Category Archives: Guest Post

Aaron’s photo exhibit in Brussels.

Aaron C Greenman, a friend and past contributor to this site, has a photo exhibition in Brussels next week.

If you happen to be in the area, please consider attending.

—Peter.

Aaron C Greenman (link to images).

Here is a link to some wonderful images created by a good friend of this site, Aaron C Greenman.

As Aaron tells it, “this is where I’ve called home the past seven years…“.

—Peter.

[Guest Post] Aaron C Greenman on Cameras, Human Perception, Photography.

Aaron just posted this comment (see below) under the the October 1 post, but I believe his thoughts warrant  a standalone post.

Thank you,

—Peter.

Aaron C Greenman writes:

“I agree with you that for the majority of “shooters” the EVF is the future, but for the majority of “makers”, the OVF and/or rangefinder will continue to be critical to the experience.

My firm realisation was simply that we’ve reached a point where “better” in terms of specifications (megapixels, dynamic range, “what I see in the viewfinder is what I get in the viewfinder, etc.”) is not necessarily better for meaningful and impactful composition. And conceptually, when you step back a bit from the marketing speak of “live view”, it sounds like asinine marketing speak – what’s more “live view” than, in fact, looking at a direct view of reality? I was never aware that TV was more real and live than what my eyes see.

In many ways, philosophically, and given the amazing latitude that modern sensors give and that allowed in post-processing, I don’t understand the photographer’s focus on wanting to pre-determine all output variables before the shot. I understand focus (easiest with manual focus and distance scales even at 1.4, without an obsession for tack sharpness), but why on exposure, color processing, “effects”, image ratio, etc? All of this simply adds to the complexity up front, when the photographer’s focus should be on subject and composition.

I truly believe that for all the advances in technology, now that the pace and goals of camera development have been largely driven by electronics companies (Sony) as opposed to photography companies (Nikon, Canon, Olympus), images may be technically “better” (or more impressively outpacing what the average naked eye can see), but with no more artistic merit than before, and perhaps, on average, less.

A couple years ago on Peter’s site, I posted a comment about the increasing divide in digital photography between human perception of the scene and digital perception of the scene, and it’s impact on creating images that have humanity in them (and not just “impressiveness”). I’m still thinking through those issues, and I’m sure there’s a longer article somewhere in there waiting to be written.

In the industry’s relentless march to continually make more “capable” tools with higher ISO abilities, it has created a larger gap between how the eye and mind perceives a scene in terms of light and how the tool is capable of seeing the scene.

I’ve always believed that a lot of the CCD vs CMOS debate was actually an acknowledgement of the dissonance of the camera not seeing like the eye sees. The M9 with a 35mm Summilux basically tolerated light like the human eye – during the magic hour, the photographer’s ability to see the scene and the camera’s ability to see the scene were synchronised; most all CCDs when paired with a fast lens were tuned in a way to more or less match the film range, which more or less matched the capability of human vision.

As ISOs go through the roof, suddenly the camera sees more than the eye, or to take it to an extreme, the camera viewfinder can create all the aesthetic parameters of the work of art that the photographer wants before the photographer even takes the photo. But is this what we really want and need to develop our “eye” and create a visual memory of our lives in our minds and not just on the screen/paper?

It’s the same story with “creative” points of view allowable with tilt screens, phone remote apps, and, of course, drones. All “impressive” capabilities that allow “new” images from points of view that people haven’t necessarily seen before, but how many of these images have any real merit as compositions with a valuable message or story once the freshness wilts? And does the birds eye view really allow us to develop a better understanding of how to have successful human interaction, which frankly our planet could use more of to get us out of the current mess that we’re in?

OK maybe I’m reaching a little there – but the issues are fundamental. It’s why to me despite the Leica S not “keeping up” with the technology cycle, I still am incredibly tempted by the S006, because of its absolutely brilliant split prism viewfinder screen, no live view, no video, and a wonderful sensor and processing engine. It’s an M9 for the SLR set. Too big for my type of photography, ans call me old school, but I’m constantly wowed by that viewfinder.

I don’t want to be as coy or as blatantly European as saying it’s all about Das W, but Leica in their own way has a real point, once you cut through the marketing babble.

As I’ve said before, to each his own. The M9 has been the only camera in my 30 year career that I can truly say has made me a better photographer, and that I enjoy picking up like no other. The images aren’t as sharp, and the highlights not as smooth, and the composition not as perfect, but every time I’m at least damn sure that it’s identical to what my eyes saw and what my mind remembers, which is invaluable.

