Sunday, November 8, 2009

Salgado Slideshow

With a few recent articles around the place featuring Sebastiao, I get the feeling something is on it's way. This little slideshow makes for good contemplation.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Canterbury, part II

Leica M8, 21/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH. It's surprisingly dark inside a church. But the strong light makes for very dynamic images if used correctly.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Canterbury, part I

I think more amazing is not the architecture and sheer size of Canterbury cathedral itself, but rather the fact that they built it when the majority of the population was living in thatched huts.

I'm heading to Europe for a few days, more to come when I return.

Leica M8 and 21/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Children are tough. They experience things and deal with them most times, and somehow find ways of coping. In the aftermath of the recent earthquakes in Sumatra, I met a few hardy kids who were taking it all in their stride.

Monday, October 26, 2009

so what does bokeh at 21mm look like?

At close distances, surprisingly very much like the 50/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH stopped down a little. This was shot pretty close to the minimum focus distance, and wide open. (All images shot with the Leica M8 and 21/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH.)

Although backgrounds in middle distance are quite blurred, there's still enough definition to be able to tell what's in the background.

If you don't have any cues in your image as to scale or geometry, it's quite easy to believe that you're shooting with a normal or moderate tele:

Backgrounds are always busy, because it's a superwide and the further away from the camera you get, the more there is going on. So no matter how fast your aperture, the relative blur you can achieve compared to a longer focal length is always going to be significantly less - just look at the depth of field scales.

At longer distances, there's just enough defocus to separate the subject from the background - it looks MUCH better with a large image, or better yet, a print. This has the nice advantage of giving a photo a more 3D feel thanks to that separation.

Overall, the 21 'lux actually has a bit of a schizophrenic personality: at closer subject distances - say below 1.5m - it shoots and renders like a short tele; you have to be very careful of your focus point. At around 5m, it devolves into a supremely competent classical wide: focusing precision isn't that critical and you can mostly get away with zone focusing. Even wide open at f1.4 you've got enough depth of field to cover everything to infinity.

Bottom line: not as much isolation as I'd have thought or liked, but opens up new opportunities when light starts to get low, or your subjects are a little closer...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

continuing the urban monologue

No better way to loosen up a focusing ring than by shooting...

Petticoat Lane, London
Leica M8, 21/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Yet another protest, St. Martin-in-the-fields Church, Trafalgar Square, London
Leica M8, 21/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Just your average migrants
Leica M8, 21/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Up, London Bridge
Leica M8, 21/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Clink Street, London
Leica M8, 21/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


An elderly lady leaves her earthquake damaged home for a communal meal area. Padang Pariaman, West Sumatra, October 2009.

The Malaysian Insider, a local news portal/website has picked up on the earthquake material and published it today.

Do take a look at the article.