Category Archives: Teaching point

The iGeneration (re-worked filmic look).

Thinking out-loud/on-line, and sharing one of my edits.

Generally speaking, I dislike making digital look like film.  If that was my goal, I’d just shoot film.

However, in light of the comment(s) that followed the first version of this image, I’m curious to know how this version is received.  In addition to not-so-subtly adding grain, I subtly played with the contrast (both local and global).  The end result is less perfect, but possibly more aesthetically pleasing.

You tell me.


The iGeneration (re-worked filmic look)

Hello Leica! …500 calling you for CCD.

500 Signatures for CCD Open Letter to Leica

Hello Leica,

500 passionate photographers, enthusiasts, and artists are calling you for an updated CCD sensor in a future Leica M camera.  

We hope you are listening!

(If you haven’t already done so, please read and sign My Open Letter to Leica.)



Just your typical Sunday afternoon in Toronto (in February).

This shot required the removal of my gloves… and I paid for it (I was not made for Canadian winters).

But it was worth it.



So a funny thing happened to me…

… when I started a thread about  My Open Letter to Leica in the Leica User Forum.

And yes, I violated Rule #8 of My Photography Truths again.

On a related note, let’s re-visit this previous post (just for fun).


Sweet Honey.

I’m slowly refining my processing of Sigma Merrill files.


Sweet Honey

400 photographers agree: we love CCD!

400 Signatures Letter to Leica copy

The world’s longest-running (and most intense)  Open Letter to Leica has reached a milestone:

400 signatures!

It’s true, 400 photographers, enthusiasts, and artists agree:  we love CCD!

Specifically, we believe that the CCD sensor — at base ISO — offers superior image quality.

We also believe that an updated CCD sensor in a future Leica M camera would be in keeping with Leica‘s philosophy of providing out-of-the-mainstream elegant yet powerful photographic tools for discerning photographers.

So help keep the pursuit of high image quality alive by allowing CCD to develop and thrive.

Keep the momentum going!  Encourage others to PLEASE SIGN THIS LETTER.


Snow Bunny.

I’m quickly learning how to process Sigma DP3 Merrill files.

For example, I’m constantly resisting the temptation to apply sharpening, since the images have an abundance of sharpness and micro-contrast (two qualities that are not necessarily flattering for portraits).

Yet, this particular image proves one thing:  it is possible to post-process DP3 files to produce a sharp and smooth portrait.

Oh, and the tonality possible with the Foveon sensor… wow.


Snow Bunny

Sigma DP3 Merrrill:  1/15 sec (hand-held, but braced), f/2.8, ISO 200.

Paranoid Android.

This literally represents Test Shot #1 from my Sigma DP3 Merrill.

It arrived yesterday.

I charged the battery up, and fired some shots without even glancing at the manual or camera settings.

I’ve already decided whether I like the DP3.

(I do)


Paranoid Android


Winter Solace.

Cozy and hidden from the cold.

On another note, if there’s a better way to digitally record such Life’s Little Moments, then I’d like to know.

As it stands, the Kodak CCD inside the Leica M9/M-E remains my sensor of choice.

Won’t you please sign My Open Letter to Leica, if you haven’t already done so?


Winter Solace

Sigma Love-Apalooza on Planet Earth.

This is an example of the image output from the original Sigma DP series camera, the DP1:

(28mm equiv, F4 lens)


The DP1 was an excruciatingly slow compact camera, but it helped me capture one of my favourite images, Planet Earth:


The camera and software from Sigma were both challenged (and continue to be), so much so that I never purchased any of the subsequent DP offerings.  Still, the image quality from the Fovean sensor has always called out to me, like a Sirens’ song

The Siren that’s been singing the sweetest song over the past 18 months: the DP3.



‘Twas the night before Christmas.

And the children were tracking Santa.

Merry Christmas to All.


'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Technical Commentary:

The sun was quickly setting as this scene was unfolding and the the vestigial rays of light coming in through the window were creating a pink, gold, and red speckled glow on the wall behind our trio of Santa trackers.  The glow of the smartphone screen also helped set the mood.



Noise reduction… not.

Despite the fact that I use M9/M-E and M8 cameras, I’ve resisted applying noise reduction to my images for years.

I’ll take noise over loss of detail and texture any day.

On a related note, I’m happy that Leica doesn’t force in-camera noise reduction on us either.


370 Signatures for CCD.

Right now, My Open Letter to Leica has garnered 370 signatures from photographers like you who see and appreciate the wonderful qualities of CCD sensors.

Leica‘s announcement of ongoing support of the current CCD sensor has been welcomed by many in the Leica community.

However, if you are a fan of the “magic” of CCD, please join me in asking Leica to also introduce an updated CCD sensor in a future M camera.

Thank you,


Of flash photography, zone focusing, and rangefinders.

I have two observations about the use of flash and zone focusing, as they pertain to rangefinder photography:

  1. Flash photography is anathema to rangefinder photography.  Indeed it is intrusive to any type of intimate photography.
  2. Show me a photographer who operates a rangefinder exclusively with zone focusing, and I’ll show you a photographer who cannot competently focus a rangefinder.


Leica 50mm APO Summicron.

Leica 50mm APO-Summicron

I’ve studied many images created with this lens — on the Leica M240, M9/M-E, and M8… and even on non-Leica cameras.

The verdict:

This is an optically astounding lens that, in the right hands, is capable of impressive results in combination with any camera (contrary to popular belief, the results are not only evident in large prints of images produced with high megapixel cameras).

It’s all the more impressive when you consider how small this lens is.  It’s the combination of optical excellence and compact size that is the hallmark of the Leica ethos.



The M8… for hockey?

In 2011, I wrote an article called:

The M9… for sports?

In 2012, I wrote a follow-up article called:

The M3… for kids’ sports?

I wrote them because — back then — many DSLR users considered rangefinders too “slow” for photographing action, even though I (along with several others) had been creating images that consistently proved otherwise.

To this day, I prefer rangefinders over DSLRs for photographing sports.

Today, I decided to take my Leica M8 to photograph my daughter’s hockey game.  Of course, given everything I’ve written above, I knew I would get some keepers… provided I could get close enough to the action.

I did.

I’ll be posting a few of the images over the next few days.

I hope you find them of interest.



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