good one was not there yet. 
Picture #1 is not bad and could be used.
#2 does not show what is actually happening.
#…

Gay Paris

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Now this is our actual daily life. Passing through Paris on the Seine.
Not every day, but it is something we do on a regular basis. We travel Europe and that includes Paris, from time to time.

Not that special, if you live in Paris you do it all day, but never the less.

I knew we where going through the central city at an hour that might be very opportune for some nice photographs, so I prepared the camera on forehand, knowing I would not be able to set much once we would be at the actual site due to the heavy Seine barge traffic and the narrow bridges that would require my full attention.

I selected the 35mm and set the ISO to 3200, shutter speed to 1/60s, aperture f4.
This would allow for handheld picture taking and seemed to me the best compromise. I test fired some shots once we got going, reviewed them in-camera and adjusted my exposure a little to 1/45s of a second. Once at the Bras de la Monnaie near the Notre Dame I was all set for a nice one.



Black White Grey

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Black and White on a digital camera designed for color. Not easy. Very easy. Depends on your wishes.

I adore the quality of my Black and White scans from real film. See some previous posts. And that quality is impossible to reproduce using a digital camera and a software based 'developer'. No matter what film simulation add-on you use, no matter what Lightroom and Photoshop or Capture One settings one figures out, it is not the same. Not surprising as they are two completely different beasts.

Even the results I see from Leica Monochrome camera's do not look like 'film' to me. Very beautiful digital images, but not film.

But can we get close?
In Black and White film, the dark parts of a film image tend to loose detail. The light parts on the other hand maintain an unbelievable amount of detail when scanned and processed right. This can be influenced a little by the exposure and development of the original film negative, but the general characteristics stand.

Digital on t…

White Out

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A very special day at the Oosterschelde. Hardly any wind, the horizon seemed to disappear completely. If it would not be for the sand-bank you could not see where the water stops and the sky begins.

These photographs are only possible when you are at the right place at the right time and that's not that easily to obtain on open water, but we are very fortunate to have work that enables these opportunities 'just like that', they just happen.





Viso

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We where on the Rhein at Oestrich, going to Worms, together with the ship in the picture. We always start early so we caught a nice Sunrise and I saw this picture starting to come together.
I switched to my Elmarit 2.8/135mm and attached the Visoflex EVF.  For those outside the Leica World, the Visoflex is an Electronic View Finder (EVF) for the Leica M camera. An M has a very basic viewfinder (although technically very complicated) and this viewfinder is not very suitable for any optics longer than ca 90mm. The Elmarit I have is even equipped with a special optical device that will enhance the regular viewfinder, but even then it is far from ideal. 
With the EVF we suddenly have a mirrorless camera that enables you to view the image directly from the camera sensor, allowing you to look through your lens. Ideal for longer lenses such as this one.


This picture was taken with a Novoflex 5.6/400mm lens, impossible on a regular M Leica.
Leica did manufacture a 'reflex housing' for the …

O Dear

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No posts in a long time. A lot has happened in our personal life, no time for the internet and no time to develop and scan my films. I tried almost all commercial labs, but am very unhappy with their scans, they can not mach what I do on my little Epson. So film was becoming a bit of a dead end. 

Fast forward to the beginning of this year. Leica announced the M10 and for the first time I had the feeling this was indeed a digital Leica I would like to own. Yeah, who would not.

Unavailable and very very expensive.

Then I happened to be in Amsterdam, and behold, Nivo-Schweizer had a black M10 on display, one of the first. I looked at my wife, "If we go in we know we will buy this, are we going to do that"? Ofcourse we did. We went in, they even had a boxed one in the back so we bought it and unpacked the thing right there, let them throw away the boxes, inserted an SD card and walked out to take some pictures. This will probably never happen again, we cannot really afford this, bu…

Port

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I love Ports. There is usually  a lot to see when Land meets Water.

The horizon is a little off, but does it really matter? 

The picture has a lot to tell.
Like I said before, I think a good picture should trigger your mind, make you think. 



New eye

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Remember I has some issues with the Carl Zeiss Biogon 2.0/35mm? I recently found a beautiful Summicron 35mm, the pre-ASP version. Yes, that one.

So, if you get a new lens, you want to try it out, so I did. Nice backlight, Sun right ahead, see what happens. I am not going to discuss what you can see for yourself, I like it a lot, very different from the Biogon, Zeiss versus Leica indeed.



At the Fair

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I love a good Fair, always a lot of opportunities for a good picture. The one at Saint-Jean-de-Luz in France is particularly good.

I walked around, camera in my hand with the strap rapped around my arm, camera slightly behind my back. For me this works good, the camera is ready to be used, but nobody will notice you as a photographer, you can be very discreet. The camera is all set, ISO is a given with film, I set the aperture and shutter speed before I start. I also set the distance to something like 2 meters, which is usually more-or-less right for the type of picture I expect to be making here. This works superb on a Leica, it is actually the main reason I use it.

When I saw this girl I raised the camera to my eye, re-adjusted the distance using the range-finder (having set the distance beforehand required only a very minor turn) and click, there she was.




This is another one at the same Fair. Who says you can not get in-focus shots from a moving subject with a rangefinder?