Posts tagged black & white

The first day…

I’m in love… In love with the Leica Monochrom, in love with India, in love with chai tea. Don’t get any ideas please… I’m not planning to blog every day and certainly not twice a day. But, as today was the first day, I do wanted to share it.

During the day I walked around a bit and took care of some stuff for the rest of the trip (like an Indian sim card in my phone) It was nice, beautiful, not to exciting… just a realy nice day. Surprised by the trafic jams, the friendly and sometimes annoyingly sticky people, and the amazing work I could do with my little black and white miracle.




 I met some ladies drinking chai. As I shot a picture and showed it to them, they asked why I didn’t use color. So of course I took out the M9 and also shot one for them in color. Immediately I was invited to sit down, have chai, a load of kids around me… perfectly welcomed by Indian hospitality.  




At night the party started for me. Cranking up the ISO to 2000 and even 2500, some of the pictures taken almost look like light was abundant. A young mother feeding her child of three months old stole my heart and now it was my turn to arrange the chai tea. The bazaar with it’s small shops and it’s intrusive people made my night complete. Some more pictures are of course to be found at my facebook page or at flickr  




The trip has started…

A short blog about the start of, what’s going to be, a very interesting 4 months with my Leica Monochrom in India. I left the Netherlands very early in the morning with snow. A great feeling, knowing I was heading for 20+ degrees. I flew via Munich and Doha in Qatar.

At Doha airport I had to wait for five hours. So I watched a movie but of course I also played a little bit with the Monochrome, as it’s going to be a new challenge to try out this beauty in a colorful country as they say India is going to be.

 Arriving at Delhi airport I expected an ocean of people, but it was actually pretty quiet. Although as soon as my taxi set course for Old Delhi, we encountered traffic jams, as I have never seen. This combined with my taxi driver on a death wish, made sure my jetlag will kick in at the end of the day as adrenaline is still filling my veins.

In the hotel room, witch is quite good, I could calm a bit down writing this first blog. Although I do have to find a way to upgrade my adobe lightroom as it does not yet support the Monochrom. So these pictures just had a quick tweak in Photoshop Raw converter.

 I’ll keep you all posted!  

PS, Lightroom problem is already solved!


Today I had to shoot in a studio. Lights, reflexion boards, thetered shooting, the whole nine yards. The first shoot was with Glennis Grace, a dutch singer. She brought some people with her; hair, make up, styling. Unfortunately this is no environment for my M9. It was great photographing her, as she knew exactly how to pose. When we had the pictures that were necessary for the magazine, I did ask her for a quick picture with the Leica… just to put it up here and on my FB page.

After Glennis, Javier Guzman - dutch comedian - walked in for the next session. He brought just one suit and no make-up and was unbelievably photo genetic (at least that’s my humble opinion.) I love the way he just walks up to the spot and just…. stands there. Natural, no fuss…  Javier also gave me 5 minutes extra for a quick Leica shot. 

Some days I just have to say it out loud instead of just keeping it for my self… I realy love my job!

One of my heroes.

A friend of mine is owner of a beachbar in Scheveningen. Or to be precise, he used to be owner, because he sold the place after making it a succes in the past six years. Now his plan is to travel for 5 months through parts of South America and after that is still the great unknown. To me, a decision like his is a bold and impressive move. I’m so proud to know people who do exactly what their hart tells them to do and he is definitely one of them.

His goodbye party was sensational. Every aspect of this mans being was represented: beautiful weather, warm and open people, a brilliant band playing his kind of music. I had the honor and opportunity to document this. Using just the Leica M9 with my 35mm and 75mm I could easily mingle and look from the outside in at the same time… it was all I needed. For more pictures of this beautiful day, you can have a look at my facebook page 

Henk Bernlef

Just a quick photo taken with the Leica M9 and the Summicron 75mm during an assignment with a famous Dutch writer. I did most of the job with my Nikon, but comparing those pictures with this one… I just love the feel of the Leica!

If you like to see more of my work, take a look at my facebook page and don’t forget to like it!

Leica M9 with the Summicron 75mm at f2.4 - 1/60 sec - ISO 500

An English wedding.

One and a half week ago, I was asked to shoot a wedding. As I said in my last post, normally I don’t do weddings. But seen that these people wanted me to do it… really wanted me to do it my way and on top of that, they were getting married in London, I couldn’t refuse.

