Yosemite in Winter
The technical mumbo-jumbo below is irrelevant. The only reason any of these photos might be worth the paper on which they are printed is because I FARTed profusely before I pressed the shutter, and then carefully dodged, burned and cropped as I printed the negatives to ensure that the images said whatever they had to say as clearly and as simply as possible. The equipment and cameras had nothing to do with it; 100-year old equipment could have done this all.
Technically, I could have shot these on a Fuji Quicksnap, but I in this case I just happened to use a 1963 LEICA M3 loaded with Kodak T-Max 100, and a 2009 LEICA M9 (shooting only DNGs) for "color" work.
As the world's most read and most influential camera reviewer, you might have gathered that I can borrow anything I want at any time for free, which is how I write so many Reviews, so why on Earth did I choose to use equipment from the 1950s for serious shooting?
Simple: when I dream about what camera I find most pleasant to use on a serious photo trip, it's always the LEICA M3. The LEICA M3 gets out of my way so that I can see my pictures, and also because I get superior results to anything from Nikon or Canon, digital or 35mm, because of superior LEICA optics. The M3 enables not just technical supremacy, but most importantly, by getting out of the way with a clean, simple viewfinder and no menus, power switches or any other irrelevant BS, allows me to concentrate and compose undistracted, enabling me to shoot with an incredibly high hit rate. Look at the frame numbers; I only needed two rolls of T-Max for this entire long weekend! North Coast Photo (NCPS) processed and scanned these whopping two rolls.
Once I had them ready to print in Aperture, I exported the files as JPGs, did any other mechanical work needed in Photoshop CS5, and ran them through my usual Photoshop Action to resize, sharpen, brand and save-for-web as seen here. The black-and-white prints were split-toned using the "Bl 404 WmGray 401 WmGray" option.
22 February, 2011, Tuesday
Today I drove from our new home in Reno, Nevada, and stopped overnight in Sacramento, California on the way to Yosemite.
Sacramento, 6:18 PM. (2009 LEICA M9, ISO 160, 2 seconds braced against window frame hand-held, LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH mit Floating-Element group at f/4.)
Dark Rainbow over Sacramento, 6:34 PM. (2009 LEICA M9, ISO 800, 1/4 second hand-held, LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH mit Floating-Element group at f/1.4.)
Chain Restaurant, Sacramento, 6:37 PM. (2009 LEICA M9, ISO 320, 1/30, LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH mit Floating-Element group.)
Street, Sacramento, 6:39 PM. (2009 LEICA M9, ISO 800, 1/12 second hand-held, LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH mit Floating-Element group.)
Today I drove from Sacramento to Yosemite.
We got to the Cedar Lodge Resort in El Portal, met the group, and promptly headed into the park.
We were in luck: Dave Wyman's planning was perfect, and storm clouds were mustering for a storm.
Rockwell Freezing at Tunnel View mit LEICA M3, 5:08 PM. (2010 iPod Touch, ISO 100, f/2.4 at 1/60)