Leica M - A Camera You Can Have With You

2000_030_23.jpgWanted to follow up on shooting people close to you and having a camera with you. The Leica M is a fantastic camera to carry around with you. Be it M9 or M3. I always had mine with me and have some pretty amazing shots to prove it. A point and shoot digicam is better than nothing but it does a completely different job than the Lieca - really.

This shot is not fantastic and I wished the focus was on the close eye instead of the far eye, etc, etc. but I wanted to use it as an example of real world grab shots - just one in sub optimum conditions. This was in a Friendly's restaurant and yes I had my Leica M6. It happened to be loaded with Ilford Delta 100 (actually more like 80 ISO) because I was shooting one of my final calibration rolls that day while walking around. Okay so ISO 80, indoors, what do you think the shutter speed was? I will tell you it was probably like 1/15 at f 2.8. Have you seen your shutter speed indoors at ISO 80 lately?

I am not the steadiest of shooters but I can definitely shoot my Leica at 2 stops maybe 3 lower than I can shoot ANY SLR I have ever owned - really. I can also do it with confidence quickly. The point here is that I picked the camera up and grabbed this shot more quickly than a point and shoot digicam could have charged it's flash. Really. Why did I care about this shot? Long story but here is the summary.

Did you notice the band-aid on daughter No. 3's hand and the way she is very carefully holding it away from everything including her other fingers? Well 2 days prior to this daughter No. 3 was carrying around one of her favorite objects - a little snow globe that she used to carry around with her blanket constantly since she got it. Her and I were at opposite ends of the kitchen and she dropped it. Before I could get to her - I literally flew across the room - she reached down and grabbed a piece of the broken glass.

Blood, tears, you know the story. Yea I know I am a bad parent for letting her have such a thing. Well it gets worse - the injury was to the thumb that she used as a pacifier to go to sleep. This was major trauma - over the next few days she named it boo-boo summy and eventually made the pacifier transition to the other thumb.

That was a long long time ago but to this day if you ask her to show you boo-boo summy I will bet she will involuntarily lift her hand and show you that thumb in a manner almost exactly like in this picture.

Now I know nobody gives a crap about this picture except me but that is exactly what I am trying to point out - that is the only thing that is important. Am I glad I shot this and other ones on my M vs. a 1 megapix digicam available at that time - YES. Would I have got this shot going from nothing to "shoot it now" with a point and shoot digicam even now - NO. Would I have a D3 or D700 and fast lens in a Friendly's while not getting paid - definitely not.

RB

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