Armed with two Leica M9’s (thanks to Transcontinenta BV, importer of Leica in the Netherland), a Summilux 35mm f1.4, my Summicron 75mm f2.0 and on top of that, the Noctilux 50mm f0.95 I was well equiped!

My day started at 8.30 am, joining the groom to a authentic barbershop in the center of London. A beautiful place. After that, I hurried back to see the bride do her own hair and getting ready to put on the dress. The hotel room where she was preparing was filled with family and friends, helping her out.

The marriage was held in a beautiful catholic church. To get there, the groom walked with family and friends. The bride would arrive later, with her dad, by taxi. A very special moment. The church was a beautiful place, providing a perfect backdrop for my pictures. As it was pretty dark, most photos were taken at high ISO, witch I’m more comfortable with now, and lenses fully opened (what else do you expect shooting Leica glass ;-)

The whole ceremony was amazing to witness and I can honestly say I was having a really good time shooting this wedding. Approaching it as a reportage in my own style, actually made it a lot of fun to do. They are not the typical wedding photos, but this is what I do and, more important, what the bride and groom asked me to do.

After the ceremony, we all went back to the hotel with a big red buss to have a drink, a wonderful diner and of course a dance. It was a long day, shooting from 9 in the morning till 10 at night, but is was definitely worth it!

A wedding.

Next month, I’m going to shoot a wedding in London. Shooting weddings is something I rarely do, just because it isn’t my thing… or at least that is what I thought.

This weekend two very dear friends of mine got married on the island of Texel. The ceremony took place in an authentic sheep shed, weather was beautiful and the atmosphere was brilliant. I was invited as a guest and they had arranged for a brilliant photographer, but still I decided to bring my Leica. For fun and also for a little bit of practice for next month.

Now, looking at the pictures, I realize some important things.

When at a party (after the actual wedding) you might need flash. With this wedding I did. Dancing people, a nearly dark venue. Even a noctilux used at full opening and ISO 1000 wouldn’t have done it this time. Luckily, I was just a guest and to be honest, I do like a party… so I put away the camera and danced all night.

As I had a product photographer teaching me, in sort of an internship, I was taught that my pictures had to be sharp and in focus. Now I see that this is not always the case. Sometimes a movement blur can add extremely to the atmosphere.

And last but certainly not least: I do love black and white!

So next month I’ll show you the other wedding, as I will be using again only the M9 and some really nice glass. (and I hope to take a flash as well, just in case)

Here’s some of the pictures I’ve shot and of course you can see them and more in higher res right here

Leica M9 with Summicron 35mm at f4.0 - 1/2000 sec - ISO 200

Leica M9 with Summicron 35mm at f3.4 - 1/750 sec - ISO 200

Leica M9 with Summicron 35mm at f2.0 - 1/125 sec - ISO 1000

Leica M9 with Summicron 35mm at f5.6 - 1/180 sec - ISO 200

Just a quick one…

It’s the night before return… and as I was busy with other fun stuff today, I didn’t have time to use the Noctilux anymore… now it’s to late… But I decided before the day really ends I need to take at least one more.. So a quick self portrait in the mirror is the result.

Hopefully I’ll be able to use it some time in the future again…

Leica M9 with Noctilux 50mm at f 0.95 - 1/30sec - ISO 640

The Harbour Club

Today I was asked to make a reportage at The Harbour Club Amsterdam. The lounching of Moët Ice Imperial was the occasion, hip, famous and or trendy Amsterdam were the visitors. Amongst them a huge amount of photographers, all equipped with the big DSLR’s I used to use as well. It felt real nice to just walk around and do what I like most; capture the atmosphere.A great atmosphere it was!

For more pictures and higher resolution, click here

Leica M9 with summicron 35mm f2.8 - 1/350 sec - ISO 200

Leica M9 with summicron 35mm f4.8 - 1/500 sec - ISO 800

(comming from inside, didn’t have time to turn back to ISO 200)

Leica M9 with summicron 35mm f9.5 - 1/350 sec - ISO 200

Leica M9 with summicron 35mm f4.0 - 1/180 sec - ISO 200

Leica M9 with summicron 35mm f3.4 - 1/1000 sec - ISO 200

Leica M9 with summicron 35mm f2.8 - 1/2000 sec - ISO 200

Leica M9 with summicron 75mm f2.4 - 1/1500 sec - ISO 200

Leica M9 with summicron 75mm f2.8 - 1/250 sec - ISO 200

Leica M9 with summicron 35mm f3.4 - 1/250 sec - ISO 200