TMP Blog

Landscape photography with a difference!

 

Polemic spleen venting blood boiling verbose banal diatribe from an Aspergic point-of-view! Or not, as the case may be!

My new m8

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With a dawning sense of horror, I came to the realisation that I have not made a post for almost six months!

Half a year!

Gone!

What have I been doing in the past six months that has caused me to fall silent? In one word…

WINTER!

I loath winter! It's not the cold, nor the rain, but the distinct lack of Sunlight. That factor alone profoundly affects my mood, ebbs enthusiasm and saps energy levels. It takes a time to recover, often months.

Photographically I ended last year on a high. I had abandoned most things digital and returned to a more pure form of photography in the use of my 1957 Leica M2 and wonderful 5cm f/2 Summicron.

Then Winter happened and everything went to pot. The inevitable slide into the darkness in both mood and weather happened with me in a state of catatonic inaction. I watched as my photography fell apart. Posts ceased, creativity plummeted, the shutter silenced. The long wait began.

It was January when I started to notice that glimmer of light that evocatively and tantalisingly danced on the far horizon as the Sun ebbed its weak Winter light into the bleak. That evening glow provides no warmth, save to the weary of soul, signals the loosening of Winter’s cold and heartless grip.

In this sojourn of darkness, I lay photographically redundant, creatively impotent. Then, as the light waxed, I felt like using a camera, but not the M2!

I reached for my Olympus E-1, then the Leica M8. Yes! Digital! Yes! Colour! I felt like a heretic, an apostate to pure form photography.

I muse that Winter by itself is inherently monochromatic, dull, drab and sombre, that I craved the bliss of colour. Colour lifts the mood. Colour expands consciousness.

I recall with somewhat of a shudder the proclamation in 2006 of the first digital Leica M, the Leica M8. Leica, digital, M in the same sentence! How could they! Then, in late 2015, by the sale of equipment, I summoned all my available cash and I made the purchase of a Leica M8. I know not why. I was browsing the pages on www.ffordes.com and my cursor momentarily hovered over the “buy” button. Before I knew it and for some unfathomable reason I “clicked” the mouse. A Leica M8 was mine.

 

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Leica Hiatus!

Winter.

How I hate Winter!

Short days, bad light and bad weather.

It can, however, result in an albeit few crisp and bright days. The glimmer in the darkness.

When I shoot with film I like the conditions to be just-so. The light just right. In my enthusiasm since picking up the Leica in August, I totally forgot about the Winter.  In those dark depressing months (when I should be in the Algarve) the film photography is packed away and on those few days where I actually feel like venturing forth I use the DSLR. Why? Mainly because the lack of Sunlight reduces my motivation substantially and I just don't have the mental energy required to shoot and process film. In the unrelenting and unremitting grey of a Welsh Winter, I find the burst of digital colour lifts the mood and breaks the stranglehold of bland monotony.

Over the years, I have used so many digital cameras that it is rather embarrassing. I still, however, keep coming back to my third DSLR, the Olympus E-1. Mine is 12 years old and still in stunning condition. The five megapixel RAW files are more than adequate for A3 printing, and considering I rarely print to this size anything more than five megapixels is a waste. I really like the colour rendition and feel of the Kodak sensor in the E-1 and the sheer quality of those Digital Zuiko lenses. I recently purchased a second body, also in immaculate condition, for £70. Even better, this particular body still had firmware 1.1 and a shutter count of 282. Once in a while, I use an E-3 and also have a retired E-300.

I don't set out to produce competition winners or masterpieces even if I was good enough. I do all of this for the sheer pleasure and enjoyment, to see fantastic views, to walk some big hills and to appreciate the wonderful gift that is colour and light. I rarely spend more than ten minutes on a picture, contrast, levels, saturation and a little burn here and there. You won't see me with an ND grad or a tripod or using Fauxtoshop!

Not to worry, it will be spring soon, Summer is on the way and the Leica is already fully loaded with Ilford Pan F+ and ready to go!

So, if you don't like digital and colour now is the time to turn away and use the sick bucket

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Ysgyryd Fawr Summit