My photography is in black and white because “color answers too many questions.” And the Leica M Monochrom camera and 35mm Summilux-M f1,4 lens are the perfect combination – light and fast, simple and versatile.
These images were made on a Complete Cuba tour. Interested? Join Complete Cuba and Tamarkin Camera this February for an amazing photographic opportunity traveling across Cuba!
We knew there would be overcast skies and perhaps rain as well, so the choice of the black-and-white medium was easy. Lack of bright blue skies doesn’t mean images cannot be compelling…
The people we met, such as this guajiro in Viñales, were very friendly and outgoing, and enjoyed being photographed. It was a pleasure to shoot and talk to the people there.
The out of focus area of the Leica lens – done by shooting at a wide aperture, in this case, f1,4 – is rendered in a pleasing manner. This is the “bokeh” of the lens.
In color, this shot is far less compelling, I think. Don’t let grey skies or rain stop you from shooting. All Leica cameras perform admirably in moderately wet conditions. Just remember to keep the front optics of the lens dry…
Go to Cuba. Meet the people. Make lots of photos. You don’t need a Leica – even your phone will do. Just make pictures.
The 35mm focal length is not too wide to make portraits of people, even through the bars of the strange portico Yani sat behind, calling out to passerby.
“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”– Ansel Adams
“Faithful to our history” By selecting a fast shutter speed, a small aperture of f11 and by necessity a high ISO value, I was able to capture this propaganda sign from the moving car, even if my framing was less than optimal.
I used a small aperture – f16 here – to bring out the detail in a grey sky and create a depth of focus that gives a sense of the grandeur. A yellow filter helps increase contrast.
Don’t be afraid to get in close. Most modern Leica M lenses have a minimum focusing distance of about one meter (three feet). Knowing this can be quite handy, especially in very low light.
Carry your camera – you never know what will happen or who you might meet. This birthday boy was thrilled when he heard we were from Chicago – he insisted that we stay and drink and celebrate. And make photos. Image made at ISO 12,500, 1/125th of a second, at f4.
The Leica M Monochrom camera allows you to shoot in near darkness and without the obtrusive flash. When I asked to take his photo, he ran inside first to grab his hat and his chicken – prized possessions. Image made at ISO 12,500, 1/180th of a second, at f1,4.