Kirk R. Williamson Photography: Blog https://www.krwphoto.com/blog en-us (C) 2021 Kirk R. Williamson, All Rights Reserved kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:23:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:23:00 GMT https://www.krwphoto.com/img/s/v-12/u738130755-o106454794-50.jpg Kirk R. Williamson Photography: Blog https://www.krwphoto.com/blog 90 120 Leica Wide Angle Legacy Glass & the Leica M240 a Review https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/11/leica-wide-angle-legacy-glass-the-leica-m240 M-P 240 & legacy glassLeica M-P 240 with Leica 28mm Elmarit V1 and 21mm Super Angulon V1The ultimate in Leica wide angle legacy glass with the Leica M-P 240. Two of my favorite Leica lenses were made in the 1960's for use on the Leica M3 and M4. They are two of the most exquisite lenses that Leica ever made. The 21mm Super Angulon f3.4 made by Schneider (for Leica) gained legendary status when it was produced in 1964 and is still a beautiful lens. The 28mm Elmarit f2.8 is also a stunning lens and built just a year later in 1965. The design of both lenses used a long rear element that receded back into the camera close to the film plane which was fine with cameras like the M2, M3, and M4 but in 1971 with the introduction of the M5 made the design obsolete as the onboard light meter was unusable. For film camera use these lenses are still sought after for the cameras mentioned.

Leica 21mm SA and 28mm Elmarit V1 Leica 21mm SA and 28mm Elmarit V1 Two of the best legacy wide angle lenses offered by Leica.

That being said I was always curious as to what would happen on digital Leica's. I read up on them and found the issue was that the rear element receded to close to the sensor and therefore created magenta edging and inaccurate meter reading especially with the 21 SA. When I purchased my M9 I was excited to try them out. At the time both lenses had not been CLA'd and were not clean and did not work properly. The 28 Elmarit was pretty clean but the lubrication was very stiff and the focus was difficult to use. I did use it however and really enjoyed it. So when I switched over to the M-P 240 I had both lenses CLA'd and was thrilled with the results.

Right away I found that the 21 SA (now clean) was an incredible lens. Much like what I remembered when I was using it with my film Leica's. The magenta edges and terrible meter readings made me rethink how I use it. 

As you can see by this image the magenta sides are pretty ugly. Corner Fix has been known to correct this issue although I have not tried it. My solution was to use this as a B&W only lens. The meter issue is a Leica problem where the rear element is to close to the shutter to accurately represent what the sensor is seeing. So the solution is to shoot in Live View or use the Visoflex EVF. I like to use the EVF as I can see the whole field of view and the meter gives an accurate reading off the sensor.

I don't mind the vignetting, it adds to the image. The B&W jpgs out of the M-P 240 are absolutely stunning and I love going out to shoot with this lens with the camera setup to shoot B&W. Some of my best images since purchasing the M240 have been using this setup.

The interesting thing with this lens is that with the EVF you can focus this lens down to 26" which is near impossible with film unless you measure it, so chock one up for digital.

The 28mm Elmarit now focuses much smoother since being CLA'd. It is a dream lens to use. Now let me say the version I have is a rare bird. It is a version 1 made in Wetzlar. A valuable piece to say the least and very collectible.

Right away I found that the corner magenta fringing was minor and could not be seen in most cases. The meter reading was still off a bit so shooting with matrix metering, Live View, or with the Visoflex EVF worked perfectly. I love to use this lens for street shooting with the lens set to f8 and focused to about 4ft to infinity. It works great in this configuration but I try to figure out the exposure beforehand and manually set it.

This image was made with the camera in Live View at f2.8. I focused with the camera sitting on the table without these two gentlemen knowing what I was up to. 

The same was done with this shot but I have cropped out the edges as they are distracting. I tend to use the matrix meter for exposure with this lens and manually use the frame line selector to show me the field of view. Pushing the frame selector switch to the right reveals the 28mm frame line. 

Overall these two lenses are well worth it depending on their use. You can find newer versions of the 28 Elmarit f2.8 and at a reasonable price so not many folks use this much older 60's version even though it provides beautiful results. I also own the Leica 21mm Super Elmar f 3.4 which is the upgraded version of the SA and has been described as the best 21mm M lens ever made and I tend to agree. It is superb.

When I feel a little nostalgic I love to pull one of these lenses out and go for a walk and see what I can find. It brings me back to my film days at the beginning of my career and brings me closer to my photographic heritage when I was a much younger man.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) . b&w photography leica Leica 21 SA Leica 21mm Super Angulon leica 28mm elmarit Leica M240 Leica M-P 240 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/11/leica-wide-angle-legacy-glass-the-leica-m240 Tue, 20 Nov 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Breakthrough Photography filter system rolling review https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/9/breakthrough-photography-filter-system-rolling-review Over the last year I have been using different filter systems. Honestly I have not been able to use them very often. I was using the Tiffen system of ND filters which included 4 stop and 10 stop glass filters. They are well built and the holder is top notch. The problem is that the 10 stop added a horrible green cast to my files. Not good. So I then turned to Breakthrough Photography. An American company with a stellar reputation. That being said I was shocked when I received my filters, holder, and magnetic adapter ring as the 82mm adapter ring would not turn. So I very quickly got in touch with them and a new one was on the way and the bogus one was on it's way back to them.

I purchased a 6 stop dark cpl filter which includes a circular polarizer with the 6 stop all in one filter. I did this with three magnetic adapter rings, a 62, 77, and an 82mm. This was to fit my Canon and Sony lenses. I also purchased a 100mm square filter holder and a 100x150mm 3 stop soft GND (graduated neutral density) filter. More to come on this later.

So I went out this morning to shoot with some moving water and learned quite a bit along the way. This new system works quite well. I removed my B+W filter from the front of my 70-200 and attached the magnetic 77mm filter adapter which the 6 stop dark cpl slips into. The magnetic filter attaches to the adapter easily and it stays put. Since this filter is a cpl I use the knurled ring on the adapter to adjust the strength of the cpl. Nice touch but still a little wonky as it does not move very well and is quite thin.

 

The exposures on these wave photos were at 400 ISO @ 0.6 sec at f14. I like to work in the same way every time I go out. A repeatable system or process is essential when trying to make sure every thing you do can be repeated every time. I forgot that this time out and almost lost my 77mm filter adapter. After I removed my B+W filter from my lens and was trying to attach the adapter I lost control of it and it bounced down the rocks and into a pool of sea water. Bummer! It works fine but when I got home I soaked it in fresh water to try and get rid of the salt water. No damage so it will be fine. Normally with the water so close to my car I would attach everything in the car but this time I forgot, uggh.

At six stops of ND I did not expect any color change and their was non. Superb results but there was not much color involved so i converted these images to B&W in silver Efex Pro 2.

The ease of use of the system works fine. It can be a little nerve wracking getting the filter out of the mag adapter ring but with a little practice it work out easily.

Next I will shoot some color images and some GND work with the rest of the system. so far so good.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) and black breakthrough photography gloucester photography seaside Silver Efex Pro white https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/9/breakthrough-photography-filter-system-rolling-review Thu, 20 Sep 2018 17:00:00 GMT
B&W imagery - discovering light and texture https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/9/b-w-imagery---discovering-light-and-texture When I started my photographic journey as a teenager black and white imagery was all there was. Color was a small printed image or slide that you looked at on a screen or in a scrapbook. What I learned was that the world was made up of light and dark and that I needed to adjust my exposure and development to create the image I wanted. 

Fast forward to my college years full of shooting and developing B&W film. You see I was in charge of the student association darkroom and the year book photo staff for about three years. Then onto my career as a photojournalist. Again seeing and developing for the light. You might say B&W imagery has been my life.

