The Belted Galloway

En route to New York City this fall, I swung by my folks house in Ellington, Connecticut for my fill of cretons, pork pie and booze. Ellington is the town I grew up in filled with rolling hills, cornfields, cows and a sparse handful of residents. I didn't really appreciate the rural landscape when I called Ellington home, but when I go back these days, with camera in hand, it's a photographer's delight. The road my parents live on crosses a couple towns in a very short span - and about a mile from their house sits the town line for Somers, Ct. This is also a town where livestock seems to outnumber resident humans - and the farm (Scantic Valley Farm) nestled in the valley below my parents house is a pure delight. Cornfield mazes, barns, strawberry fields, pumpkin patches, chickens, pigs, cats, dogs and - my favorite eye candy - the majestic Belted Galloway.

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NH Highland Games on Film

Last weekend was the 40th Annual New Hampshire Highland Games in Lincoln, NH. I went up north with Linda and her amazing father Jim (both of Scottish descent) to explore this wonderful festival. For gear, I packed my Leica M3 paired with the Carl Zeiss C Sonnar T* 1.5/50, my Leica M2 paired with the Carl Zeiss C Biogon T* 2.8/35, my Weston Master V light meter and my Ona bag loaded with Kodak Portra 400 and Tri-X. In typical Scottish fashion, the weather was a balmy 49º F for most of the day with the on and off spitting of misty rain. It was perfect.  We got to the mountain mid-morning to the sounds of pipes belting out traditional tunes. Though cold, your nose was immediately filled with the scents of great Scottish food - especially my favorite - the meat pie.  I mean really, what's better than a pie filled up with meat? Jim was brave enough to dig into a plate of Haggis - my stomach isn't quite iron enough for Haggis though.

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Leica M2 + M3 Review

This review of the Leica M2 & M3 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 Leica M2 was loaded with either Kodak Tri-X or Portra 160/400 film.  Now, the Leica M2 is usually loaded with just the Tri-X and my Carl Zeiss 2.8/35 while the Leica 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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Leica: Buying Vintage Film Cameras

I decided I needed to document my thought process on buying vintage cameras, specifically along the Leica lines. Regular readers know I go through a lot of cameras, trying them out to see if they are for me, then selling them off if they are not. In the past, I have purchased the 1950 Rolleiflex, 1959 Hasselblad 500c, 2012 Carl Zeiss Ikon, 1958 Leica M2 and I am currently waiting on a 1961 Leica M3 being refurbished and CLA'd by Youxin Ye. (Not to mention the piles of vintage glass I have bought and sold over the years.)

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