Best Regards,

ACG

[Guest Post]: Aaron C Greenman (1 image).

Today, Aaron shares his thoughts (as well as a fine image) after his recent extensive use of the Hasselblad X1D.

You can find more of Mr. Greenman‘s work at:  acuitycolorgrain

Thank you Aaron for your contribution!

—Peter.

– – – – – –

ACG writes:

“After a dip in the non-Leica waters for a few months (Hasselblad X1D and 45mm to be exact) and a penultimate, frustrating experience continually trying to get my “decisive moment” (and failing) with that set-up, I’m back to the M9P and MM exclusively, with my trusty 35mm Summilux ASPH (pre-FLE).

We all go through phases, but this last one has taught me definitively: megapixels and dynamic range no longer matter, it’s all about the shooting experience, the “view”, and the rendering of the lens. Long live Leica M……”

↑Image © Aaron C Greenman.

Aaron C Greenman.

A good friend of this site, Aaron, has some images to share from his France Profonde series.

Please have a look.

—Peter.

Nick Devlin’s Photo Exhibition.

My good friend Nick Devlin will be exhibiting his work at the Pikto Gallery in Toronto later this month.

I’ve seen some of the prints and they are spectacular – well worth checking out.

—Peter.

Nick Devlin Photo Exhibition

ACG’s images of the recreation of the Battle of Waterloo (Belgium).

Aaron C. Greenman is a friend who has graced this site with his images in the past. He wrote to me today to share some of his latest photographs. They are worth checking out!

—Peter.

ACG writes:

“Peter,

Thought you might enjoy some images from the 200th anniversary recreation of the Battle of Waterloo here in Belgium this past weekend.

Some of these will appear on the Leica blog later this week.

Best Regards,

Aaron C Greenman

Guest Post: Joe Tori and “The Psychic Bees”

I am pleased to share a first-time Guest Post by Joe Tori.

Joe, I love the emotion, composition, and lighting.

…and the B&W tones are visually mellifluous!

—Peter.

Joe Tori writes:

“Detroit has a vibrant and collegial music scene; lots of ensembles spanning all genres. “The Psychic Bees” are just one – and one of the newest — bands making up this energetic landscape. And, of course, I would not miss a performance, since my daughter is one of its members. Previously, she was a founding member of an all-girl, alternative punk band that met with some success, recording and performing original music at a number of well-regarded venues around town. Alas, however, logistics and educational demands forced the demise of “Smudge Candy” and Anna immersed herself in university studies and rock music instruction. Recently, she accepted a career-enhancing job opportunity and her music writing/performing passion was reignited. “The Psychic Bees”, made up of some very capable and genuinely nice musicians wrote new music and debuted it at The Diesel Lounge.

In photographing these events I strive for – but don’t always achieve – the goal of capturing the spirit of the performance. Lighting conditions are often challenging. And, it can be difficult to seize an instant in which all performers are out in the open and in the moment. This image stood out for me as one such instance. Anna was immersed and Adam was absorbed. I’m pleased to have caught this moment.

(The photo was made using the Sony RX1R. The RAW image received only minor adjustment in Photoshop CC).”

Psychic Bees - JTori

Guest Post: Aaron C. Greenman.

Aaron C. Greenman has previously contributed to this site and has even been a Featured Photographer.  Normally, his work is informed by his previous experiences in newspaper journalism, and his interest in graphic arts.  This time, however, Aaron wanted to contribute something a little different.  I’ll let him tell you, in his own words.

—Peter.

Aaron C. Greenman writes:

“I rarely if ever post photos of members of my family, but this is a photo of my daughter, who was performing in a high school theatre production of Michel de Ghelderode’s “Le Sommeil de la Raison,” written in the early 20th century, between the two world wars. It is a surrealist play about a man who hallucinates in a dream that he meets the seven deadly sins, and death itself, and the play is a comment on man’s hopeless actions toward itself.

My daughter played the main female character – Lust – and As a service to the theatre troupe, I made some photos of one of the final dress rehearsals. She has been preparing the role for almost nine months, and no one in our family had ever heard even one word of text around the house.

During my sneak peek of the play, it was as if watching my teenager transformed. In this one moment, in which Lust wrestles with death, her eye caught the camera (and her father), and with a single, momentary glance, surrounded by a frenzy of color, light and shadow, I felt like she was announcing her power, self-reliance, individuality and arrival as an adult to her father.”

Guest Post ACG

AcuityColorGrain, a documentary film.

I am pleased to announce that the work of fellow photographer (and friend of this site) Aaron C. Greenman, will be featured in a documentary film.  The film is scheduled to be released by the end of 2015.