 

When my career as a photojournalist changed to that as a photo editor I had to make sure digital images had enough tonal contrast to produce high quality B&W images for print. Again, B&W imagery. 

 

Then my career as a photojournalist was over after 38 years. I started shooting in the mornings on a short walk around town with my Leica going back to my formative years shooting B&W. 

 

What I discovered was that I was shooting the light and texture not the color. This guided me to  the Nik Collection of B&W presets known as Silver Efex Pro 2. It’s a great tool that gives you incredible control over the B&W image. There is a really cool zone graduated bar at the bottom of the app that is such a huge help. Back in school I studied the zone system. As a photojournalist I employed it almost every day in one form or another. Using this tool brings me back almost into the darkroom. So now I always look at what the B&W alternative is or I convert it right away because that's how I envisioned it when I made the image. 

Working in B&W is an incredible way to discover light and texture. It forces you to look at these elements of an image and to feel the subject. The images in this blog post were made in Oregon while I was on vacation. I was there to enjoy being with family and not take to many photos. I carried the camera with me only once and these are the images that resulted. All of them were visualized as B&W. Ordinary objects that are interesting - because they are B&W not because they are color. They are about light and texture. Learning to see the light is often taught in workshops but not often learned. What I teach in my workshops is to feel the light. Feel what it is doing to your emotions as it plays on your subject. Feel the textures as they come out in the shadows and adds depth to your images. 

One of the things I like to do at my workshops is to gather in the early morning after sunrise and ask my students to close there eyes and use their other senses to experience the light and their surroundings whether it be bright sun, cloudy, rainy, misty etc. Smelling how the light is burning off the haze or starting to heat up the things around you. I then ask them to think about what they have felt and then try to photograph what they have experienced. 

 

Next time you are out in the early morning try this exercise. I think you will find it will help you make images that mean something.

 

 

 

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography photography Silver Efex Pro Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/9/b-w-imagery---discovering-light-and-texture Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:15:00 GMT
Checking out the Sony 20mm pancake lens https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/8/checking-out-the-sony-20mm-pancake-lens

 

I have had this lens for a while now but since I own two lenses that cover that focal length I don't even look at it. I pulled it out yesterday to try it for silent street photography and only managed to pull off a few shots. Nothing spectacular but I was just testing it out. It focuses fast and is a f2.8 lens so for inside work it's not bad. I was using this lens on the Sony a6300 with silent shooting turned on.

This image was made inside a coffee shop at 1/125 sec at 2.8 at ISO 1600. With the camera on silent shooting this makes street shooting outside a no brainer with this lens. I was surprised at how sharp it is all the way around wide open. I also use back button focus which is a pain when you are not looking at the subject. Normally I put the camera around my neck and just shoot blind at whatever is moving. 

Lightroom opened the shadows a bit to much and I did not mess around with these that much to make them perfect. One thing you must do is turn on profile corrections as it changes things a little. I then went out and did some other things just for fun.

This image was shot at 5.6 and is really pretty good. I expected the focus to carry a little further at f 5.6 than it did. When I blow it up you can see it's starting to get a little soft on some of the boats int he background. 

This shot was also made at f 5.6 and you can see not much depth of field close up even on a crop camera. I am pretty happy with this lens and will continue to use it for a few things here and there. It's a great stealth lens and easy to use.

 

Check out The Cape Ann Photo Tours Blog about one of my students shooting a mini travel story during one of our tours

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) photography Sony Sony 20 mm pancake lens review https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/8/checking-out-the-sony-20mm-pancake-lens Wed, 22 Aug 2018 21:36:40 GMT
Looking for abstracts https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/8/looking-for-abstracts Abstract images come in all forms. There is a great place in Rockport that just begs you to look for unusual images. The outside of the Cape Ann Tool Company is just such a place. The orange insulation is starting to degrade after many years and has turned into a really cool place to look for abstracts. 

Last Thursday I was with clients from NJ and we were waiting for late afternoon light on this building which is the best time to make images of it. As we got there the heavens opened up and we had to wait about 15 minutes for it to clear before we could shoot. What we got was exactly what I was looking for, great shadows and super contrast.

Cape Ann Tool Company after rainCape Ann Tool Company after rainOutside of the Cape Ann Tool Company at Pigeon Cove in Rockport, MA. The water and the light created some great opportunities. 

 

abstarct-1Abstract-1Cape Ann Tool Company outside walls abstract.

Abstract-2Abstract-2Cape Ann Tool Company abstract

photographing the abstractPhoto graphing the abstractOne of my clients from NJ photographs the abstract outside walls of the Cape Ann Tool Company.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) abstracts cape ann tool company digital photography photography Rockport MA sony sonya6300 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2018/8/looking-for-abstracts Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:30:00 GMT
Morning walk with the Sony a6300 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2017/12/morning-walk-with-the-sony-a6300 As many of you know I find it very therapeutic to get out early in the morning and go for a short walk with a camera. This morning I went out with the Sony a6300 and the Sony/Zeiss 16-70. This is a great range for general photography and this lens is really nice. It is very sharp with great contrast. 

The image above is one of those images that give me a sense of order with all the shapes, lines, windows, etc. I have passed by this image a few times but the light was not right. Today it was really nice.

I loved the way the light played across the back of the RAA and the door in all it's purple color. The shingles even though they are mostly gray also had some color. The light is what makes this image for me.

The steeple on the UU church in Rockport has been reconstructed and is now straight and beautiful. I have photographed it a number of times but it's always with some interesting clouds which were in evidence today. I was able to pull them out with Silver Efex Pro plugin in Lightroom.

Finally - this shot of a snowblower chained to a spiral staircase reminded me that snow is not far ahead with it in the forecast for this weekend. The camera and lens performed well. However I have noticed that the a6300 eats batteries. It does not seem to matter if the camera is off or not. When I finished my shooting this morning it was down to 50%. I started out shooting at 75% and only made a few images. The camera was off for some of that time. So a word to the wise have plenty of batteries with this camera. The lens seems to be a soft in the corners wide open which is bothersome. This image was at about 50mm in 35 terms at f4 and is soft at the bottom corners. Note to self, shoot above f4.

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) b&w photography photography rockport ma silver efex pro sony a6300 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2017/12/morning-walk-with-the-sony-a6300 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:25:53 GMT
Feelin the Bern https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2016/1/feelin-the-bern Last Friday I put myself on the schedule to photograph the phenomena known as Bernie mania. Here in Massachusetts it is gaining steam but honestly I think Hillary has it wrapped up. But, since I'm a political animal of sorts I wanted to see what kind of folks showed up for this event. It was interesting standing there watching who showed up. Old left wing liberals 60-80+ (throwbacks from the sixties) came in fairly early, on time for the most part. Then later on the young folks seeking better economic equality came in. It was an interesting mix. Great folks nun the less. As a documentary photographer I was disappointed in the photographic opportunities. There just wasn't much to shoot. There was a band playing and they turned the lights mostly off so things were kind of dicey for available light shots. I brought along the Sony Nex-7 and the Leica 35 Summicron looking for some interesting candid shots but I was not real happy with what I got. I will post some later. The shot below I like. It's of a woman checking her phone under the Bernie banner. This shot was made with the Canon 5D mk3 and the 24-70 f4 L. The ISO was an amazing 10,000, shot at 1/160s at 4.5 with a focal length of 33mm.

