The other day my girlfriend asked me to not make plans Friday night without any explanation. Well, Friday comes around and we’re walking through Brooklyn Bridge Park, still without a slight idea of what we’re doing or why we are there. After almost an hour and a half of walking all of the park, she pleasantly surprised me when she told me “we’re here” meaning Photoville. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Photoville is a modular venue built from re-purposed shipping containers, each housing a small gallery by one or many photographers. There is beer, food, speakers, tents, activities, other photographers, you name it. I felt like a kid at a candy store!
Turns out she had previously interned with Digital Silver Imaging in Boston (check them out for amazing quality prints) and they were present at one of the galleries as they had printed some images in partnership with Leica. She introduced me, we got talking and I couldn’t help but express my desire to get my hands on one of the Leica cameras. As it turns out, one could borrow one of their cameras at the event. That Friday night was perfect for a Leica M with a wide lens to capture breathtaking images. As it is getting near closing time, I return the camera and promise to come back. That Sunday, I stayed true to my words and came back to play with a Leica one more time. This time I chose the M monochrom camera, but someone else had just rented it. I had to wait for a few hours and I’m sure my girlfriend was starting to regret bringing me to this event. Truth be told: the wait was so worth it. This camera is something to get used to and definitely challenging. It is manual focus, has manual and automatic exposure and manual f-stops. You have to combine the three elements and become one with the camera until you capture the right shot. The outcome is what you are about to see below.
I’ve been amazed by black and white photography since I was a kid, so this was definitely on the top of my bucket list. Thank you for letting me mark it off, Leica and DSI.
I am not an expert in cameras. This was definitely a challenge for the eye and the brain. Manual focus, manual exposure and manual f-stops. Turning everything, taking the shot, re-taking it, just trying to get it right.
Every one can turn their photos into black and white after editing. Still, nothing can beat the beautiful true black and white that come out the Leica Monochrom.