The trailer can be found here.

Congratulations Aaron!

—Peter.

Related:

PhotographsbyPeter | Prosophos Featured Photographer: Aaron C. Greenman.

 

Luiz Paulo published in LFI!

Luiz Paulo LFI 2014

Long time friend and contributing photographer to this site, Luiz Paulo, has been published in the latest addition of LFI.

Congratulations Luiz!

—Peter.

Honey 2011, Mamiya 2014.

Test Shot #2 from the first roll of film run through the Mamiya 7II.

This was photographed with the 80 mm lens near its close-focus limit of 1 m.

—Peter.

Honey 2011, Mamiya 7II 2014

Guest Post: Aaron C. Greenman’s vision for a digital Leica MP.

As most of the visitors of this site know, I have written an Open Letter to Leica requesting an updated CCD sensor on a future Leica M model.  Thus far, over 200 of you have signed it.

Today’s Guest Post by Aaron C. Greenman will likely generate some discussion because, in addition to requesting a CCD sensor, Aaron goes further and requests a digital iteration of Leica‘s iconic MP film body.  Although several elements in Aaron‘s post have been previously circulated in various fora online, Aaron distinguishes himself by proposing a cohesive vision of his ideal camera — a camera which represents a sort of anti-modern photographic device for the photographer placing simplicity, quality, and reliability above all.

Although I cannot say I agree with every facet of Aaron‘s articulation, I certainly admire the consistency of his vision, and therefore wish to sincerely thank him for this contribution to the Leica community.

—Peter.

Aaron C. Greenman writes:

“Peter,
 
Firstly, I wanted to thank you for your work on the Open Letter to Leica.
 
It is important for the company to know that there is a reasonably sized photographer community that still prefers the CCD-based Leica digital rangefinders for their rendering style. As Trusense Imaging (and others) are still developing and producing later generation full-frame CCDs, the sensor architecture is anything besides obsolete to photographers looking to dedicate themselves to high quality “stills only” work. Later generation sensors are bound to offer higher resolution than the 18MP in the Leica M9, coupled with 1-2 stops better ISO performance (making ISO 1600-3200 useable in color, even higher in B&W). Coupled with summilux and summicron lenses, such useability would easily cover 90% of normal shooting requirements, while still preserving the wonderful low ISO rendering style of M9 files.
 
It is also clear, based on the better than anticipated success of the Monochrom, that Leica customers above all are interested in embracing what they believe to be the best photographic tools, with little regard to features that they simply do not need or ancillary specifications that are sometimes included for true progress and sometimes included to motivate planned obsolescence/unnecessary purchase upgrading. So with a relatively modest commitment to further research and development, Leica could create a real alternative to its “M(240)” product line and at the same time a successful, profitable and unique (counter-culture) item that would generate revenue and profit for the company.
 
While I agree with your letter, I believe the time is right for Leica to go even beyond your request, toward a true and faithful next generation (i.e. digital) version of the Leica MP:
 

  • Body with same indestructible build quality and exact dimensions as the current MP, offered in both high gloss painted black and chrome silver (no paint) and weather sealed.  With the A7 and A7R, Sony has proved that it is technically possible to sufficiently condense the depth of the camera body;

  • Identical viewfinder to the MP, with a la carte options for different magnifications and single framelines

  • Aperture priority mode as in Leica M9

  • High resolution (36MP or more) Truesense CCD – could even be produced in color and monochrom-only versions, which would effectively carry forward both the M9 and Monochrom product lines;

  • no video;

  • no rear LCD;

  • small top info screen (like frame counter on MP or M8) for battery charge and shots remaining, could even be mechanical dials similar to Epson RD1;

  • manual MP-like dials on rear for ISO (auto + each manual setting) and exposure compensation;

  • only RAW shooting, auto WB only;

  • extremely low power usage, long battery life;

  • manual shutter re-cocking with lever (like Epson RD1)

  • no “motor drive” to save battery life (could have an optional motor drive that replaces the bottom plate);

  • Ideally a 1/8000 maximum shutter speed, though this should take a back seat to low power usage and manual shutter re-cocking; and

  • Frame preview lever.

 
While the world moves toward EVFs, the above would offer a real alternative and reinforce the heritage and mechanic quality of the Leica M rangefinder. I, for one, am waiting.”
 

Leica MP - Black

Leica MP - Silver

Leica MP - Top Plate

↑Camera body photos © Leica Camera AG.

