Creative: The Leica File 20


Okay, I’m back. It’s back. The Leica File. You asked for it. I’m making good on my promise. The truth. Haven’t used the Leica in ages. Haven’t used ANYTHING in ages, except for the x100T, but that’s just for work stuff. I’m hoping to remedy this at some point, but I have to explain something. I’m feeling pretty good these days. Health wise. So when I get moments to do I tend to choose the “Adventure” portion of my life. Bike, hike, fish, climb, run, scavenge, crawl, flop, etc. The good stuff. When I get moments I don’t tend to reach for the camera these days. I reach for my boots, my clips, my rain gear, my flyrod and I go out, into the wilds.

But there is ONE kind of photography that still interests me. The random, personal image. Black and white. Snapshots. THESE I hope to continue with the Leica. I just need space and time. I’m working on it. The images you see in the next fourteen posts of this series are all old images, but I’m hoping to cut them with new. I dream about taking the train to a small, dusty town in the American Southwest, and then I realize I have a job and can’t do that. And that the train is too expensive, slow and might not stop at small, dusty towns. I dream of spacing, of the elements moving, and then I remember I live in Newport where everything is new, sterile and void of style. A guy can dream, and I will continue to do so.

The images here will range. Black and white, color, reportage, portrait-ish, maybe even a landscape-ish type thing from time to time. Who knows? What connects them? That silly little thing we call a Leica rangefinder.

13 Comments on “Creative: The Leica File 20”

    1. AM,
      I should post a few images of the guys getting drilled. It’s kinda unreal to see. Having spent my youth running from barnyard animals it’s interesting to see someone take a stand.

  1. Yes. Reminds me to shoot more film. As if the Hassy, Mamiya and Canon F1 sitting on my desk aren’t reminders enough…

  2. The Leica’s small enough to take with you into the wilds or in a bag on the bike. My M7 survived a bike wreck in California, so your refurbished M4 should be fine. Be like your friend Jim Marshall, who always had at least one M4 with him.

    Wonder what Papa Hemingway would write about the bulls being not killed.

    1. Bob,
      Papa would have jumped in the ring and gutted the bull with a broken wine bottle. The M4 is too heavy for me. I need all the help I can get getting my weak ass up and over the terrain.

  3. Oh gosh, what a joy to read you’re filling the moments with “Bike, hike, fish, climb, run, scavenge, crawl, flop, etc”. It’s the nicest thing to have, this choice of which things to pick up or to do, with none or almost no obstruction on the physical side. Enjoy it man.

    The snapshots are great. Lovely b&W shot. Tmax3200, auch… this pain when I think of it again, nicest grain ever. Fuji killed their Neopan1600 too leaving me on the dark streets with an empty camera as an orphan far from home. I use the Superia 1600 now in color at ISO1000 because it’s so beautiful; Ilford’s Delta3200 will have to do the job in B&W.

    Many thanks for this post.

    1. Reiner,
      Yes, alas, 3200 was DOA a few years ago. But, the Ilford is alive, and there are ways of making TRI-X look good pushed with the right developer.

  4. Good to hear that you are feeling well, Daniel, I had noticed that you were doing things that leave me exhausted just reading about them. Welcome back Leica File! I miss film; digital is o.k. but nothing beats film, I just wish that a manufacturer other than Leica would make an affirmation of its (films) viability going forward by making a film camera: even if it was a limited edition. A nice Nikon F3 would be most welcome.


    1. Mike,
      The buying cycle of film no longer fits the professional world. Why would they sell you a camera that will work for the rest of your life when they can sell you one that will be considered outdated in 18-months? They NEED to keep people buying multiple new cameras per year of they will all go away. Sad but true. Margins on digital bodies are tiny, and you will see the rise of box store cameras in the coming years. It’s going to be ugly. Consumerism killed the well made.

  5. Glad to see you resume the series, Dan. I know you have still have D76 in your veins (or Sprint;) and have lots of Leica M4 mileage left in the tank. You may recall I was one of your devotees 😉 that asked to see these Leicafile posts continue. Great!

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