Painting with a lens.
Some say that photography today is not what it used to be. Everyone runs around with there smartphones and Nikon D4s and fires away shots like there was no tomorrow. The thing is that I think this was also the case “back in the days” when people used there slr with some Fujifilm stuffed in it. Not that your everyday shoter would fire away 20 shots at the same target but from my perspective that’s not the case today either? I mean sure if you baby is taking its first steps you will definitely burst away 20 frames or if you take a selfie you’ll do the same to get that shot. I can Imagen that this was the case back in the days as well… Maybe not 20 frames but surely 4 or 5. And if you look at the professionals I don’t think it’s any difference between now and then. If you work with it and you have to deliver you won’t be held back by a few frames of extra film.
Why am I bringing this up when I should talk about painting with a lens? Because all to often I forget how hard it is to nail a photo with just one shot. Especially when it comes to the Leica Noctilux, most of the time I only fire away one frame even though I know that 50 more would probably give me exactly what I was looking for and it doesn’t cost a dime just some extra space on the memory card. I know the Leica is supposed to slow you down and think about the subject but when it’s there and your dof is as thin as a razorblade you could ad a few frames for the possibility of compensating for focus shift and movement both at the subject and the photographer.
What I want to say is relax and fire away like they did back in the 60ies leave the selfies to the rest of the people.
I actually took about 15 frames from different angles, both landscape and portrait, changing aperture and refocusing each time. And finally I gave up. When I got home the above frame gave me that real feeling of how to treat a piano. Just look at that soft touch. Compare this to the first photo that I only took one single frame of. Didn’t even think about taking one more frame and that subject was static so I could have gone on forever until I was sure that I had it. I love the feeling of the Noctilux I that picture but could I have gotten a better one if I worked it a bit more? Probably.
Same thing with this photo. Only one frame and never looked back, why? I would have understood it if it was a busy street and it would only stay like this for a fraction of a second and never come back.
This one was also about 10 frames and one made it all the way, with his expression and that I happend to get him in focus, not that the other was all out of focus just a combination of in focus, great expression and he moved his feet into the frame.
So what do I want to say with this? Take your time, think about the photo you want but don’t settle with only one frame. Shoot away as many as you can because you never know if you like to others better.
All the above photos are from the Leica M240 and the Noctilux f1.