A weekend with the Leica M (Typ 240)

I've spent the last year owning a Leica M Monochrom and a Canon 5D mk III, and sadly it was a REALLY sparse year for photos. I probably took less photos in the past year than any year in the past 15, which includes my film days which ended around 2003. 

This weekend, however, I walked around Stockholm a little with my friend Shane Robinson, an amazing painter and photographer from Maui, and I brought the Leica M (Typ 240) and a 50mm 1.4 Summilux ASPH. Wow. Where the Monochrom is clunky, the M is smooth. Where the 5D draws attention, the M stays covert. It's an amazing camera and really brought a little joy back into my recently rather dead photographic life. 

I then posted the photos to Instagram, and after looking back at them I realize that while Instagram is a great community and and an amazing way to get lots of eyes on your photos, the low res, mobile viewing experience really does kill all the detail in them, and not all photos look good in a tiny format. So while I know that 25% of my blog viewers are doing it on mobile, at least there's the option to view the images on a large screen if I blog them. So here they are, click to view them largeish.

Birch trees at Tyresta National Park - I still prefer black and white images, and M files convert beautifully!

While I love black and white, some images want to be left alone. The fall leaves in the background had to stay.

After a visit to the photography museum in Stockholm, Fotografiska, we looked out over the water at this scene.

I almost never shoot vertically, but when you have one lens with you sometimes it makes sense!

And this last image I didn't share on Instagram because I realized it would look boring and terrible. I suppose it really is a little boring, but it captured the mood and weather of the day so perfectly that I like it.

Ars Lake in Tyresta National Park on a cold, misty autumn day.

I'll be shooting lots more with this camera, and have a good amount of travel soon. So should I blog the images? Or just Instagram them? Is that just how people like to consume photos these days?

Japan Nite at The Viper Room | iPhone Photography

When Joe Philipson asked me to accompany him to Japan Nite at The Viper Room over the phone from Austin while he was hanging out at the SXSW Music Festival I just said yes. I didn't really even know what the heck he was talking about. Seriously... it sounded cool... but I still had no idea. It wasn't, in fact, until we actually got to The Viper Room on the night of ??the concert that I even found out exactly what was going on. A bunch of Japanese bands playing one after the other at a really cool LA venue. There was Chatmonchy, JinnyOops, Red Bacteria Vacuum, Omodaka and OKAMOTO'S. Ok, this I could dig... if I like the music.

I did.

My favorite band was JinnyOops, although the version I loved was not the full band... as they were missing their horn players... but I do still enjoy their recorded music very much!

I brought my iPhone and the Olympus E-P2 that I have on loan from Olympus... and was amazingly impressed with both cameras. I haven't really used the iPhone for much, but recently downloaded Hipstamatic app and have been shooting some fun shots with it... and I used it on the crazily lit stage with some pretty cool results.

OKAMOTO'S via iPhone regular camera app: Okamoto's at Japan Nite at The Viper Room

OKAMOTO'S via iPhone Hipstamatic app: Okamoto's at Japan Nite at The Viper Room

chatmonchy via iPhone Hipstamatic app: Chatmonchy at Japan Nite at The Viper Room

OKAMOTO'S via Olympus E-P2 : Okamoto's at Japan Nite at The Viper Room

JinnyOops via Olympus E-P2 : JinnyOops at Japan Nite at The Viper Room

You can see the entire set HERE.

I'm looking forward to shooting more with the iPhone and a LOT more with Hipstamatic. I didn't do much with the Olympus this night... but it's been amazing otherwise... so some great images should be forthcoming.

Holga Fashion Photography - Carlie Renee

Amy, Ashley Rose, Ashley (not Rose) and Carlie asked me to come down and light a fun fashion photography shoot they wanted to do of Ashley Rose... with wonderful makeup and styling (as always) by Carlie. I brought the Alien Bees down to Ladera Ranch, we climbed a hill... and photographic adventure ensued. I wasn't really there to shoot, just sorta show them how I'd light the various things they wanted to shoot... since they are all wedding photographers they wanted to learn a little about fashion lighting when it's dark. Lighting is just one of those things that isn't the most obvious thing to figure out, and having a little guidance from someone who does photographic lighting often can make a big difference.

I brought my Holga which I had just cleaned out and loaded with film the day before... and decided to take a few shots of Carlie while we were all set up. I didn't bother dialing in exposure or trying to get anything perfect... just had Carlie pose how she wanted and I snapped off 11 shots. These are the 5 I like. No PS, just Lightroom adjustments because the exposure was WAY off. I didn't even remove the dust.

I see more Holga Fashion Photography in my future.

Carlie Holga

Carlie Holga 2

Carlie Holga 3

Carlie Holga 4

Carlie Holga 5

Holga photography is a lot of fun. You get unexpected results, not just from the camera but from yourself. Through the crappy little plastic viewfinder things look a little different, and so you look at things a little different. Also, looking through a square is a different experience as well, your cropping is completely new and fresh. Basically what I'm saying is that you should go and buy one. Just PLEASE don't buy one from Urban Outfitters with their flashy colors and $45 price tag.

Go to Freestyle Camera and get one for $28 or click the photo below to buy from Amazon (it's the same price as Freestyle but I get like $1.20, which is cool) and have some FUN.

Buy a Holga on Amazon

Paul Dateh Live Streaming Concert

Well, the concert went off without MUCH of a hitch. We ended up starting almost a half hour late due to audio issues, but once we got started the show was awesome... and both the live and the internet viewers had a blast. After the show we went out to the back balcony (Keats' place is awesome!) and had snacks, pizza and conversation. All in all... awesome night. I shot a few photos outside... love the metal siding background thing. Unfortunately it was only about 5' tall so I had to sit people down... but it worked out. I'll post more shots to Flickr tomorrow or so.

The Bui Brothers at the Madonna Inn

We went to San Luis Obispo yesterday to help a friend and aspiring wedding photographer, Bonnie Tsang, who was shooting her second wedding. We went mostly as support and to do a little second shooting... but we also took the opportunity to shoot a little video that we'll be putting out in the next few weeks. I'll probably post a few shots from the wedding one of these days, but here are a few shots that Lan and I did in another room during the reception when everyone was pretty much stuffing their faces... typically not the best time for photographs.

Lan at The Madonna Inn

Vu at The Madonna Inn

Bui Brothers at The Madonna Inn