WARREN CONNECTICUT – Over the years we’ve developed a park-like area to the East of our house here, systematically clearing out underbrush and encouraging grass and ferns, and emphasizing the large, mature red and white oaks and sugar maples. In early spring the oaks have clusters of small light green flowers that look like nothing and shed pollen like the devil. Visually they lend a light green haze to the landscape – one of my favorite times of the year. Here you go, photographed with my Leica S medium format camera and a 24mm super wide angle lens.
On this day one year ago: Breakfast.
WARREN CONNECTICUT – Out and about a neighbor’s property in curtain filtered daylight. Not bad. Taken with my Leica S and a 35mm lens.
On this day last year: Noctilux on Broadway.
WARREN CONNECTICUT – We drove up here early today, in time to catch the golden hour here. I’ve turned again to my Leica S, which I struggled with a bit yesterday – it’s a big complex system and I’ve been shooting mainly with my Leica Ms for the last few months so my skills operating the S have slipped a bit. I’ve resolve to tune up my approach to it over the weekend. It does produce remarkable files. Here you go with the Leica S and 120mm macro lens.
On this day last year: Gas explosion. Back to back duds last year.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – This really was a New York New York day. After morning in the office I decided to treat myself so I took the subway to Brooklyn Heights, walked around a bit, ended up in Brooklyn Bridge Park, caught a water taxi, ended up at 46th street and the Hudson River via the Statue of Liberty, walked up the extended Riverside Park to the 79th Street boat basin, and took a taxi home. All in about four hours. I love this place. Both images with my Leica S2 medium format camera and 24mm lens.
On this day last year: Jeans. Whatever. No one’s perfect.
WARREN CONNECTICUT – We haven’t been here for a while. We love Warren so I actually resent (a bit) our recent travel that has made it hard to get here. Basil the Norwich Terrier stays up here we we travel so I drove up today to fetch him. We’re actually going to be in New York this coming weekend for a vey close friend’s Birthday.
I’ve got a Leica lens from the 1950s called a Dual Range Summicron. The DR is an iconic lens that has produced thousands of iconic images in the hands of the most famous photographers of its era. It has two focusing ranges, near and far, and an eyeglass-looking doodad that clips on to activate the close focusing range and adjust the view through the viewfinder for close focus. Very cool, except that on digital Leica Ms the DR can’t be mounted because the close focus cam on the lens doesn’t fit through the opening in the camera body. The solution (which I’ve adopted) is to send the lens to a machine shop to have the close focus cam machined off. It then fits a digital M but in the close focus range the lens lo longer links with the rangefinder so the close focus feature really can’t be used.
Enter the new Leica M, a rangefinder camera that also permits focusing through the lens with an “electronic viewfinder” attachment. I strapped the DR on the the M, set the lens to close focus range and fired up the electronic viewfinder and voila it worked. This brings the focus distance down to .5 meter. Here are a couple of images taken in Warren with this combination.
On this day last year: The Zen of Citicorp.
The Zen of Citibank
NEW YORK NEW YORK – This was a day of eccentric behavior. I shot color. That’s right. Color. You don’t see much of that around here for good reason. I grew up shooting black and white film. Processing it myself. Printing in a darkroom. So I tend to see in Black and White. The camera I currently use most, the Leica Monochrom, only shoots in black and white so it encourages this behavior. But today I took out my Leica M which like almost all digital cameras sees in color so if I want black and white I have to convert the files in Lightroom or Photoshop. But this was a colorful day so I decided to leave the images in color. Here we go, taken with my Leica M and a Leica 24mm Summilux lens. The lens is wearing sunglasses, a .9 neutral density filter. This lets me shoot at f1.4 in daylight leading to very thin depth of field. Wide open this lens has a slightly edgy “bokeh” (the character of the out of focus portions of the image), a common trait of highly corrected modern lenses.
What on earth . . .
Does anyone know what this is?
