Teaser – Coming Soon

Yes, it’s on order. The Leica M-A.

I’m sure you want some explanation here, so cutting to the chase: out goes the M-E and M2, in comes the M-A (and the M3 stays). Should be in my sweaty grip within a month. Thank you to the fine folks at Green Mountain Camera for working out this deal for me.

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Different Cameras for Different People

Tonight’s rant post is just a little reminder to shoot what makes you happy – and not to presume why others buy what they buy. This stems from a conversation with someone (we’ll call him a forum troll) this week about the Leica M-A (which I covet), he commented that they were “built only for posers and not for real photographers.” That completely set me off at first, but I had to take a deep breath before responding, calmly.

The camera is about the experience. I like the beauty and simplicity of an exquisitely manufactured piece of mechanical hardware.  I take joy in the weight and feel of the body, the tiny lenses, and the soft “fwip” of the quiet shutter. And I love the results of my film M2 & M3 – and this is what has me lusting for the M-A. It’s not about the money or the name – it’s the experience for me.

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The Cliff House Resort and Spa & the Dead Battery

What better way to test out the new Carl Zeiss Lenses C Sonnar T* 1.5/50 than tossing it onto my Leica M-E and heading out to the Cliff House Resort and Spa in Ogunquit, Maine for the week? I was headed up on business, Linda was going solely for the R&R.  Her biggest stress of the days were “what book should I read before my massage by the ocean?” and “should I have oysters or steamers with my lobster tonight?” This is how to live!

I carefully packed all my bags for this trip, loaded up the camera bag and headed up the coast with Linda. Now, I really planned on shooting a ton this week – but as luck would have it, I did not pack as carefully as I thought. I brought only one battery for the camera – and did I mention that the battery was nearly dead and, oh, I had also forgot my charger?  Yeah, dead battery, no spare and charger at the house…

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Review: Leica M2 + M3

This won’t be overly technical.

Back in January I picked up a 1958 Leica M2 from the fine folks at Green Mountain Camera in Vermont – let’s just say the deal was too good to pass up. During that time I had been shooting almost exclusively with this camera and a 1957 Summicron 2/50. Then in June, I picked up a 1961 Leica M3 from Youxin Ye of YYe Camera.  Until June, the M2 was loaded with either Kodak Tri-X or Portra 160/400 film.  Now, the M2 is usually loaded with just the Tri-X and my Carl Zeiss 2.8/35 while the M3 is loaded with Portra 400 and the Leica Summicron 2/50 or Carl Zeiss C Sonnar T* 1.5/50.  This has spoiled me rotten and has returned me to a simplicity in look and style that I adore – so much so that the Leica ME sits rarely used on a shelf.

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Treasures of the Antique Shop

Yesterday, Linda and I popped into this little antique shop a town away – Bittersweet Blessings – that we never knew existed. So happy I had a camera with me as this place was just loaded with treasures. On one shelf I found a great 1930’s Kodak folding camera that will add nice to my collection. Linda found a truckload of antiques that we want to put all about the house – though we don’t have spots picked out yet. But one of the coolest things about this place was the amazing amount of artisan crafts and goods. Jams, jellies, pickled veggies, candles and more. Every square inch of this place was packed with something fun to explore – so we’ll definitely be back soon – especially for the braided rugs.

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OK, so I cracked. I know my past year has been cleaning out all the sites that were not my blog, but this seemed like an important time in my life to do this. The reason is the beautiful people at Hearth Magazine. Hearth is my absolute favorite magazine to curl up on my chair with while enjoying a giant cup of tea.  I was honored last week when I was approached by Tonya and asked if I could be featured on their journal for their website relaunch!

To promote their re-launch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, they used one of my photos from my Woodstock trip (Leica M3 + Summicron 2/50 + Portra 400 NC + Richard Photo Lab dev).  Tonya asked to link me on Instagram, when I told her I didn’t have an account.

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Rebecca Lily’s Pro Preset III – The Tools

Today I’d like to hit on one more feature of the outstanding set of Lightroom Preset’s by Rebecca Lily. Yesterday, I reviewed the color presets as well as the B&W presets in two separate posts. I also gave an example how these presets can be used to bring uniformity to your look. Today, the tools get a turn.

Like with all Rebecca Lily sets, you get a mind-boggling plethora of toys – as you can see below, a plethora of tools as well.

The Tools

The tools are designed to be used in conjunction with the presets. Once you have applied your desired preset, you can go through her tools to fine-tune to your likings. Or, you can even use the tools on your own Lightroom adjustments to tweak things in a consistent manner.

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Rebecca Lily’s Pro Set III – Color Review

I was graciously asked by Rebecca to test her latest (masterful) Lightroom Pro Preset III pack before its release this month. I was blown away with the number of presets in here (120 in all), both color and monotone, as well as a full set of custom tools. For this review, I am only hitting the color presets.  The B&W (sub)review has been posted here for you as well.

Pastel – Epiphany II

I used to be pretty anti-preset.  I think it was the over-use of filters from Instagrammers and iPhoneographers that put me off in the beginning – all creating similar faux-vintage looks from a limited filter-set that just looked wretched in my book. So, I had always thumbed my nose at the idea of using these things and wrote them off as silly annoyances.  Well, I have to tell you, Rebecca really turned me around – especially when she created my custom color set last fall. Since that time, I have a new found respect for these high level presets. Rebecca took a great deal of time and effort with a masterful eye to color detail and tonal ranges to make these gorgeous, artistic, unique looks that are not filters – rather Lightroom Presets for one-click editing. (I still can’t look at the “filters” on Instagram).

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