Here's a roll that's been sitting on the shelf for a while. Most of the images were captured in November at the Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas. It was the first time I took the Rolleiflex SL66 out to take some landscapes. A few important lessons were learn: 1) that's not the right hood for this lens, 2) it's hard to take an interesting BW landscape shot. The first lesson is evident in all of the shots I took, but the second lesson is only realized after I scanned the negatives. I thought I had captured a bunch of interesting shots, but in BW, I lost the beautiful colors of the red canyon and are left with just a bunch of rocks. Now I understand what people mean by focusing on the forms and contrast, because those are the characters that will show through. I ended up with a couple exposure left that I spent while on a biking trip with my son, testing out the built-in tilt function of the SL66. If you look closely in those shots, you'll see the plane of focus isn't parallel to the film.
Saw an interesting discussion in a photography forum tonight.... a guy was describing how he has an active child and he want a camera that has killer autofocus that can keep up with his son. Any modern DSLR camera would have been an easy answer, except they are rejected because he wanted something that is smaller so he can always carry it around and keep it handy. So the conversation revolved around which mirrorless camera had the fastest autofocus and how people tried various cameras under various situations and various camera failed to nail focus. It got me thinking... who's taking the picture?
It seems the camera took a lot of blames for missing the focus, so the logical next step is to find a better camera that won't fail. I think differently... I think they are relying too much on the camera to take the photo, and since we don't yet have artificial intelligence running in our cameras, they are bound to fail sometimes. They don't know exactly who you want in focus, what part of their body you want in focus and not in focus, and they're not tracking the subject you want to anticipate their movements. This is exactly what I learned after shooting with a manual focus camera like the M9 after a few months. You learn to relax the depth of field, you learn to move the camera with the moving subject, and you learn to anticipate their movement forward and backward with your focus so you can nail the shot even as they run toward you.
Of course, I don't nail the shot 100% of the time. However, when I fail to nail the focus, I knew it was my fault. No need to get another camera, I just need to practice more, or try a few extra exposures to be sure. Now looking back, I've been shooting the M9 for almost 3 years and the camera itself is over 5 years old, and to me, it's just as awesome of a camera as it was when I got it.
I heard a great quote by Craig Semetko in a Leica ad:
"For me, the Leica M is the path of least resistance between what I see on the street and a final print in my hand."
My Journey into Leica...
A path not to be taken lightly, not without reservations, and not without dedication, but the results can be sweet, OH SO SWEET! This is a documentation of my trials and tribulations into the world of Leica Rangefinder Photography, and I hope you'll enjoy coming along with me.