Feelin the BernFeeling the BernDee Cuffe of Marlbehead checks her phone under a "Feel the Bern" sign at a Bernie Sanders event Friday night Jan. 15, 2015 at the ICC hall in Beverly.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Bernie Sanders Canon canon 5dmk3 feel the bern photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2016/1/feelin-the-bern Mon, 18 Jan 2016 17:11:02 GMT
Meg Worrick - an inspiration in Dance https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2016/1/meg-worrick---an-inspiration-in-dance One thing I really don't like to do is to parachute into a story and try to come up with decent photos that tell it. This was the case when working on a story about Meg Worrick a young girl with Cerebral Palsy who inspires by doing what she can while dancing. She is involved with a dance class in Marblehead which has been a big part of her life. She arrives in a wheel chair and has to climb 17 steps to get to the dance studio. Each step rise has an inspiring word on it that helps her get to the top. Unfortunately for me I was not there when she did that so I missed the beginning of the story. I did however get her practicing with her dance friends and that was inspiring to see. I used the Canon 5D Mk3 with the 24-70 f4 IS and the Canon 7D mk2 with the 100 f2. Here are just a few of the images I made. This is true community journalism at it's best. I will post the story and more photos when we publish it in Wicked Local Marblehead.

dancingDancers dreamMeg Worrick strikes a dance pose with other dancers during a rehearsal at A Dancer's Dream Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson danceDancing with friendsMeg Worrick walks through a dance routine during a rehearsal at A Dancer's Dream Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson danceSharing a laughMeg Worrick shares a laugh with fellow dancers during a rehearsal at A Dancer's Dream Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

danceA little helpMeg Worrick waits to be pulled into a dance routine during a rehearsal at A Dancer's Dream Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon cerebral dancing palsy photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2016/1/meg-worrick---an-inspiration-in-dance Thu, 14 Jan 2016 21:35:52 GMT
Christmas Moon over Thachers Island - The story behind the image https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/12/christmas-moon-over-thachers-island---the-story-of-making-the-image The journey for this image started around Thanksgiving this year more specifically Nov. 25. I was driving home from an assignment in Newbury when the moon made a spectacular appearance. As I drove home along Rt 133 it was dominating the landscape around me. I did not have a tripod with me so I didn't stop to make a shot of it. As I got closer to Gloucester and it started to rise higher and make spectacular imagery everywhere you could see it. People were stopping and taking photos with their phones which at 28mm is kind of useless for various reasons. I vowed at that moment that I would not be caught off-guard again. 

 

So I started to look for ways to figure out when this would happen again. I found an app for my phone that does just that. The Photographers Ephemeris. Click on the link to see how fantastic it is. So back to the story. A photographer friend and I were talking about how cool it is and discovered that the next full moon was on Christmas Day and would be coming up right between the Thacher Island Twin Lights. So I started to plan my photo shoot for the day before and Christmas Day. The app tells you all you need to know about when the moon will rise, when it will set and for the sun as well. It also gives you the line of sight from any location and where the moon or sun will rise or set in regards to your location. So I set up for it on the day before Christmas as a test. It was going to come up an hour earlier and the luminescent values would be more in line with each other. I waited but the cloud cover kept it hidden for to long. So I decided to try to get the moon going down early Christmas morning since it was going to line up near Annisquam Light but again the cloud cover did not let me see it.

 

Christmas Day was not looking very good weather wise so I was hoping and praying for a Christmas miracle! The sun was out most of the day and when I headed over to Good Harbor Beach to get set up I was disappointed to see that there was a light cloud cover in the horizon. The crowds of people walking on the beach negated any parking close so I decided to drive back to Rockport and see how the horizon was shaping up close up. So I went over to Eden Rd. in Rockport to check it out. It looked to me as though it was getting lighter so I quickly drove back over to Good Harbor getting there at about 4:45 PM with moonrise being at 4:56 PM. I got set up behind my car with the Gitzo tripod and Really Right Stuff ball head holding my Canon 300 f2.8 L with 1.4 tele extender. I used my Canon 5D MK3 in live view on manual with auto white balance set as I knew it was going to change rapidly and I would not be able to keep up with it. I also shot this image in Raw format in Adobe 1998. As the light started to drop my hopes for a great shot were starting to fade as the appointed hour started to arrive. My initial calculations for location were correct the TPE was right on the money. If the cloud cover was not in play the moon would have started it's rise at the North tower and when fully visible would have been nicely placed between the two. But as luck would have it the clouds obscured the initial rising but when it did come up it was really nice. The shot below is the first image I made. You can see how the moon has already progressed to the right past the point where I would have liked it. It's already fully above the horizon but obscured by the clouds.

 

Moonrise 1Moon starting to rise over Thacher's Island

Here is another shot as it started to come up and brighten the sky a bit more. 

Moonrise 2

Here is the final shot or one of many but the one I like the best without any image merging.

Christmas full moonMoonrise over Thachers IslandThe full moon rises over Thacher's Island in Rockport MA on Christmas Day 2015. Post processing in Lightroom was able to calm down the brightness value of the moon enough to show some of the features. This is only possible because the image was made in Raw and the latitude of the new sensors is unbelievable. I was still not really happy so I tried merging some images that were very close but bracketed a couple of stops on either side. The only problem with the following image is that the red light on the south tower did not merge very well. I had to do some work in Photoshop to optimize things a bit but the image prints very nicely. Merging the bracketed exposures made a huge difference in tonality of the image.

Christmas Moon rises over Thacher's IslandChristmas Moon rise over Thacher's IslandThe Christmas full moon rises over Thacher's Island in Rockport, MA.

I know some of you will like the un-merged shot better and in some ways I do as well. I have made prints of both and the merged shot is clearly better. 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Photographers Ephemeris Rockport MA Thacher Island photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/12/christmas-moon-over-thachers-island---the-story-of-making-the-image Tue, 29 Dec 2015 15:37:21 GMT
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/12/merry-christmas-and-happy-new-year About this time of year I start thinking of where I am going and where I have come from with my photography. It's an interesting trip that brings me back quite a ways. My son Andy visited us this past week leaving on Monday but we had some great conversation. Portland Oregon time of course 3 AM. One of the things we talked about was where technology has taken us and how it has improved things for us but also how it has messed us all up. Here is a quote from Albert Einstein: 

 

"Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."

 

So even though I sit here at a computer typing this which will eventually go out on the web I still wish we were a bit less advanced. As I have said before even though more photographs are being taken by many more people and mostly by the camera in their phone they really have no idea what they are doing besides stopping the action in the vertical format. If more people would study the photographic process, the way the image is made, they would appreciate it more. Most people don't appreciate the images they make because they are saved on their phone or dumped onto their computer never to be seen again. My congrats to those of you who have made a print or two or put your memories in an on-demand book.

 

For a couple of years now I have been using a digital Leica M camera because it allows me to think about what I am doing. I focus myself and really pay attention to my exposure because to me that is important. Framing the image is second nature to me now after almost 40 years behind the lens. But the art of focusing and exposure are key elements that most certainly should be well thought out. In today's world these elements are the furthest things from people's mind. The most important thing is the cute selfie face! Ugggh!

 

So the next time I have mommy or daddy with a camera ask me at a sports event what I have the camera set on my reply will be:

I set my camera on "M" for Master,  I'm way past "P" for professional! The rest is up to you figure it out.

 

So that's my New Year message! Put the dam phone down and pick up a camera, focus it yourself and determine what the exposure is by using the Master Mode! M

Snow on VinesVines in Fresh Snow, Halibut Pt. State ParkAfter a fresh snowfall I went out to Halibut Pt. State Park in Rockport to see some incredible snow covering everything. It was an experience that I won't forget.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Canon 5D Mark 3 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/12/merry-christmas-and-happy-new-year Thu, 24 Dec 2015 19:55:31 GMT
It's all about the hands - twins re-connect https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/12/its-all-about-the-hands---twins-re-connect Recently I had the opportunity to photograph two sets of elderly twins and one half of a third set. These folks were meeting on a street in Beverly where they all grew up. We were doing a story on how five sets of twins lived on this street at one time back in the fifties. I brought my Leica along to photograph them as they talked about old times. I used the 35mm Summicron and shot wide open at f2 for the gorgeous background it gives. You know that Leica look. I also shot with the Canon 5D Mk3 and the 24-70 for my usual news images but I was looking for something different with the Leica. One thing I noticed right away was that the women were all talking with their hands. So I keyed in on this right away and tried to get that one unusual shot. Interestingly enough I mostly used the Leica shots of them talking. The one shot that ran on Page 1 was made with the Canon as it was a group shot made at 24mm showing the street. Here is the one image I really like.

