The summer is almost here. It’s already hot. It’s even getting humid. I don’t love summers in Korea, never have. Lots of things going on this summer though.
So far, I’ve spent some time traveling nearby cities. Places I hadn’t yet gone. It is strange to me how even within an hour from where I live there were all kinds of interesting places I had never been.
Photographically, the last couple months have been interesting for a couple of reasons.
First, I have shot almost exclusively film over the past five or six months. I have enjoyed it. I enjoy not thinking much about the photos until I get around to developing them. I don’t check my photos that often even on digital so I suppose it isn’t that much different. Many of you will have read my post on the Leica Q and about how I used it for the 24 Hour Project last month. No, I didn’t buy one. Yes, I did really like it. And no, it isn’t really for me.
One of the things I realized while shooting film was this:
While I really enjoyed shooting film, I enjoyed shooting with a rangefinder more. For me, film vs digital isn’t really much of an argument anymore. I realized it wasn’t the film part I loved but the cameras I was using.
I’ve gotten some comments recently saying I’ve “sold out” to Leica and comments from people who say I’ve become nothing more than an artsy photographer with a Leica. A pretty much direct quote, the last one. Well, the truth of the matter is I started with Leica camera. My blog was started with a Leica camera. I used an M9 for almost 5 years. I’ve always loved a Leica M.
When I shoot with something like a Ricoh or a Fuji or my smartphone I do so because it is literally something to do. The act of taking a photo isn’t interesting in itself. It is almost like playing a game. A decent photo equals a win.
With a rangefinder, the act of taking the photo is actually fun for me. I enjoy the feeling of it. It is cliche and has been said thousands of times, but it really is a zen like experience. I’ve written many times about how I get some of my best photos with other cameras and that is true. The fact of the matter is though, I don’t feel anything when I’m using them. When I use a Leica, I actually feel like I’m part of what I’m doing. I feel connected to the process.
I’ll probably get hate for this. I’ve realized people like to hate Leicas because they are expensive. I suppose, for me, it doesn’t matter much. I’m just as happy with a Leica M2 (which isn’t particularly expensive) as I am with an M-P. It isn’t the name that interests me but the feeling. Haters gonna hate, as they say.
Speaking of Leica, myself and the rest of the wearethestreet team will be hosted by Leica Korea for a workshop and exhibition in July here in Seoul. My next post will explain in more detail about the workshop and how to sign up (will be via the Leica Korea website). What I can say so far is that the exhibition will open July 7th and myself, Aik Beng Chia, Chulsu Kim, Nicholas Dominic Talvola, and Junku Nishimura will all be present for the workshop and opening.
The following weekend Sean Lotman will also join us! If you’d like some advance info feel free to email me: jtinseoul at gmail dot com.
Anyway, enough for one night.
I’m going to go out a shoot a bit. Since I’m having fun doing so again.
Leica for some just feel right and provides that unexplainable connection. I shot an M8 for years, but need higher ISO for what I was doing. Moved to Fuji XT1 which worked but without the feeling, now the XPro 2 comes close for me.
Very true, Film or digital doesn’t matter. It’s the cameras. And unfortunately it’s the Leica (even my old IIIa) that matters.
Expensive, yes, even the screw mounts and M2 and the lenses… aargh. But it’s what works!
The techniques and methods that one chooses to process a final picture are closer to the hand of the artist than the means that you are using to record the image.
Yep Josh. That clear rangefinder does not create a barrier between you and your subject. That’s what really makes it different. Not saying superior, given its obvious shortcomings, but DIFFERENT. That’s why I’m with you on the Q: great, but not for me.
The Fuji X100 series almost gets there. But the pathetic zone focusing kills the real experience.
Oh by the way here’s my keepers: #1 #8 #17 #18.
Wish I could come to Korea in July, Or maybe not, too humid!
Take care, mate,
Another enjoyable post. You’re for real. I like that. Happy shooting over there in Korea!
Very nice images! I enjoy your blog. Best Leica Digital for me: M-D
Feel free to check it out, nothing special on the sample images, but the camera is wonderful.
Josh I’ve followed and admired your work for quite awhile and I love your latest images, film or digital , the aesthetic is constant, moody and emotional, keep up the good work. Fuck the haters, if people are hating on your work it just means your doing it right. Sold out to Leica? If we could all be so lucky, I would sell out in a minute if they offered, haha. Keep true man.
Thanks dude, I appreciate that. Means a lot. I’m not planning on changing, so, I guess people will get used to it or they won’t. Keep on keeping on, bro.
I have been in the music business for 20 years before. To survive, one should not pay attention to the haters, but care for the ones who give love to what one is creating. To me, you are an real artist, no matter what other people say and how they judge your work. And it is allowed to grow your own idea about how you see your art. If that means, you use a Leica, so should be.
I myself, have now M2 with a 2.8/35 Summaron and a M3 with a Summicron Version II. I am not taking better pictures than with my Ricoh GR, but it is more fun with a rangefinder.
Glad to read a long post again; thanks very much for your thoughts! Have a good summer – kind regards from Germany