NEW YORK NEW YORK – Bruisingly busy day. Snapped a few iPhones around the house. The iPhone photo app that I’ve settled on is KitCam, where I’ve adopted a square format, a faux tilt tool, and frame lines that look like a Hasselblad film camera’s (the app calls it “Victor”).
On this day last year: Japanese maple. At Lever House.
Japanese Maple at Lever House
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Tulips in the kitchen with my iPhone. Kind of a long day doing other stuff.
Tulips in the kitchen
On this day last year: Winston
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Ugh. Tax day is April 15. Today is my day to complete pulling our 2012 documentation together to hand over to our accountant, who will make an educated guess as to our liability so we can file an extension on April 15. This, plus some calls and reading in my law practice, took over the day. Visually I’m out of the moment and out of touch.
But wait. What about my blog. On days like this I get small with my iPhone. Here you go:
Actually on sorting back through some files on April 13 I found a couple of files that I like so I’ve edited this post and included the following shot with my Leica Monochrom and a 21mm Super Elmar M lens:
On this day last year: Paris Review benefit.
Paris Review benefit
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Another poor landscape day so I busied myself around the house getting close with my IPhone. Today I made Bauhaus-style images along the lines of Ringl and Pit. This is actually working out really well.
On this day last year: Sale.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – So here I am out on the street (actually a side street in the 80s on the East Side) with my Leica Monochrom trying to take a serious picture. This is with my 18mm Super Elmar lens and a yellow filter which does nice job of darkening the sky. And of course the second image is a shot around the house with my iPhone and the kitCam app, which I actually think is a better picture.
On this day last year: Leaving town.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I’m looking for some of those winter days with lovely brilliant light to give my new Leica S medium format camera a chance to shine. No luck. More freezing rain and fog. So I put it on a tripod and shot out our window, here with a 120mm macro lens.
On this day last year: Staples. January 11 is clearly another undistinguished date on my calendar.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – We came back to New York today – a long travel day which starts at 6:00 AM in Santa Monica and ends at 6:00 AM in New York – in both cases in the dark this time of year. As you know I sometimes struggle finding a good image on air travel days and this was no exception. In the end I shot a water bottle in our kitchen in NY our of desperation. I also made a few pictures of Francesca but they were terrible. So here’s the water bottle taken with my new Leica S.
Well ok. there’s always this one taken on the plane messing around with photo booth on my iPhone.
On this day one year ago: Vacant lot. Maybe January 10 is just a bad day for me.
A vacant lot
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I’ve got another new old lens to fuss with. The Zeiss Jena all time favorite from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s is the 5.0 cm f1.5 Sonnar (5 cm equals 50mm). It’s a classic design with a classic look that had a very long run (primarily on Contax rangefinder cameras). I found one at a reasonable price on e-bay in a Leica screw mount which can be easily adapted to a modern Leica (and many other contemporary digital cameras). The Contax mount is much less useful because it doesn’t include a focusing capability – the focus control was part of the camera body on Contax rangefinder cameras.
When the lens arrived I noted a couple of odd things about it: it has no depth of field scale and the distance scale is denominated in feet, not meters, an oddity given that its serial number suggested a wartime provenance (the Germans weren’t making lenses to send to the UK and US at that point in history). In the course of some research I learned a lot more about the lens, which I’ll describe in a future post.
So here is an example shot with my Leica Monochrom. Note the beautiful character of the out-of-focus portion of the images – one of the real charms of this lens.
On this day last year: iPhone riot.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I enforce a “no pets or cute kids” rule. Really. Well I’m making a sort of exception today for an image that started out as a picture of a standing vase from Spin in Shanghai in interesting light but ended up as a picture of Basil the Norwich Terrier. He’s a pet for sure so the picture breaks the rule. I’ve added a two frame stitch from the scuzzy stretch of Broadway in the 20s in case you’re a stickler and don’t want to look at a transgressive dog image. Your choice. Both taken with my Leica Monochrom; Basil with a 35mm Summilux FLE lens and the building with a 50mm Summilux, which is just back from a cleaning and adjustment from Nippon Photo Clinic.
Spin meets Basil
On this day last year: iPhone Gallery.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Wow. A very long and demanding week in my day job. I’m beat. Too tired to raise a camera to my eye. I’m home mid-afternoon and ready for a nap but I pulled it together to shoot some images around the apartment. Here’s a porcelain piece from Spin in Shanghai. Taken with my Leica Monochrom and 35mm Summicron lens. This is odd. This image has been received with much praise in the informal network that I use as an editorial resource. It was a casual capture on a day when not much was happening. I guess this is the benefit of shooting every day – a monkey typing on a word processor long enough will eventually produce the entire works of Shakespeare.
On this day last year: at the office with my iPhone.
At the office
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Well this is finally the last week of November, the busiest month of my year. I have a week of meetings and calls which is distracting me from the visual world. I found a few moments this morning to explore our living room with my Leica Monochrom and 50mm Dual Range Summicron lens.
On this day one year ago: Field.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I spent the morning working at my day job and got away in the afternoon in time to stand in line to vote. We had some family and friends over to watch the returns. By 11:00 PM I still hadn’t gotten my picture, so i finally shot the television with Leica Monochrom and 35mm Summilux lens.
On this day one year ago: Not much of an image.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – My Leica Monochrom has been my constant companion now for two months. It’s developing a bit of patina. For those of you who aren’t photo gear nuts you should know that this camera is entirely manual. No autofocus. It has a rangefinder – you align a split image in the middle of the viewfinder. I’m modestly astigmatic, which makes aligning the split image problematic. I’ve finally gotten glasses that correct my astigmatism so I’ve been walking around practicing focusing with them. Here’s from a bathroom in our apartment shot with my 35mm Summilux lens af f1.4 (which provides very shallow depth of focus). I intended to focus on the tiles and that’s how it came out, with the towel a little out of focus. So I’m still in business with the Leica.
On this day one year ago: Blahs.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – This is the second year in a row for a freak storm for us at the end of October. Last year in Connecticut a major blizzard dumped an unprecedented amount of heavy snow while the leaves were still on the trees causing major damage. We lost power for a week and roads were impassable for the better part of that time. We were trapped. Based on that experience we decided to ride out Superstorm Sandy in Manhattan. I spent a good part of Sunday and Monday on preparation – not in a mood for pictures. Here’s a large lead acid battery that’s designed to power a telescope that I’ve adapted to be a power source for charging mobile phones and the like in a power failure. Taken with my Leica Monochrom and 35mm Summilux FLE lens.
On this day last year: Freak storm. As I said before, we had a freak blizzard in Connecticut last year.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I’m loving my Leica Monochrom. In post processing I’ve been experimenting with some film looks to pretty good effect. Here are some examples from today all taken with the Monochrom and my 55-year old 50mm Dual Range Summicron.
I look for construction sites and vacant lots that create views through blocks that don’t exist otherwise and won’t exist for very long. Here’s the New York Life building – three frames stitched in Photoshop.
New York Life
Morning light in our dining room.
On this day last year: fire pit. Color!
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Well here we are at home with takeout Chinese food and some friend of Francesca’s. Taken with my Leica Monochrom and 50mm Dual Range Summicron lens from 1954.
On this day last year: traffic control.
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