Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Leica M6, Zeiss Biogon 35mm f/2
Got my first roll back from the lab today — and took in my second, and shot most of a third while walking over to King & Spadina. I'm having the film processed at Toronto Image Works, and getting 6 megapixel low resolution scans to use as digital contact sheets. I add metadata to the jpeg's from the cd of scans, and import to Lightroom. Any images that I want to work with further I'll make high resolution scans of by myself, and post-process in Lightroom and Photoshop in the usual way, and then print.

I'll post a few images from each roll in my Leica Year low resolution scans set on flickr, untouched as they come from the lab (except for the addition of metadata). Each image will be tagged with the roll number. As I work up the images, I'll add other sets for work prints and final prints. And yes, these will be actual physical prints.

The first roll is here.

Some process problems. First of all, metadata. When shooting 120 or 4x5 the pace is quite leisurely, and keeping track of aperture, shutter speed, time and place in a notebook is not a problem. With the Leica, though, shooting a dozen frames in a few minutes is easy (digital reflexes, remember?) so keeping track of things is more difficult. For this reason the metadata is likely to be inaccurate.

Second, the scan quality isn't great. The resolution is fine, but the dynamic range isn't, and the scans are dusty. So why not just scan everything myself, and stop whining? It takes too long. And it's just a contact sheet, after all.

Other things? Looking at this first roll, especially the pictures of the participants in the Influency poetry salon, I kept thinking of Robert Capa's comment, “If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough.” The shot of NourbeSe Philip would be much better with tighter cropping, for example. Of course I can do that in post-processing, but maybe I should have gone with a 50mm lens. Or maybe I should just get closer.

More to come.

1 comment:

SuperErnie said...

Would you believe, I bought an M6 two weeks ago. Non-ttl because of the slightly cheaper price. Black. It's from the early nineties so mine's got a 'Leica' logo...

I was really inspired by the New Yorker article. Been thinking about Leica for so long, I finally decided to go for it.

I got a 50mm Summilux lens & after some picture taking I'm thinking, wouldn't a 35mm have been better? So there you go ;-)

Brilliant idea, a picture a day. I was thinking about that as well. Next week I'll get my 'try out'-film rolls developed. Will see what I'll do next.

In the meantime I'll be checking out your pictures.

Keep it up,
Rotterdam, Holland