Hand communicationTalking with handsTwins using their hands to talk. There was plenty of verbal conversation but the hands were always being used to emphasize a point.

Two more that really show off the Leica's cool DOF.

Twins meet againTwins meet againEllen (Sheehy) Marchand talks about the old days on Dearborn St. as her sister Johana (Sheehy) Fessenden, right, listens. Will Rogers, left, and Linda (DiStefano) Coyne also listen to the conversation. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Getting a chuckleGetting a chuckleEllen (Sheehy) Marchand talks about the old days on Dearborn St. as Will Rogers, left, breaks up in laughter while talking about the old days during the early 50's on Dearborn St. in Beverly. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 35mm Summicron photography twins https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/12/its-all-about-the-hands---twins-re-connect Fri, 11 Dec 2015 19:24:20 GMT
Wonderful Late Fall Morning Light https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/wonderful-late-fall-morning-light This morning while I was waiting for the post office to open I went down to T-Wharf to see if there were any photographs to be made. As I pulled in I immediately noticed that a crew of men were blasting out the old mortar in the bricks of the Town building at the beginning of the wharf. Looking against the light (my favorite thing) proved to be the best way to shoot it. I had all my Canon gear with me but I pulled out the G15 with a polarizing filter on it to make the shot. An interesting framing opportunity came up with a leading line going in to the guy working and then leading out with the building in the background and then coming back in with the the top of the building and the houses further in the background. Thus forming a kind of "Z" pattern. Something I always look for when looking at subjects to photograph is leading lines or perspective as it leads your eye around the frame.

 

Brick re-pointingRe-pointing the brick workWorkmen re-point the brick work on a building on T-Wharf in Rockport, MA.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Canon G15 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/wonderful-late-fall-morning-light Tue, 24 Nov 2015 17:41:48 GMT
Scrooge, Actor David Coffee https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/scrooge-actor-david-coffee This past week I had the opportunity to photograph a great stage actor rehearsing for "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater. Actor David Coffee has been playing the part of Scrooge for the past 22 years at the theater. My wife and I have been to see the performance a few times and Coffee's performance is always unforgettable. He seems to tweak his performance every year so it's just a little different. I was sent over to the theater to make some shots of Coffee as he rehearsed so I brought along two cameras. For some reason I thought I was shooting some shots of him talking with a reporter so I brought my Leica along to get some nice portraits. When I stepped into the rehearsal area with the play going on it brought me back to the actual performances I had witnessed in the past. What a privilege it was to be there to see how it all comes together. 

I really wanted some shots of Coffee's many facial expressions but I did not have my long lens with me. So I decided to shoot the rehearsal and let the chips fall where they may. Changing it up on the fly as they say. The Canon 5D MK3 with the 24-70 f4 L was the main camera and making images with that camera is effortless. Once I had made enough images with the Canon I switched over to the Leica. I first used the 35 Summicron then started using the 50 Summilux wide open at 1.4. Shooting with the rangefinder is a joy. I find that it brings me back to my formative years as a photojournalist using my Leica M5 and the 35 mm Summicron. Could I have made these images with the Canon? Sure. But it would not have been as much fun focusing myself, wherever I wanted, in any part of the frame without moving the focus point around. The images in this set are of Coffee interacting with the Ghost of Christmas Present in the finale of Act One.

Scrooge, David CoffeeScrooge, David CoffeeActor David Coffee rehearses the finale of the first act "The Boar's Head Carol" in the play "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA. Scrooge, David CoffeeScrooge, David CoffeeActor David Coffee rehearses the finale of the first act "The Boar's Head Carol" in the play "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA. Scrooge, David CoffeeScrooge, David CoffeeActor David Coffee rehearses the finale of the first act "The Boar's Head Carol" in the play "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA. Scrooge, David CoffeeScrooge, David CoffeeActor David Coffee rehearses the finale of the first act "The Boar's Head Carol" in the play "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA.

Scrooge, David CoffeeScrooge, David CoffeeActor David Coffee rehearses the finale of the first act "The Boar's Head Carol" in the play "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA. Mr. Scrooge, touch my robe! Scrooge, David CoffeeScrooge, David CoffeeActor David Coffee rehearses the finale of the first act "The Boar's Head Carol" in the play "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA.

Scrooge, David CoffeeScrooge, David CoffeeActor David Coffee rehearses the finale of the first act "The Boar's Head Carol" in the play "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA. Scrooge, David CoffeeScrooge, David CoffeeActor David Coffee rehearses the finale of the first act "The Boar's Head Carol" in the play "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA. Scrooge, David CoffeeScrooge, David CoffeeActor David Coffee rehearses the finale of the first act "The Boar's Head Carol" in the play "A Christmas Carol" at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA.

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) A Christmas Carol B&W photography Leica North Shore Music Theater photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/scrooge-actor-david-coffee Sat, 21 Nov 2015 14:08:32 GMT
WW ll Veteran, age 96, tells his story https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/ww-ll-veteran-age-96-tells-his-story For Bert Stanley, 96, Veterans Day 2015 was quite something different than in past years. Because this year he had just returned from Honor Flight New England on November 1st which took him to the nations capital to visit the WW 2 memorial sites. There was so much history in this mans face. I just had to make some interesting portraits that told his story without words. I pulled my reporter over to listen to Bert's story. 100 missions in a B-24, wow.

Photographically I had a real problem. The hall I was in was lit like a dungeon and the light coming from the windows was dim as it was very cloudy. So I quickly looked around and found some display cases that were lit from underneath. Bert and the reporter leaned on the display case to talk. I had both the 5Dmk3 with the 24-70 f4L IS and the 7Dmk2 with the 100 f2. So with the help of the display case light I started shooting waiting for some moments that would give me his personality. You can see in his aged eyes the thoughts of experiences past as he recounted his trip to DC and the bombing missions he flew.

God bless all our veterans, the reason we are free is because of their sacrifices. Thank you Bert Stanley for bringing your thoughts to us and for your service to our Great Nation!

WW ll Vet Bert StanleyWW ll Vet Bert StanleyWW ll Veteran Bert Stanley, 96, took part in the New England Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Nov.1 and talks about the experience with the Reporter after Veteran's Day ceremonies at Abbot Hall in Marblehead Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Canon 5D MK3 with Canon 24-70 f4 L IS

WW ll Veteran Bert StanleyWW ll Veteran Bert StanleyWW ll Veteran Bert Stanley, 96, took part in the New England Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Nov.1 and talks about the experience with the Reporter after Veteran's Day ceremonies at Abbot Hall in Marblehead Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Canon 7D MK2 with Canon 100 f2

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 5DMK3 Honor Flight New England WW2 Veterans World War Two Veterans photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/ww-ll-veteran-age-96-tells-his-story Thu, 12 Nov 2015 19:47:45 GMT
Wild Volleyball Action - Tourney Time https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/wild-volleyball-action---tourney-time My job these days brings me to various high schools around the area for tournament games for different sports. This week I saw boys and girls soccer, girls volleyball, girls field hockey and of course football. Wow what a week of some great sports. I am posting my favorite photo from this week it was not a tough choice but there were probably ten or so I really liked. This one stood out as you will see. The biggest problem with these tournament games is that the parking is usually horrendous. This volleyball match was no different. I drove around the school several times looking and finally parked in the back and walked through the school to the gym. This gym was mobbed! I usually find a place at the back and check the light and my camera settings which were not that big a deal since I had been there many times before. But I must tell you I don't like shooting volleyball that much. For some reason my timing is off for the first few minutes. I have to keep checking the preview to see if I got something or if it's sharp. As usual I kept checking to see if my Canon 7Dmk2 was focusing the 70-200 f2.8 L IS through the net. Sometimes yes sometimes no. I satisfied myself that I had some decent images but without my reading glasses I still was not sure if I had anything. So in between games I climbed into the stands with the mob and tried for something different which was still not easy but I did get one image I liked. 

