9.10.2022

The recovery walk that continues into the weekend with a Leica TL2 and the "now popular" Sigma 45mm.

This was an image shot in Jpeg of my kitchen in mid-morning. The lens was set to f4.0 and the ISO was 6400. Looks pretty clean to me. The focus was on the bottle of cleaner in the left hand third of the frame.

Reader MM, was asking about the color I'm getting from Leica cameras and it made me curious to find out if there was some commonality across the line of modern, L or T mount lens cameras (pretty much the same thing) and, if so, what it might be. I'm not sure I know so I made a bunch of photographs today with a Leica TL2 and a lens that seems to be getting a lot of play in the media recently thanks to our friend, Michael Johnston's new found fascination with the Sigma fp and its companion lens, the Sigma i-Series 45mm f2.8. 

It was bright and sunny today and almost everything I shot was with the lens set to an aperture of f5.6 with the camera doing AWB and the ISO determined purely by the machines. My post shooting intervention was my usual routine of opening up shadows a bit, clamping down on highlights just a tad, adding some clarity with the Lightroom clarity slider, adding a bit of saturation (I normally photography on that camera with the saturation turned down by half and then adding to taste after the fact) and then hitting the "export" button with vigor. All my street post production is generally done in Lightroom while my paid work is usually finished in PhotoShop. Believe me, there's no magic in my tail post production routines...

But I'll be darned. The files and the colors do look a bit different. I'll add a bunch of samples and let you smarter VSL visitors tell us what we might be reacting to. May just be the "credit-card-placebo-effect." 

What do you think?


















"Oh crap! How do I turn the video off?"



 

Post Vaccine Recovery Walk. The healing powers of the Leica CL....

My current favorite modern art gallery: West Chelsea Contemporary. In Austin. 

I figured I could sit around on the couch and watch all the old Star Wars movies again or I could ignore the fading side effects of my two vaccines from yesterday and get back to normal stuff. I chose the normal stuff. I've been having a renewed love affair with the Leica CL so I decided to take one of the pair downtown along with the tiny Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 Contemporary lens. It's the one that only covers APS-C. Almost a perfect match for the CL except for a little bit of vignetting... Not much. Just enough so that I find myself correcting it if there's a lot of "sky" in the photographs...

The gallery is across the street from my usual parking place so it makes for a nice transitional launchpad into a good, downtown walk. The gallery leans strongly toward graffiti inflected works and that's just fine with me although they do toss in a statue of Kip's Big Boy every once in a while; just for fun.




Michael Johnston can be a powerful, subliminal influencer and ever since he embarked on his quest for "purity" in black and white digital imaging I've been trying more and more often to do my own tests and my own work with "monochrome" in mind. I'm not willing to go as far as MJ and mutilate a sensor in order to make it permanently into a black and white camera but I am constantly trying new processing formulas and camera settings to see what I can get. The "Butterfly" bridge that connects downtown to downtown is a willing and patient subject. It's twice as nice now that both sides of the pedestrian sidewalks are now open. 

The lure to black and white seems strong for some in my generation and I think it's pretty obvious that this is because most of us learned the craft by shooting (then) less expensive black and white film and learning to do our own processing and printing in black and white darkrooms. I know that I have an affection for black and white even when I presume that many photographs look better in color, or have their reason to exist based in colors and hues.

It seems obvious that black and white works best for very graphic subjects but lately I see it pressed into service in many of the niches that perhaps should be left to color. Almost as if, in the rush to make everything black and white we end up with "missing pieces."
























I felt "sludgy" and slow when I started my walk but the cadence and rhythm of walking got me back into alignment. I felt so much better after the first two miles. That, and I stopped by the Cookbook CafĂ© for a coffee and a piece of their addictive berry and nut blondie bar. Sugar and caffeine, a sure cure for a double vaccine hangover. Motivated by my desire to be out walking with the Leica CL. 

Plenty of good image making power in a small and light system. A nice change from the bigger cameras.