Is photography dead?

2023, Favourite, Inspiration, Q&A, Teaching point

Serious question:

Is photography dead?

I know it’s still being practiced, and valued.

But first with digital, and now with AI, are we heading to a different destination… and to a point of no return?  A process where photography is simply a “made up” thing… more like a sophisticated painting vs. a record of reality?

In which case, is film-based photography not only the first but also the only “authentic” form of photography?


My advice to Leica from 10 years ago.

2023, Inspiration, Q&A, Teaching point

Back in 2013, I wrote an Open Letter to Leica.

The letter was primarily aimed at trying to get them to keep a CCD sensor in M cameras.  However, Leica had already introduced the CMOS-based M240, which was larger in girth and features (hello video?).  In retrospect, it’s clear they were never going to go back to an M9-type camera.

And now in 2023, even I have to concede that I’m using a CMOS-sensor camera (though I’m no longer shooting with a Leica).

Despite the dominance of CMOS, all these years later the M9 commands a premium on the used market.  The M240, not so much.

And as I consider the current M11, and the QA troubles it seems to be facing, and — perhaps more importantly — the hints it provides with respect to where Leica is going with future M cameras, I feel compelled to repeat some of what I wrote 10 years ago (with some commentary):


“We place an emphasis on high quality still image photography, and therefore have little interest in video.”

They seem to have learned this.

We value the intuitive, quick, and precise rangefinder focusing mechanism, and therefore have little interest in Live View.”

This is the interesting part (about where the M line may be going).  Not sure that the M12 will have a mechanical rangefinder and OVF, for example.

“…would welcome…improvements in processor speed, shutter quietness, LCD quality…”

Always welcomed.

“Whatever Leica does with the next M, I would humbly suggest that they focus on… superior image quality and reliability…”

IQ has been improved with the (presumed) adoption of a Sony sensor.  The reliability part seems to be currently lacking however.  Leica is charging exceptional prices for a premium product that appears to be experiencing more than its fair share of issues.

“Leica has always done things a little differently, by placing simplicity and quality above all other considerations.  As a consequence, Leica has traditionally wisely avoided making decisions based on a “focus group” philosophy.

We are requesting for this fierce independence in thinking and product differentiation to continue.”

I still stand by those words.