Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future
Af Klint’s radically abstract paintings that is a combination of art, mysticism and science is one of the most enjoyable exhibits I’ve seen. Her art’s history, being largely private and hidden until 20 years after her death, is also amazingly fascinating. I urge everyone to see her work if possible or visit the Guggenheim’s feature about her and her work.
Leica M-P (Typ 240) + Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH
A few years ago, I took pretty much every extra resource I had to get my personal dream camera. I got not just the Leica M Typ 240, the world’s second full-frame mirrorless camera, but I got the ‘P’, the version with less Leica branding. Why would one spend a exorbitant amount only to be less identified? Well, for one, I don’t like being flashy. I also love the fact that the camera’s value will only noticeable to the most discerning photography enthusiast. I will be writing more about this camera and each of the Leica M lenses I have (I already wrote about the Canon 50mm f/0.95 TV here), but for now, I just wanted side-by-side sampling of different street cameras.
The top carousel is from my ultimate street photography combo, the Leica M-P with the 35mm f/1.4. If I know I will be doing a trip or going to a place where I won’t be throwing around my camera that much and I would really, really like artistic captures of the experience, I try to bring this setup. It’s a little bulky and it’s manual focus so it’s not the easiest to use, but this as close to pure photography we have these days with a digital rangefinder. Leica is not expensive for no reason. Nothing compares to the quality of the photos. There is character that is somewhat indescribable.
My shooing workflow is super simple: I usually keep it at Aperture priority (Av) with ISO at auto and keep the aperture at wide open. I like the character of slightly muted colors and vignette on the shots. This camera system has an extremely quiet shutter and coupled with the stealthy, all-black look, you can discreetly capture some great moments. It just looks like a big, black brick that happens to capture uniquely soulful photographs.
The Ricoh on the other hand, I set to be extremely vibrant in color. Though I don’t usually use both of them at the same time, my winter coat had a lot of pockets to be able to bring everything I need, and the Guggenheim being my second favorite museum so I wanted to capture all the goodness of this visit. The Leica captures are more sophisticated and on cooler color scale side, while the Ricoh is warm and has more punch. Now, seeing their outputs together, I see more of the difference in character of their photographs, both great, but almost apples and oranges.
Also, like discussed in a previous post, the Ricoh GR is small and smooth, very easy to just whip out to take a different vantage point of the same subject on occasion.
Ricoh GR in Macro (Pre-and-Post exhibit)
Something the Ricoh has over the Leica is the Macro mode. A press of a button and we can take a shot as close as 6-inches. Not the best Macro mode, but the color is still rich and the image still sharp. I think it’s an easy way to shoot food or products like seen in the carousel above. I may be biased, but I am partial to shooting at wide open always even in macro. It helps in the taking in more light. This version of the GR is still slightly noisy in higher ISO. Maybe in the future I’ll be able to get version II and compare that.