So back to the image at hand. This one girl always made a face as she went up to block or spike the ball so naturally I was looking for something good of her. In this shot she goes up for a block and it looks like she will be successful but in the two frames after this one the ball goes right between her hands. Either way her expression makes the shot. Masconomet put up a great fight coming back from two games down to tie it up but lost in the fifth tie breaker game.

Exposure Details: ISO 6400, 1/640s, f2.8

 

Masconomet Girls VolleyballMasconomet Girls VolleyballMasconomet’s Ayla Pitts goes up for the block during Masco’s match against Central Catholic Thursday, Nov. 5. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 7Dmk2 high school girls volleyball photography volleyball https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/wild-volleyball-action---tourney-time Sun, 08 Nov 2015 01:36:04 GMT
"Spooky Rehearsal" chorus rehearses in Halloween costumes https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/-spooky-rehearsal-chorus-rehearses-in-halloween-costumes Before Halloween I got a call from the director of a local chorus group. She had a great hook for me to show up and capture the rehearsal of her group. They were mostly going to be dressed in Halloween costumes. That was enough for me - singing "The Messiah" in Halloween costumes. When I got there I was faced with approx. 100 people most dressed in some sort of getup all singing. I went about making shots with the two cameras I had with me the Leica MP 240 and the 50mm Summilux and the Canon 5D MK3 with my new 24-70 f4 L IS. I was keen to test this lens out inside with low light and IS. Up against the Leica I was not sure what I was going to get. I was not disappointed. The lens performed brilliantly. Besides the minor barrel distortion at 24 it worked great. The Leica also did well shooting at f2 or 1.4 but I was using that for myself so I did not ID the people. I will add a couple of shots from it later today. Here is a shot of two women engrossed in their singing until they saw me hanging about. One just peaked above her glasses to look at me as the other continued without looking at me. Normally I don't like the images of people looking at me but for some reason this one has a different look.

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Chorus of the North Shore Spooky RehearsalChorus of the North Shore Spooky RehearsalAimee Ferguson, left, and Margurite Schernig sing in costume during a rehearsal of Handel's "The Messiah" at the Ipswich High School chorus room on Monday Night Oct. 26, 2015. The chorus dressed in Halloween costumes for a fun time singing. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

ISO 3200 1/85s @ f5 39mm   Canon 5D Mk3 Canon 24-70 f4 L IS

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 5D Mk3 Handel's Messiah Leica Leica MP 240 chorus singing https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/11/-spooky-rehearsal-chorus-rehearses-in-halloween-costumes Thu, 05 Nov 2015 16:05:13 GMT
First shots and opinions on the Canon 24-70 f4 L IS https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/10/first-shots-and-opinions-on-the-canon-24-70-f4-l-is Over the past three months I have been debating selling my 24-70 f2.8 L. It's a huge lens that weighs quite a bit. Hauling it around has been not so pleasant. So I consulted a friend of mine who has both of them. He was very high on the performance of the f4. The fact that it also has IS was a big selling point along with the fact that it is a lot lighter. So I finally decided to purchase the lens. I use the 24-70 f2.8 L lens every day and carrying around this beast on my Canon 5D Mk3 was pretty heavy. Here are some of my first shots with the new 24-70 f4 L IS.

Canon 5D MK3 w/24-70 f4 L ISIpswich MA. Macro mode on the 24-70 f4 L IS Overall I really like everything about this lens. The color is right on and it's sharp across the board even wide open (well it should be at f4). So far it's been great. My only concern has been the barrel distortion at 24 mm.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Ipswich, MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/10/first-shots-and-opinions-on-the-canon-24-70-f4-l-is Mon, 26 Oct 2015 20:28:36 GMT
Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor and Camden Maine https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/10/mount-desert-island-acadia-national-park-bar-harbor-and-camden-maine This past weekend my wife and I had a weekend away in northern Maine. We had only been up to Stonnington way back in the late 70's and wanted to see Acadia National Park for the first time. I had been up to the Rockport/Camden area a couple of times and really enjoyed the area. So we took the long drive up on Friday and landed in Camden on Friday night. We knew the weather was about to change and we woke up to a little rain and much colder weather. So as we headed out to visit Camden, the front that went by created some interesting photographic opportunities. The first thing to jump out at me was a nice yellow leaf in the driveway covered with rain drops. At first the light was very flat with the cloud cover then an amazing side light coming from the east over the water created a very interesting image.

As we made our way down to the waterfront the light was really cool as the passing front cleared out with beautiful clouds. The sun was heating up the docks and schooners and gave us some great opportunities.

The images above were made with the Leica MP 240 w/35mm Summicron and Sony Nex-7 with the 90mm Tele-Elmarit. We continued on our trip up to Bar Harbor and the light was just gorgeous. When we got to Bar Harbor and settled in we had some more weather come through and give us some more great opportunities.

We then headed up to Cadillac Mtn. and were greeted by windy cold weather and thunder clouds moving through as the cold front moved over us. 

After we had a spectacular showing on top of Cadillac Mtn. we headed back to Bar Harbor to relax. When we got back a light rain was moving through and gave us a grand rainbow and a magnificent sunset. The next day we headed back out to Acadia National Park for some more shooting.

We had a great short trip but I will be back to photograph either this winter or next year. I loved this place.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Bar Harbor Canon Leica Mount Desert Island Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/10/mount-desert-island-acadia-national-park-bar-harbor-and-camden-maine Thu, 22 Oct 2015 00:32:39 GMT
Out Shooting with the Leica MP 240 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/9/out-shooting-with-the-leica-mp-240 Today was a different kind of day. It started off very foggy and cleared out but was very steamy. Then it started to rain lightly after dark. I was carrying the Leica with me most of the day and I had some fun shooting while at one of my assignments. I had a play rehearsal to go to and brought the Leica along for the ride. I noticed an older woman sitting off by herself enjoying the activity and she just reminded me of an older actress remembering her past. Then a younger actress came over and started talking to her. The older woman listened as the younger woman talked, she smiled and nodded as if knowing what she was talking about. Then as I left the theater and walked outside it was raining lightly. So I thought why not wait to see if anyone comes along with an umbrella. Then out of the mist someone came along. I quickly focused on something straight but my shutter speed at ISO 1000 was only 1/15s at 1.4 so it's not quite sharp but as a mood shot it's kind of cool. 