On this day last year: Racquet and Tennis Club.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – This morning I took a break from professional cares and walked to the office through Central Park in curtain filtered sunlight. Sometimes too filtered and flat; at other times lovely. Today I shot with the Leica Monochrome: the fact that it’s limited to black and white protected me from my worst tendencies and instincts in shooting this time of the year. My lens for the day was the ’60s era Leica 35mm Summicron v.IV, aka the “bokeh king”. The first is three frames stitched.
On this day last year: Look up.
WARREN CONNECTICUT – We’ve had a pattern here in the past few weeks where most days have a high overcast, but at sunrise the sun peeks under it for a few minutes. So here we are in lovely early morning light looking straight up with my Leica M and an 18mm Super Elmar M lens.
Two takes on the same subject. Same camera but with my 35mm Leica Summicron v.IV, a lens from the 1970s known as the “bokeh king”.
Gas station redux
On this day one year ago: Spring in Connecticut. Spring is arriving at least three weeks later this very cold year. But last year at this time . . . this year I’m working with my Monochrom a lot to avoid the Spring colors trap.
WARREN CONNECTICUT – You call this spring?! This is an outrage! I want my money back. The snowdrops (galanthus) have just poked their heads up. Six full weeks later than last year. The forsythia haven’t bloomed! I might as well be in Minnesota.
I shot the snowdrops with my iPhone – that’s how I get close to small things.
On this day last year: 11th Avenue.
WASHINGTON DC – I’m here in DC at some client meetings. They start around 8:00 AM but that let’s me get up and catch the morning magic hour with such monuments and flowering stuff (there’s a lot of it) as are within walking range of our hotel. These are all with my Leica M and an 18mm Super Elmar M lens – my go to wide these days. That’s the same contrail in the first two images.
On this day last year: Blond. Yawn . . .
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Here we are, on the street in Manhattan in bright early Spring light, with my new Leica M and a 21mm Super Elmar M lens. This is familiar territory working through the plusses and minuses of a new Camera.
Same lens (21mm) but three frames stitched.
On this day one year ago: Dinner at the Fours Seasons.
Dinner at the Four Seasons
NEW PRESTON CONNECTICUT – Spring is almost here. Spring runoff swelling the Aspetuck River. Taken with my medium format Leica S camera. Two frames stitched.
On this day last year: Dinner at the Red Rooster. Here we are taking part in Harlem Renaissance II.
Owner of the Red Rooster
WARREN CONNECTICUT – A good day in the country. There was a moment when a shaft of sunlight illuminated a vase in the kitchen – a fleeting moment caught with my Sony Nex-7 and 24mm Summilux lens. Later in the day I walked around with my infrared camera, a Panasonic LX3 that has been adapted so that it’s sensitive to infra red light only.
Out of the closet
On this day one year ago: Southbury Congregational Church
Southbury Congregational Church
WARREN CONNECTICUT – Our Callery Pear trees, running at full throttle. These aren’t really pears – they are a distant cousin of the rose, originally from China, but now widely used as a cultivar here. They are highly valued for their symmetry and dense, long lasting foliage. This is very early for them – we’ve had a warm, dry spring. Taken with my Alpa TC, Phase One back and 32mm Rodenstock lens.
On this day last year: a dreaded travel day. A lounge at Newark Airport.
Continental Lounge Newark
SPRINGTIME IN THE BERSKSHIRES – It’s hard not photographing Spring in Warren, here in the foothills of the Berkshire mountains (actually where I grew up the Berkshire mountains themselves would be considered foothills, and just barely at that). You’re going to have to suffer through flowering trees and shrubs on weekends for a few more weeks. I’ll try to keep it gritty during the week. Taken with my Alpa TC and 32mm Rodenstock lens.
On this day last year: One of Will Ryman’s roses on the Park Avenue Divider. Faux spring. This was taken with a Voigtlander 15mm lens on my Leica – I kind of liked the blue cast on the edge so I didn’t correct it.
Roses on Park Avenue
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Spring. Really. It kind of infects the images. Not that I mind it but the tulips are pretty much everywhere, and . . .well . . you’ve seen a tulip before. Taken with my Sony Nex-7 and a Leica 24mm Summilux.
On this day last year: Prometheus at Rock Center. Taken with my M9 and the Bokeh King.
Prometheus at Rockefeller Center