Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Street Photography with the M9 and Zeiss 28mm

Now that the holidays are done, I wanted to get right back in the saddle on the documentary I'm working on in Hamilton, Ontario.

I started off in the Wayside Diner around 11am hoping to make a photo at this location. I've seen the diner the other times I've been in the area but it's always been closed. This was the first time it's been open so I went in. Although it's nice inside, and might make a photo, I was the only customer in the place. The waitress said it's been open for years but has new owners since November. She said it's been very slow although Friday's seem to be busier. I hung out for about an hour and a half, hoping for something to happen but left without anything good. I can try again.

From the diner I parked at the mall and started walking west on Barton Street. I was attracted to the bright colours and full sun on the doors of a car wash. At least the guys were working outside and I could get off a couple shots. Kamal Singh took his break out front when there was no work and I grabbed a couple quick frames.

Everything I shot today was with the Zeiss Biogon 28mm ZM lens on the Leica M9. This is a nice combination for shooting on the street. You're a step closer than with the 35mm but still a comfortable working distance from the subject. I would guess the focus for a waist up, horizontal shot of a person is around a meter and just out of arms reach. For shots in full sun I preset the camera to 1/500 second at f8 1/3 at ISO160. In the shade I tried to use 1/125 at f4 1/3 but some of the shots were more sheltered and needed more exposure. The shots of Lizzie in the bus shelter started off this way but the bus shelter was darker than outside so I had to open a bit.

I walked the streets for a couple hours, stopped for coffee with an old friend from the newspaper and made a couple images. I've had this camera for two years now and am still getting used to it. The images are sharp and the colour is great, I'm just sloppy with the cropping.

.Rob Skeoch
Although I've worked as a photography all my life, I'm currently back at school trying to finish my Masters in Fine Art Degree at the Maine Media Workshops and College. Peter Turnley is my current one-on-one mentor for this semester and the project I'm working on is a documentary on north Hamilton.
My retail store for rangefinder gear and Zeiss lenses is
My retail store for large format photo supplies is

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