Author Archives: PhotographsbyPeter.com

My Camera of the Year for 2014.

 

2014 Camera of the Year - M9 M-E

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My camera of the year for 2014 is the Leica M9/M-E.

To this day, the Leica M9/M-E provides superior image quality, at base ISO, and the best shooting experience of any digital 35mm camera.

As most of you know, I’ve tried several of the latest-and-greatest-cameras and keep coming back to the M9/M-E for its unique image quality and ergonomic experience.

(The runner up is the Leica M8.)

What will 2015 bring?

Hopefully not sensor corrosion or cracking.

No, hopefully we will get what I’ve asked for in My Open a Letter to Leica.

—Peter.

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Previous Camera of the Year Winners:

 

2013: Leica M9

2012: Leica M9

2011: Leica M9

2010: Leica M9

2009: Leica M9

 

 

Everything is temporary.

Everything except love.

(Nothing to do with photography, but everything to do with photography for me.)

—Peter.

A camera must go — Leica or Sony?

As many of you know, I’ve been experimenting with — and immensely enjoying — the Sony A7S.

The images from the CMOS sensor in the A7S come closest to the look I get with the CCD sensor(s) found in the Leica M8 and M9/M-E vs any other CMOS sensor camera I’ve tried to date (that list includes the Nikon D800E, the Leica M240, the Sony RX1R, the Nikon Df, and — whatever else I left out).

The CMOS-on-steroids A7S also allows me to photograph at amazingly high ISO levels.  And does video too.

Frankly, the A7S is a fun camera to use.

On the other hand, the M8/M9/M-E cameras produce superior images at base ISO.

But Leica doesn’t appear to want to make any more CCD-based M cameras in the future, unless of course a million of you sign My Open Letter to Leica (by the way, only 999,660 signatures to go…).  And the CCD Leica cameras are clunky and dated with respect to technology (they were dated, in fact, at the time of their introduction!).

Then again, Michael Jordan was considered over-the-hill when he returned to the NBA for the second half of his career, and look what he accomplished.

The point of all of this?

I’m a minimalist.  Keeping things simple helps me produce better images.

I mentioned previously that I don’t function well juggling different camera platforms, as added variables (like differences in ergonomics, the way of “seeing” (through the viewfinder), menus, etc.) just get in the way.

Variables are the enemy.  They are to avoided.  They create convoluted paths between you and your images.

So of course, one of these camera platforms is destined to go.

But you already knew that.

—Peter.

 

Christmas Glow.

Traditional and modern converge for the upcoming holidays.

Christmas Glow

14 of my favourites from 2014.

It’s time for the annual culling of my images down to only a few that I consider my favourites.

I had to be ruthless this year, given I was determined to list only “14 of 2014”.

On another note, it is striking that although I shot with film only about 5% of the time, 50% of these images were produced with that venerable medium.

It is also humbling to know that I no longer own a film camera.

Lastly, I’m not sure that I learned as much as I did in previous years, photographically speaking.  I believe part of that was secondary to frequent cycling through new gear, but a large part of it was secondary to having a lot less time to photograph.

Unfortunately, my photography time constraints will continue to increase in the new year.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the site.

Sincerely,

—Peter.

P.S.  The images below are dedicated to my family who continually inspire me.

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My favourite “14 of ’14”

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-aquarium

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aura

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brushing-honey

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dream

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i-see-stars

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love!

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shadow-cascade1

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sisters

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tender-is-the-knight

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the-sunlit-wall-of-sunny-souls

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the-truth1

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time-painting

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train-of-thought

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tree-portrait-part-3
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Related posts:

31 of my favourites from 2013.

21 of my favourites from 2012.

11 of my favourites from 2011.

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Please show your appreciation!

If you’ve been inspired by these images, or any of my articles, please consider making a contribution to help me run this site.  Whether it’s $5, $10, or $15… it all helps.

Donate to this site (button)

This site is a labour of love, but any help I receive will help me devote more time to running it.

Thanks,

—Peter.

Homework.

This image was taken with the Sony (Alpha) a7S.

I wish to thank my good friend Ashwin Rao who was absolutely correct about three things with respect to this camera:

  1.  The a7S digital files are the most CCD-like CMOS files I’ve encountered (not quite like the magic of CCD, but very close — even in their behaviour during post-processing).
  2.  I need to re-acquaint myself with the “tunnel vision” viewfinder the a7S shares with most other cameras.  This is a significant limitation, since unless the camera is a rangefinder, it’s not (yet) possible to see “the world outside the window frame” to better anticipate photographic opportunities.
  3. The a7S sensor and Leica lenses play well together.

Additional notes:

  • The focus-peaking is quite accurate and very user-friendly.
  • The auto-ISO function, in combination with the exposure compensation dial, actually improves upon my set-up with the Leica M8/M9/M-E.
  • The silent shutter option makes me weep tears of joy — bravo Sony.
  • The advertised high ISO capabilities are not just marketing hyperbole.  This sensor was tailor made for dark Canadian winters.
  • This latest Sony still feels like a computer to me vs. a “real” camera.  But it’s undeniably a “real” camera and a formidable photographic tool that is in many ways light years ahead of the competition.

On another note, I would like to thank Patrick from Downtown Camera in Toronto for patiently allowing me to play with the in-store demo Sony a7S before purchasing one for myself.  I’ve dealt with Patrick a number of times and he is a true gentleman who offers exceptional service!*

[*NOTE:  The recommendations I make on my site are personal recommendations, based on being a satisfied customer.  I am not affiliated with any commercial interests, nor do I earn any money (advertising or otherwise) from any business, product, or link to a business I provide on my site.]

—Peter.

 

Homework

At the Santa Claus Parade (the kids strike a pose).

Every so often, I ask them to smile for the camera.

They have been kind to me so far, probably because I don’t bother them the rest of the time.

(oh yeah, and also because they’re great kids)

—Peter.

At the Santa Claus Parade (the kids strike a pose)

Do you think your images will outlive you?

Why?

And,

Does it matter?

—Peter.

Chalk Messages for Santa, closer.

Photographically speaking, I live for these moments:

The out-of-focus man in the background, in his positioning, is mirroring our foreground chalk messenger.

In actuality, he was reaching down to pick up a fallen football.

As I saw the scene unfold, I shifted myself slightly to the left, in an attempt to “fill” the photographic frame by expanding the spacing between the two subjects.  This further enhanced the image by creating a more pleasing composition.

(In the past, I’ve discussed the importance of filling the photographic frame — see here, here, and here.)

The actual mirroring of his posture, though he was engaged in a completely different activity from our little chalk messenger, is the sort of happenstance occurrence that a photography geek like myself is thrilled to capture.

A second later, he stood.  The moment had passed.

—Peter.

Chalk messages for Santa, closer

Making a point.

Making an authoritative point, at the Santa Claus Parade, Toronto.

Making a Point (prelude to Santa)

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