Remembering the pastOlder actress remembering the past. Leica MP 240 50mm Summilux ConversationThe old and young talk about acting. Walking in the RainOut walking in the rain with the Leica MP 240 and the Leica 50mm Summilux

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica MP240 Rockport MA Silver Efex Pro https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/9/out-shooting-with-the-leica-mp-240 Wed, 30 Sep 2015 00:54:30 GMT
Cannon Beach, Oregon - July 2015 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/9/cannon-beach-oregon---july-2015 This past July we had the opportunity to go out to Oregon and visit with our boys. We had a wonderful time and at the same time got to see a part of Oregon that we have not seen before. I brought the Leica MP 240 and the Sony Nex-7 which I used with my Leica glass. The lenses I brought along were the 21 Super Elmar, 35 Summicron, 50 Summilux, and the 90 Tele-Elmarit. The combination worked very well for the type of landscape shooting I was planning on doing. The Leica and Sony are very light compared to my Canon gear and were ideal for traveling. I also decided to go without the tripod. I don't own a small carbon fiber job and bringing the large Gitzo was out of the question. I only needed it maybe a couple of times and even then not really since I was able to get away with it. The benefits of shooting like this when traveling is you never have a problem at the end of the day feeling it carrying around the big stuff. I am only showing a few here in this blog post. Here are some of my favorites from the trip out to Cannon Beach. I will probably go into the catalog and add more to this blog post. My Full Oregon Portfolio can be found here.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Cannon Beach Leica Leica M-P 240 Oregon Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/9/cannon-beach-oregon---july-2015 Fri, 18 Sep 2015 01:47:35 GMT
Camp 18 - Some photos from Oregon with the Leica M-P 240 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/8/camp-18---some-photos-from-oregon This past month my wife and I were on our annual trip to visit our boys in Oregon. Even though the days were beautiful we were not out shooting when the light was at it's best. So the best I could hope for was muted light with some light cloud cover. This was the case on our way out to Cannon Beach on the coast. My son John had been out this way before and he had taken some photos of this really cool place called "Camp 18" which is a restaurant and part historical museum of a logging camp. So you can imagine there was some pretty cool stuff hanging about. Here are some of the images form Camp 18. I had a great time on this trip shooting with the Leica M-P 240 and the Sony Nex-7 with my Leica glass. More to come as I upload galleries of the 45 or so select images from this trip.

Reflection, railroad carThis reflection in the window of a railroad car was really interesting. You can see the windows of the inside of the railroad car as well as the scene behind me. Metal railroad car siding and pineLeica M-P 240 35 Summicron Foliage and saw bladeLeica M-P 240 35mm Summicron Rotting Hiking BootsSony Nex-7 w/Leica 90 mm Tele-Elmarit Logging chains and TiresLeica M-P 240 35mm Summicron Logging Boots and Shackles Leica M-P 240 w/35mm Summicron

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M-P 240 Oregon logging photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/8/camp-18---some-photos-from-oregon Tue, 11 Aug 2015 02:38:41 GMT
"The Wall That Heals" - Vietnam War Memorial Moving Wall https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/7/-the-wall-that-heals---vietnam-memorial-moving-wall Today I was on assignment to cover the opening of the "Wall That Heals" more commonly known as the Vietnam War Memorial Moving Wall. It is a replica of the granite Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. It was an honor to be there and to honor the memory of the 12 people from Cape Ann that lost their lives for us in Vietnam. I got some good images but the memorial is available to the public on a 24/7 basis with lights above the names. I knew dusk was the best time to go as the lights would be on. So on the way home I stopped by for a look and brought the Leica M-P 240 and the Leica 35 Summicron with me. This camera is the ultimate stealth camera. I was able to photograph in near silence as this couple studied the memorial after they found the name they were looking for. It is such a personal thing for these Vets as they come back and honor friends or relatives that have fallen for us. It was moving for me to see and I know you will feel the same as you see the image below. 

"The Wall That Heals"This couple stopped, found a name and paused thinking. It was very moving.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M-P 240 The Wall That Heals gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/7/-the-wall-that-heals---vietnam-memorial-moving-wall Fri, 10 Jul 2015 04:37:23 GMT
A Rockport Fourth with the Leica 21mm SE https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/7/a-rockport-fourth-with-the-leica-21mm-se Yesterday I really wanted to do some street photography using the Leica 21mm Super Elmar. It's a great lens for this because the depth of field is so great at f8. Who needs auto focus when you can use a lens like this using hyperfocal distance and the depth of field scale on the lens. On this little lens everything from 3ft. to infinity is sharp at f8. So before I left I set up a test in my living room to see what was what using this method. So I tried different distances and it turned out that focusing at five feet was the sweet spot. That meant that the previous equation of 3ft. to infinity worked very well. I headed down to Dock Square in Rockport to see if I could find some people. What I ran into was a great surprise. The Rotary Club was holding a reading of the Declaration of Independence with everyone dressed in colonial attire. What a great opportunity! The crowd started to gather, townies, tourists, little kids, older folks, great photographic opportunities everywhere. I started out using the camera on aperture priority. This seemed to work well shooting from the hip and also framing images with my analog viewfinder on top of the camera. The Leica M-P 240 was in it's element not many people were paying attention to me. But the biggest problem was me. I shot the event like a news photographer so people did notice me and in some of the frames I had people looking at me. Some of the people there knew me as well so they were aware of what I was doing.

I did focus every once and a while and that was fine but the most interesting images were made using the camera in street photography mode. Here are some of the images from yesterdays shoot.

 

Rockport 4thThe crowd started to grow from a small group to a very large one as people were called to the town square. Rockport 4thThe Constitution was handed out so people could read along as it was read out loud. Rockport 4thWhen you know the people everyone is aware you are making photos at some point. Shot from the hip notice the lower angle. Rockport 4thBefore they started everyone was doing something different. This woman was texting while her kids were playing with their flags. Rockport 4thThe crowd is notified that the reading will begin. Rockport 4thAs the Constitution is read folks were encouraged to yell Huzzah when something good about the colonies was read. One woman followed up. Rockport 4thYou never know when Uncle Sam will make an appearance.

Rockport 4thThis young man found a spot in the tree at Dock Sq. and was kind of listening. Rockport 4thThe guy with the pitch fork had an interesting look on his face and so did the woman looking my way as the Constitution was read. Rockport 4thA hardy clap as the reading is over and the pitch fork is raised. Rockport 4thThis woman was giving me the stare or was she just waiting to hit me up for a donation for our town fireworks in August.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 4th of July Leica Leica 21mm Super Elmar Leica M 240 Rockport MA photography street photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/7/a-rockport-fourth-with-the-leica-21mm-se Sun, 05 Jul 2015 14:06:01 GMT
Always Carry a Camera! https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/6/always-carry-a-camera You never know when an opportunity will arise for a great photo. Or as Thorsten Overgaard says always wear a camera, the opportunities are endless. Yesterday I was coming back from a PMC event and was stopped at a traffic light when I noticed a Chow dog hanging out of a window in a small truck. I had the G15 ready and zoomed all the way out to 140mm and just got off a shot as the truck started to pull away. One shot not a boat load of them. So I figured that I got an interesting shot of the dog hanging out of the window. When I pulled it into Lightroom I was surprised to see that not only had I made the shot but the dog had decided to yawn at the exact moment I tripped the shutter. What a great surprise. 

Yawning chowChow yawn, June 2015Chow yawns as the vehicle he is riding in takes off from a red light. Canon G15 ISO 80, 1/500s @ 3.2 140mm

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon G15 gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/6/always-carry-a-camera Sun, 21 Jun 2015 15:09:09 GMT
Thacher's Island Photography Workshop a Success https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/6/thachers-island-photography-workshop-a-success We had a great time out on the island this past Wednesday. Myself and three hearty souls braved the rough ride out to the island for a fun filled day of photography. There was a large group of volunteers working hard on repairing the walkway and re-shingling the side of the Keepers cottage. We started shooting right away and the island did not disappoint as it was a beautiful clear day with some wispy clouds moving by. These clouds provided a really interesting perspective to the granite towers of the Twin Lights. The large rookery of gulls provided some entertainment as we moved about the island. Below are a few images I made with the Leica M-P 240 and the Sony Nex-7 with the Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit. You can see a full gallery of images here.

 

Flat Rock & Straitsmouth June 2015Flat Rock looking out to Straitsmouth Is.

