Some shots in and around San Francisco that didn’t fit into my buildings series or among the portraits I shot with my wife. I found that this Leitz lens is a perfect length for casual daily usage walking around a city, this is a recommended little lens that I didn’t read about at all online, and only came across since my friend Giulio happened to have it on hand. The Leitz isn’t common, but there are some very affordable Voigtlander 40mm options.
I walked from the Ferry into San Francisco from Larkspur to my first meeting at the Grand Hyatt, and shot a series of underexposed photos with the Leica M 240 and the 40mm f2 Leitz. My focus was the awe-inspiring architecture of downtown San Francisco. I wanted to try something different with architectural photos, and had no idea where to start. I find in this scenario, it’s best to just shoot ANYTHING that comes to mind, and see what ideas happen in the results. I used to spend too much time trying to concept before shooting, now I find the best ideas come by just letting loose. A few shots into taking photos in the city, I captured one of the buildings underexposed, and immediately said “I can try to really effect these in Lightroom if I keep shooting underexposed” and that was that. The series that ensued is here.
My wife is fully addicted to using the Leica M240 now, she can accurately work shutter speed and use the viewfinder to focus, and I’m sure once we get out at night ISO will be next. She’s also much more open to walking up to strangers and asking to take a picture of their dog, etc, so we’re getting into new comfort zones as well. We shot back and forth around San Anselmo with my family.
This weekend also marked an important transition in the Leica journey… My wife, sensing my excitement and seeing the quality of the photos, wanted to get her hands on the camera. We spend a few moments discussing manual focus, tossed the lens to wide open at f/2, selected Aperture Priority, and she was off the the races. One of her first shots is one of my favorites on the camera so far.
Getting out on the road my first week of owning the M240 was a great opportunity. A work trip to Boston isn’t exactly a scenic vacation, when I travel for work I usually end up with no time to myself, and Boston was a rainy, urban mess for the week I was there, but my goal has been to force myself to shoot everyday, and I found ways to make it work even under complicated circumstances.
I was surprised at the level of excitement I had when I came home with my Leica M240. I have owned many pieces of gear in my life, but there was something about this one, perhaps the mystique I’d attached to it, perhaps the long time I’d waited for the right camera at the right price, but I really felt excitement the likes of which rarely happen in my life, especially around an object not an experience.