Aaron C. Greenman has been a photographer for over 25 years and has lived and worked on four continents. His online portfolio is available for viewing at acuitycolorgrain.com, and his work has been published in various places online including The Leica Camera Blog. His first monograph is now available for the iPad.

[Note:  Aaron was previously a Featured Photographer on this site.]

Guest Post: Roel van Noord.

Today’s Guest Post is from Roel van Noord, who has often contributed to the discussions on this site, but has otherwise been quietly modest about his own photography.

Well, that’s about to change.

Roel, in one of his projects, had the courage to head out on the street and ask total strangers to pose for him.  The result: a plethora of fascinating portraits.  Despite the diverse cast of characters captured in his images, there is one unifying element: they are all wearing hats.

I’ll let Roel explain how this came to be:

“Hi Peter,

I have been visiting your site almost everyday and I still love it. Thank you for putting in the effort of sharing your images and thoughts which are, at moments, very personal.

Has been a while since we connected… just started my second exhibition this year with a series of street portraits.  The theme is goed gemutst (“well hatted”), which in Dutch means something like “looking good” but also “feeling good” (well spirited).  Don’t know if there is a similar translation for that in English.

The series was shot in winter and shows people comfy dressed (hats/shawls) against the cold (a bit like ‘if you snooze you loose’, or as we say in Holland, “if you stay at home because of the weather you are always wrong”). You will see here that the weather was fabulous ;o) “

Roel.

Wolfman Jack

100% Pure

Dreads

Smiling eyes

Just did it

Thank you very much Roel!

To see more of Roel‘s work, please see here.

—Peter.

Guest Post: Luiz Paulo.

I am pleased to present four new images this year from a dear friend, and outstanding photographer, Luiz Paulo.

I must confess, I have an affinity for Luiz‘s photography because we share similar sensibilities when it comes to our subject matter:  Luiz photographs his daughter (family), and he captures the capricious and simultaneously important elements of daily existence (Life’s Little Moments).

On a technical note, this time Luiz treats us with complex explorations in composition and a rare (for him) infusion of colour.

Finally, I am very excited to announce that Luiz will be featured in an upcoming issue of Leica Fotographie International, where many of his images are already prominently displayed online .

Please help me, then, in welcoming him once again to this site.

—Peter.

[If you would like to see more of Luiz‘s work, please visit previous posts on this site here, herehere, and here.]



Luiz 1

Luiz 2

Luiz 3

Luiz 4

Plustek 120 and Silverfast: Mark’s settings for dust removal.

I recently reported on the Plustek 120 scanner for scanning B&W film.

After reading about my positive experience with the Plustek 120, my friend Mark purchased one.  Mark, being a Master in film processing, develops both B&W and colour film.  While using the colour film dust removal feature of the Silverfast sofware, he initially found things weren’t working.   However, a few quick changes in Silverfast solved the problem.

Mark writes:

“I appear to have a fix for the problem… It seems that there is a setting under [Silverfast’s] “Preferences > Special > Maximum Offset for iSRD alignment” that is “Maxed Out” by default. I have decreased my value to 50 (from a default of 70) and decreased the detection threshold to 2 (in the iSRD Dialogue) and the resulting correction is PERFECT, with no alterations in the underlying grain structure of the resulting scan…I hereby declare this to be a FINE scanner

Thank you for this information Mark.

—Peter.

Guest Post: Matteo.

Editor’s Note:

I am pleased to present the B&W film work of Matteo (the same gentleman who inspired this Q&A post yesterday).  Lately Matteo has been exploring film and rangefinder photography, and these images were created over the past several months.

Matteo 1

Matteo 2

Matteo 3

Matteo 4

Matteo 5

Matteo 6

Matteo 7

Matteo 8

Thank you very much, Matteo, for your beautiful submissions.

—Peter.

Guest Post: Hugues Faye (Part 3 of 3).

Editor’s Note:

You may recognize well known Leica aficionado and previously Featured Photographer Ashwin Rao in this set.   Ashwin was generous enough to allow his image to be posted as part of this series.  (Thank you A.R.!)

PETER13

PETER14

PETER15

PETER16

PETER17

PETER18

PETER19

PETER20

Once again, I am deeply indebted to Mr. Hugues Faye for sharing his images on Prosophos.com.

(Dear Hugues, your photography is almost surpassed by your humility.  You are an inspiration.)

With great respect,

—Peter.

Please also see these previous posts featuring Hugues‘ work:

Featured Photographer:  Hughf

Guest Post: Hugues Faye (Part 1).

Guest Post: Hugues Faye (Part 2).