South Light and Clouds, June 2015The South Light at Thacher's Island Rockport with wispy clouds.

South Light & Clouds, June 2015The South Light at Thacher's island with sun and clouds.

South Light and cloud circle, June 2015This lenticular circle surrounded the sun while we were out on Thacher's Island.

Building & Clouds, June 2015Some of the outer buildings at Thacher's Island are worn but kept up. The brick work and the blue sky and clouds gave a wonderful simple composition.

workshop participantsJohanna and Pat enjoy the view from the North Light at Thacher's Island.

Photographing the gullsWalter approaches some of the over 2000 nesting gulls for interesting photos.

Keeps doorA Thacher Island volunteer scraps paint from the door of the Keeper' Quarters.

Doc's wife drawingDrawing the island by one of the volunteers at Thacher Island.

Sid walks down the pathwaySid Wedmore walks down a pathway toward the North Tower at Thacher's Island.

Guarding the NestA gull looks out over a chick hidden behind the daisies at this shack on Thacher's island. Gull guarding chick, June 2015This gull made sure we did not get to close to her chick we were sitting on out at Thacher's Island. Rot Iron Bench, June 2015This old rot iron bench starts to rust up out on Bearskin Neck. Looking in the window, June 2015This stuffed bear was staring in the window of a shop on Bearskin Neck in Rockport.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Rockport MA Silver Efex Pro Sony Nex-7 photography workshop https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/6/thachers-island-photography-workshop-a-success Sat, 20 Jun 2015 18:22:13 GMT
Using the Leica EVF2 viewfinder on the Leica M 240 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/6/using-the-leica-evf2-viewfinder-on-the-leica-m-240 After some debate with myself I decided to buy this accessory for the Leica M 240. I did the usual back and forth of do I really need it or is it overkill. I have been using my old 21mm viewfinder from the 60's which is a little soft in the middle from being dropped and have been getting tired of it. So after reading up on how this finder works and everyone saying for wide angle shooting it's a must I tracked one down on Fred Miranda.com. I looked for a used Olympus one but they don't make them anymore and the ones I did find were still about $300. So I decided on the Leica version.

 

Leica M-P 240 w/EVF2 and Leica 21 Super Elmar

Leica M-P 240 w/EVF2 and Leica 21 Super ElmarEVF2 tilted up for alternate viewing angle notice that the eyepiece twists for proper eye focus.

It comes with a nice little leatherette case and a rubber foot cover for protection when not in use. It is very light (read plastic) and fits very nicely on the camera and is tight enough so it won't fall off, very nice. When I picked it up at the post office I had the M-P with me and the 35 Summicron attached so I went right down to a familiar place to see if I could use it right out of the box with no fooling around with the menu's.

I must say it was all pretty easy. There is a button on the back to turn the EVF on and off. On the front of the camera there is a button to assist in focusing by blowing up the image either x5 or x10. You then move back and forth between them and full image with the wheel on the back. I learned quickly to go into the menu and make the focus assist automatic every time you turn the focus ring on the lens, nice feature. If you change the magnification with the wheel and then shoot it will stay on that setting the next time you focus the camera so keep that in mind. The red focus peaking is nice but not very heavy and there is no adjustment in the camera to increase it. This would have been nice. I am used to this in the Sony. As you can see by the image above the diopter is right on the eyepiece and stays were you set it and is easy to use. Here are the first raw files out of the camera.

As I got more used to the EVF and discovered new things it did the more excited I got. For instance no matter what f-stop the lens is set to, you focus wide open and then when you press down the shutter part way it closes down to show you a preview of what the exposure actually is. Kind of like shooting with a DSLR. Keep in mind that using the EVF2 is not a fast way to focus but it sure is accurate. Tack sharp images with whatever lens you are using. I used my old 21mm 3.4 Super Angulon on it and the images were tack sharp. To bad the edges were magenta. More to come on using this lens for B&W. Back to the EVF2. The camera itself is slow to wake up after being off or asleep. I have a 64g card in the camera so it's pretty fast at about 1 sec. But after focusing, re-framing, shooting and then waiting for the EVF to come back up it certainly is not fast. So it still makes you think about what you are doing.

 

Leica M-P 240 with EVF2 and Leica Tele-ElmaritVery easy to focus the 90mm with the EVF2.

I find myself checking the rangefinder back and forth with the EVF to see if I'm on target or not. It seems sometimes I am off a bit. So using the EVF has been a  great tool to get better at using the rangefinder. I'm still pretty accurate using the rangefinder but I can always get better. For me the EVF is so much bettr than using the old 21mm viewfinder and I don't think I will be going back in that direction.

 

Leica M-P 240 with EVF2 and 21mm Super ElmarMy dad's sailfish he caught back in the late fifties.

So far I have enjoyed using it and it will a fixture on the camera when I am out shooting so I don't have to take it on and off. That being said I will not be using it all the time only with the 21mm Super Elmar and the 90mm Tele Elmarit. I have done some early testing with my 135mm Tele Elmar but it was a bit tricky to focus. At 10x multiplication the image was bouncing all over the place and I did better focusing with the rangefinder.

 

 

Leica M-P 240 withEVF2 and the Leica 21mm Super ElmarThis was taken on a newspaper assignment and is a jpeg out of the camera.

The shot above was made at 1/8s at 3.4 using the 21mm Super Elmar and the EVF2 with camera balanced on one knee, pretty amazing what the Leica can do.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica EVF2 Leica M-P 240 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/6/using-the-leica-evf2-viewfinder-on-the-leica-m-240 Fri, 05 Jun 2015 18:25:21 GMT
Weather and it's affect on landscape photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/weather-and-its-affect-on-your-landscape-photography Most people that love shooting landscapes know when the golden hour is. It's widely known that an hour before and an hour after sunrise or sunset produces very colorful warm images with strong side light which gives your images a three dimensional look. But this does not always produce dramatic images that jump off the screen or print. Weather plays a huge part in determining how an image will look at certain times of the day. 

 

In the spring and summer thunderstorms roll through and if caught at the right time of day can produce very dramatic images. It's important to always be aware of the weather and what it's doing and what it is predicted to do so you are prepared to make that iconic shot. My favorite subjects are storm fronts and and thunderstorms. Dramatic clouds have always been a favorite subject of mine. Tracking thunderstorms by radar is relatively easy now with GPS on our phones with weather apps that do this. The shot below was made after tracking a thunderstorm and getting to the right place just as they were moving through.

 

As you can see the clouds are very dramatic. The light is starting to come down on the horizon but not at sunset. Prior planning as to where to go made this shot successful. As Ansel Adams once said, "There's nothing worse than a bald-headed sky". I have always remembered that and keep it in mind when making images that use the sky as the main ingredient. 

I have always felt that if you seldom carry a camera then you will never be ready when that iconic photo presents itself. The photo above is just such a case. I had the full arsenal with me as I came home from work. The weather that day was interesting with a cool ocean breeze coming in under a warmer land and producing this wonderful fog along the shore. I knew this was going to happen after listening to the weather report in the morning and knew that the wind was going to shift to an on-shore breeze in the afternoon. I hoped that sunset would give me something so after work I tried to think of places to go that would hopefully give me something. Little River in Gloucester is right near the highway so it was an easy task to stop by on my way home. I was blessed with this lovely scene as the sun came down and the fog moved in.

Paying attention to what the weather is going to be can help produce the most dramatic images in your portfolio. I have been chasing sea smoke for most of my career. Back in the 80's the best shots for the day's paper were the dramatic B&W images of sea smoke as it rolled across some of the harbors of the North Shore. The shot above of Thacher's Island was made a few years ago but is still my favorite. Sea smoke happens when the air temperature is much lower than the sea temp. The morning this image was taken it was -9 degrees to the sea temp. of 40-45 degrees. I made the shot about an hour after sunrise. This usually occurs in January as the sea temperature is still somewhat warm but the air temperature can be very low. By listening to the weather report the night before I was able to determine that this condition was going to happen. So I was ready.

