Supersized moon hanging outside our terrace just before dawn. Quite a sight when you get up to start the day, like a greeting from a friendly neighbour. This is taken with a Hasselblad H6D-100c, 210mm and extender for the equivalent of 360mm. Handheld at 1/500, f6.8 and ISO100.
Huawei teamed up with Leica last year to put a Summarit lens in their Mate 9 smartphone. Whether it's noticeably different from other phones, I couldn't tell. But it's fun and have a few cool features that most will appreciate. I use it daily for all sorts of things and it's handy when you come across a scene and the M is left at home.
Black and White mode used to capture the two nuns sitting on top of Kronberg in Switzerland.
No queues and plenty of space on the observation deck at Empire State Building. The sunrise session starts at 6AM and is a great way to see Manhattan come to life in the morning. Highly recommended.
Leica's re-issue of the 28mm Summaron is a delightful little lens. Great for street shooting at f5.6 or f8 with auto-iso - just frame and shoot. The optics are unchanged giving it an old-school look. More lenses will folliow in the re-issued classics series according to a Leica rep.
Leica SL Typ 601, Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6.
First thing you notice when picking up the new 50mm for Leica SL is it's heft, it feels like it could belong to the S series. Compared to M's Summicron 50 mm f2 APO it seems like an overkill at first sight. Until you start shooting. Having the selective AF of the SL with this lens makes you forget about the size and enjoy the increased nailrate when shooting wide open.
The old Raffles Hotel in Singapore is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. A Lecia Store is conveniently located here as well, it makes test shooting a breeze. The lens had beta firmware and AF was rough at times, but manual focus worked well. I liked the rendering of the lens, plenty of details and still not too overly sharp. Bokeh and falloff is top-class as we expect from Leica. Link to DNG file of the Raffles doorman is here.
The SL system is now the strongest part of Leica's offering in my view. M will remain the go-to for purists and street photographers, I see it as complimentary to the SL.
Finished an intro video on the Khmer Kids project.
A quick shoot on a lazy Saturday with Helene and her new jacket. One shot with a Hasselblad H5D-50+ HC100, eight with SL+24-90 and the rest with SL+75/1.4. One Broncolor light.
After three wineries and a shot of Navy Strength at Four Pillars we were heading to the last stop to pick up some of Timo Mayer's creations. Rain and wind were giving way to rays from a setting sun casting deep shadows across the wine country. Stopped for 15 minutes and got a show of clouds drifting by, rainbow fading in and out and crisp greens in warm light.
Images are shot with Leica SL and 50mm Summicron APO and can be found here. Handheld and later stitched in Lightroom. Tricky to pick the right white-balance and still maintain the spectrum of the rainbow.
Three days in a small school in a rural commune outside Phnom Penh to shoot portraits of students in primary school, that was the brief this April. Together with Norway House and CRF, a local NGO, I had set out to create a series of photos to be exhibited and sold to support the school and its students. The idea was to bring quality gear and create portraits that captured some of their character and would print well.
The school is located an hour or so outside the capital of Phnom Penh. The country itself is among the poorest in South East Asia with few natural resources and a terrible recent history that is difficult to fathom. There are signs of improvement in the city, but once you leave it for the countryside it is clear there is a huge need for development. At this time of the year the rainy season should have provided fields and people with much needed water, this April they were still waiting for it. Temperatures are at forty degrees and everything is dry and dusty.
Planning the shoot took a few months and required first of all a permit to visit and photograph the students. Childs Rights Foundation managed the process before I could have my first meeting with the commune chief and the head of school. We scheduled to shoot 50 students over two days with a third day set aside for environmental shots.
There was a single power-outlet in the school – it was in use by two tired fans in the ceiling and the school water-pump. Adding a strobe and a laptop worked fine except the fan stopping every time the strobe fired. A whack with a shoe started it again.
The shoot went extremely smooth. The equipment performed without a flaw, and the kids were great. They piled into the room wanting to see what this was all about and stepped happily (mostly) forward when beckoned. Bo, the Cambodian representative from Child Rights Foundation, ask each student a couple of questions – like what do you want to be when you grow up – and stepped in when gestures weren’t enough to communicate. In the end we shot 125 portraits.
On the gear; I had used a Hasselblad H5D-50 on a trip in Sri Lanka previously and liked the look and files a lot. Hasselblad Japan helped me out with a H5D-50C loaner for the shoot, great service as always. For portraits I used a HC100/2.2 and for environment a HCD24/4.8. The image quality was better than I expected with plenty of details in the shadows and more workable files than the H5D-50 CCD version. Lighting was handled by a Broncolor Siros single strobe with an Octabox and a reflector for fill. The Hasselblad and Broncolor combo was solid and just worked. The color and output stability from the Broncolor over the two days was perfect.
Next up is curating the series, print portraits for the kids and plan the exhibition. You can see the images as they are ready here.