Back to basics - the new Leica M-D

Some people might think buying a digital camera body without a screen for 5.950 € is insane… OR, maybe not?

Last weekend I had the chance to test the new Leica M-D. My Leica Dealer from Munich was so kind to lend me the camera for 2 days. My set up for the weekend was the M-D with the beautiful 50mm Summilux.

So far, everything felt familiar shooting with a M - except the missing display and the menus.

In the beginning the missing display felt a bit strange. I caught myself looking at the back of the camera after taking a frame. But after a few shots I got used to it and felt kind a „relieved“. My whole process slowed down, I started to concentrate more on my next frame and the composition of the shot. The curiosity raised while I was shooting, by asking myself, if I got the shot right and in focus.

Olympiastadion, Munich

I felt a little bit like in old days, when I took pictures during the holidays with a film camera and couldn’t wait to hold the final prints in my hands.

In these digital days, this feeling gets more and more lost. With digital cameras, smartphones etc. you immediately see the results - you can take hundreds of shots without thinking on costs or time! Nowadays it feels more like consuming pictures - not „making“ pictures. It is much more like point and shoot, point and shoot…

This process can feel pretty boring after a while and some start loosing fun in taking pictures. A friend of mine once said to me „There are so many great pictures… I am asking myself why should I stick with photography? Nobody needs to see my pictures, cause everything has been photographed?“

He is right - nearly everything has been photographed! But it hasn’t been captured the way you see it! We all are born with a unique view! This is why we should still take pictures. We should just concentrate more on our vision & composition, than on the amount of pictures we take…

BMW World, Munich

BMW World, Munich

With the Leica M-D you’ll get this feeling! It is exciting and fun to shoot with the camera and wait till you get home and see the results on your computer.
The image quality is superb! The color shots look great and editing the files into B&W wasn’t a big deal either.The camera shoots just DNGs - which I love - most of the shots you can use right away! I just did some tiny tweaking in the shadows - but this also could be about my settings.

Some shots with the Leica M-D of the Munich Mash Sports 2016:

Are there any things I didn’t like about the M-D?

Well, yes there are 2 things.
The beautiful ISO Wheel at the back of the camera is easy to use during daylight, but if you are shooting in the dark you can’t see the ISO range on the wheel. I am sure you get used to it after a while. You can put the light of your phone to light up the back of the camera, but honestly this crashes the workflow…

The other thing I didn’t like is I couldn’t find any information about formatting the SD-Card in the camera. I am sure this problem could be resolved in a software update. I resolved this problem formatting the SD Card in my Leica Q - which worked fine.

Would I get a Leica M-D?
Well, if I would have an extra 5.950 € - I might… But I would always have a second camera body as a back up where I have a display, which is important for me when working on assignments.

The M-D camera is for people who like the „film-feeling“ - the excitement in the workflow - without having the costs of buying and developing film. If you want this feeling the camera is absolutely right for you!

If you are curious about the M-D after reading this review, then don’t hesitate to go to your Leica Dealer and ask for testing the Leica M-D. It is a real fun experience!

Shooting Architecture - using the Leica Q as an artistic tool

I love to shoot architecture. For me a building is much more than a space where people live or work - a building with its form, light and space can be like poetry to my eyes.

A few weeks ago I have been in Rome and had the opportunity to take some pictures at the Maxxi Museum. Zaha Hadid is the architect and I always wanted to present her work seen through my eyes.

For that I used the Leica Q with the 28mm 1.7 Summilux lens. I had the Leica Q for a few weeks and was mostly shooting street photography with it. I was curious how I could use the Q, not just to shoot architecture - I also wanted to see if I could use the Q as an artistic tool.

The advantage of the Q is that it is a small and light camera. The 28mm lens is superb and so it was easy to take shots at the museum without being noticed too much. I experimented with perspectives, ISO and the aperture. Used the AF and MF. I did not have a tripod with me and took most of my interior shots at ISO 800. 

Being back home  I went through my shots and tried to analyze the files of the Leica Q. With any new camera there is a learning curve to use the camera, but also a process to read and edit the files.

I couldn't see any distortion, which makes is perfectly for shooting architecture. But I have to admit, that I didn't like the noise handling at ISO 800. In my opinion it was a bit too much digital noise and I had the feeling to loose some details. There is no problem to fix this in LR - but I don't like to spent too much time editing. At ISO 3200 the noise of the Leica Q looks great, mainly natural, and it is great to use it as an artistic tool. 

It is fun to use the Leica Q as an artistic tool. The size of the camera and the live view makes everything easy. I like to use the thumb wheel for the exposure compensation. Everything works easy and smooth.

I am using the Leica Q for a couple of weeks now... Honestly there were days where I was thinking to sell the Q again. I had trouble to get used to the AF and sometimes I think the files are a bit too clean. But then there are days where the Leica Q surprises me. I finally found a great way  to use the Q in manual focus to shoot fast enough on the street and liked using the Q as an artistic tool. I think I am gonna stick with it for while and give it time to get to know each other better.

Winner Architecture Competition - August

I am very happy to announce that one of my pictures has won the Architectures Competition in August. The Curator said:

"I love the curves and angles defined by precise black lines--a fine job of creating an abstract design from part of a larger subject. 
Cloudy days are often unflattering to buildings, but this building's metal skin reflects the pale sky to produce a soft, delicate appearance. 
It would be quite a different building in direct sunlight." 

The story behind that picture

Since 2012 I am documenting life and street art in Shoreditch. For me Shoreditch is one of the most exciting areas of London with lots of contrasts.

Urban rough environment always inspires me and so it was, that one day my walk guided me to Princelet Street. Me and my friend walked down the road and I was intrigued by the beautiful architecture of the houses of this street. There was one building which immediately took my full attention. A building full of textures and beautiful color. That day we were in such hurry that I wasn't able to take a picture of that house. 

A couple of days later I came back and some cars parked in front of the building. Again, I wasn't able to take a picture of it. The next time a guy was sitting in the entrance, which made a nice street shot. He told me that this building was currently rented for a TV production and he recommended to come back a few days later. 

So I did! That day, again, I wasn't able to take a nice shot of the house, but I was able to take one of my favorite images of last year. This picture almost look like everything was set up - but it wasn't. It was one of those moments which needed to be freezed with my camera.

            A moment of peace |  Tales on Shoreditch  2014

            A moment of peace |  Tales on Shoreditch  2014

Beeing happy with the shot I took I came back to Princelet Street a couple of days later, and after all this time I was able to take a picture just of the house. Sometimes it takes a few time to get what you want and sometimes you'll get surprised by the beauty of the unexpected.

Nominated for the "People & Spaces" Public Photo Award

I am so thrilled to announce that my project "ABSTRACT REALITY" just got nominated for the public award of the Photography Award "People & Spaces" of the German Bundesstiftung Baukultur! It would be fantastic if you could vote for me! Just make a cross at no. 36 if you like to support me! THANK YOU!