In this, the third and final installment in my three part discussion of the Leica M Monochrom, I wrap up my review of the camera's imaging characteristics, then dive deeply into the psychological aspects of the camera.
In this, the second of my three part discussion of the Leica M Monochrom, I take a good long look at the camera's various imaging characteristics, including tonality and "filmishness" — whatever that means.
3 installments! 4 dozen images! 10,000 words! And enough photographic fetishes to qualify as camera porn! In this, part one of my three part discussion of the Leica M Monochrom, I discuss the kinkier mechanical aspects of the camera.
Another article filled with psychobabble and theoretical illustrations? Yep. It's almost as if ULTRAsomething believes that learning about oneself is, at the very least, every bit as important to one's photography as learning about the latest hip camera gear.
In this article, I offer the generous gift of a stand-alone ePub version of my 10,000 word Leica M Monochrom review, "A Fetishist's Guide to the Monochrom." In exchange, I ask only that you read my bellyaching about how annoying it is to create such a thing.
Reincarnation is a romantic notion, but no one ever bothers to consider the dark-side: What happens when your new life begins before you've achieved all the desires of your previous life? Fortunately, I'm here to tell you. Not only that, but I even manage to offer up a quasi-review of both the Leica IIIf and the Rolleicord Vb. That's a whole lotta value packed into a single article!
Once every three years, as if possessed by some inner-biological masochism clock, I'll inexplicably grab a camera on the way out the door to watch Vancouver's annual Celebration of Light fireworks competition. It's a curious act for someone who's violently allergic to fireworks photos.
Red cameras are intriguing — not just for filmmakers, but for still photographers as well. But they're also expensive. Even a complete "entry level" Red Scarlet system is likely to cost as much as a brand new fully-loaded compact automobile. Which is precisely why, when I set out to see how a Red camera might fit my requirements as a still photographer, I chose "Green." Green, in this case, relates to the color of ink under which the purchase appears in my accounting software. Green, specifically, means a LomoKino 35 motion camera. Used, this camera set me back the price of one breakfast. This article discusses why I've been itching for a Red camera, and how I managed to scratch it with my Green camera.
It might be a film. It might be a slide show. It might be a music video. Or it might just be me trying to grunt and babble my way to a new visual language. All that's really known is it's a collection of 47 moody, melancholic, phantasmagorical photos of rain, sequenced into an ebb and flow and supported by a suitably elegiac musical score.
We need to fit the term “photographer” with a pair of concrete shoes, and drop it in the nearest lake. Photography is no longer a unique ability — but the numerous tasks we can accomplish with photography ARE still unique. And this uniqueness is how each of us, moving forward, must define ourselves.
On May 10th, Leica Camera announced the M-Monochrom, a modified version of my beloved M9, which contains a monochromatic (rather than color) digital sensor. It's the camera I've dreamed of owning for over 6 years. So why am I having nightmares? Because I'm trying desperately to convince myself I don't actually need it.
In this article, I struggle with the idea that my rugged, he-man camera of choice isn't peddled in a depot, market or shop — but in a boutique! And I attend the opening of the first Leica Boutique in Canada in an effort to get to the bottom of it all.
"Memory Lane," as I define it, is "a long strip of acetate with a silver halide coating." I consider my film cameras to be miniature time capsules — my past self records a person, scene or event that it thinks my future self will find interesting. This article discusses one such trip down Memory Lane, and how it isn't quite the way I remembered it.
Chemical dependency is defined as an addiction to a mood-altering chemical. If denied access to the chemical, the dependent person is unable to function properly, and lives only for the chemical and the relief it brings. I never thought it would happen to me — but that was before I discovered the magical developing powers of Rodinal.
At this very moment, there are likely thousands of Canon AE-1's languishing in boxes, drawers and cabinets all around the world. Pity. Because this is as wonderful a camera today as it was when it was first released in 1976. This is the story of my Dad's AE-1, and its resurrection from a 30 year stint in the bottom of a box.
There is no such thing as technical perfection. There is no perfect camera. There is no perfect lens, flash, film or Photoshop plugin. There is only the perfect image — and people have been taking them for well over a hundred years with some amazingly imperfect gear. So why do we, as photographers, spend so much of our time wading about in the gear guano canal?
For the last several years, various mid-20th century sources have exerted a profound influence on my own photography: golden age photojournalists of the 1930s and 1940s; post-war photo essays from the 1950s; and John Szarkowski’s New Documentarian leanings of the 1960s. I wasn’t always this anachronistic. Rather, I used to be even more so, and once drew inspiration from the pictorialists, surrealists and Czech avant-garde. Lately, I seem to be backsliding into my old, early-20th century "pictsurrealist" habits, and my tool of choice is the humble pinhole. Shooting through a pinhole is like shooting through a wormhole. It’s a shortcut through time. This article talks about the aesthetics and mechanics of looking through this wormhole, and illustrates what might be looking back.