Winter always produces some great images. The weather is always changing and listening to the weather report will give you a good idea of what will be going on. Rapid temperature changes will always give you something. The photo above was made after we had a light fog and mist moving through after a light snow. I think you know what I mean as a snow comes through with a rising temperature and then it starts to become a light rain and then a mist and fog. Then very rapidly the temperature drops, freezing everything. That was the case here as the water froze to the trees and the mist became a light snow again for a brief period of time.

 

So as you can see weather plays a huge role in dramatic landscape photography. I am always keeping an eye on it so that I can make that next iconic image that will spruce up my landscape portfolio.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Leica M9 Rockport MA gloucester landscape photography photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/weather-and-its-affect-on-your-landscape-photography Sun, 31 May 2015 14:01:02 GMT
Wonderful clouds with the Leica M-P 240 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/wonderful-clouds-with-the-leica-m-p-240 Yesterday I was up in Newburyport for a softball game and the clouds were unbelievable. The wind was coming right down the Merrimack and the clouds were flying by. I parked out near the outfield and there was a big net that went up to the light posts. Everything came together for a couple of very interesting photos. I watched the clouds for interesting patterns and the 35 f2 was a great lens for this. The 35 is a great walk around lens which in my early days was my lens of choice on my M5. When I switched over to shooting with Canon SLR stuff in the early 80's the 24 became my lens of choice. 

 

While I was looking at the cloud formations an older man walked by with his dog and I was able to work him into a photo with the clouds and net. I think the the clouds, net, and man make an interesting photo.

 

Clouds and the LeicaClouds and manShot with the Leica M-P 240 and the 35mm Summicron.

This image was shot as a B&W jpg and then brought into Silver Efex Pro for more processing. 

Wind blown cloudsClouds and netClouds and net make an interesting image taken with the Leica M-P 240 and the 35 f2. This image was shot in color optimized and then converted in Silver Efex Pro.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M-P 240 Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/wonderful-clouds-with-the-leica-m-p-240 Sat, 23 May 2015 14:02:00 GMT
World War ll Veteran and the Leica M-P 240 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/world-war-ll-veteran-and-the-leica-m-p-240 I had the distinct pleasure to meet 91 year old Frank Cotoia today. He is a spry active man that talks about his years of service like they were yesterday. He was a member of the famed 3rd Division that fought through so many major campaigns of the war from Anzio to Hitler's Eagles Den. He fought next to three time Medal of Honor recipient Audey Murphy saying how much of a regular guy he was. Cotoia's tales of the war were captivating. He taIked about his bronze star as if it were nothing but we know otherwise. I happened to have the M-P along with the 35 Cron attached and made some photos as he was talking. This camera is easy to use in a reportage situation and I found that in continuous mode three frames a sec. was plenty to capture his varied expressions. I used center weighted metering which worked well for the situation. I have the camera set to what I call news mode which is ISO 400, jpg fine, and srgb. This works best for my computer at work. I also used my Canon 5d Mk3 with the 24-70 and those images were just as good. The nice window light really added to the images.

 

WW ll VeteranLeica M-P 240 w/35 SummicronWW ll veteran Frank Cotoia of Swampscott talks about being a member of the famed 3rd Division that fought at Anzio all the way to Hitlers Eagles Nest. WW ll VeteranLeica M-P 240 w/35 SummicronWW ll veteran Frank Cotoia of Swampscott talks about being a member of the famed 3rd Division that fought at Anzio all the way to Hitlers Eagles Nest. WW ll VeteranLeica M-P 240 w/35 SummicronWW ll veteran Frank Cotoia of Swampscott talks about being a member of the famed 3rd Division that fought at Anzio all the way to Hitlers Eagles Nest. WW ll VeteranLeica M-P 240 w/35 SummicronWW ll veteran Frank Cotoia of Swampscott talks about being a member of the famed 3rd Division that fought at Anzio all the way to Hitlers Eagles Nest.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M-P 240 WW ll veteran photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/world-war-ll-veteran-and-the-leica-m-p-240 Tue, 19 May 2015 07:27:22 GMT
See my Guest Post at Steve Huff Photo https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/see-my-guest-post-at-steve-huff-photo I have been a big fan of the photo blog Steve Huff Photo. Steve and Brandon have done a great job with this website and have added to the conversation over the present state of things in the photo industry. He accepts articles by other folks so I decided to write an article on our trip out to Oregon and the use of the Leica M9 for B&W landscapes. I submitted a bunch of images and he used them all along with the article. You can see it here at Steve Huff Photo.

 

Sauvier Island FarmSauvier Island FarmLeica M9 w/90 mm Tele-Elmarit

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 photography steve huff photo https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/see-my-guest-post-at-steve-huff-photo Thu, 14 May 2015 07:05:23 GMT
Artistic B&W look at the start of growing season https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/artistic-b-w-look-at-the-start-of-growing-season I was out driving around yesterday and came across this scene off Highland St. in Hamilton. I have passed it before and paid it no mind but this time I stopped and made a photo knowing that it really did lend itself to a B&W conversion. I made several different angles but this was the best and of course the first one that I made. I used the Leica M-P 240 with the 35 Summicron. The light was fairly flat and the conversion was pretty quick and easy in Silver Efex Pro. I first did some standard adjustments in Lightroom and after the conversion knocked down the clarity a bit.

Tree and furrowsTree and furrowsA tree sits among the furrows of newly planted vegetables in Hamilton, MA.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/artistic-b-w-look-at-the-start-of-growing-season Tue, 12 May 2015 12:29:05 GMT
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, photos with the M-P 240 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/museum-of-fine-arts---boston-photos-with-the-m-p-240 Yesterday I happened to be in Boston at a Pedal Partners event at Fenway Park which was a really great event to meet the young man we are riding for this year. After this event we headed off to lunch and then the MFA. I had not been for a while but could have walked around all day shooting photos of people engrossed in the exhibits. I decided to concentrate most of my images at the Herb Ritts exhibit. The images that Ritts made over the years were in a word striking. The use of shadow and design in his images of people were really something and of course being in B&W are something I love to look at. The only thing that was really bugging me while I was shooting was the really slow start up time of the M-P. God it's slow. When I get the new 64 gig card that is 90mbps speed it will be faster. All the B&W images were made using the M-P in B&W film mode. Here are some images that I made at the MFA. 

 

By the way I still have a couple open seats for the Thacher Island Photography Workshop. Check here for more information.

 

MFA RittsLeica M-P 240 w/35 CronDizzy Gillespie blows out those famous cheeks. Ritts MFALeica M-P 240 w/35 CronJodie Foster by Herb Ritts has its photo taken. Leica M-P 240 w/35 CronA woman looks over a collage of Herb Ritts work at the MFA. DaVinci at the MFALeica M-P 240 w/35 CronTwo women look over the DaVinci exhibit at the MFA in Boston.

MFA in BostonLeica M-P 240 w/35 CronFlying men MFA Boston Tsunami exhibit at the MFALeica M-P 240 w/35 CronA couple looks at their phone while at the Tsunami exhibit at the MFA in Boston.

MFA BostonLeica M-P 240 w/35 CronFlying men MFA Boston Fenway Park abstractLeica M-P 240 w/35 CronInteresting design near the Green Monster at Fenway Park. Leica M-P 240 w/35 CronAn Asian couple takes advantage of the blossoms on this tree to make a photo.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M-P 240 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/museum-of-fine-arts---boston-photos-with-the-m-p-240 Sun, 10 May 2015 22:28:02 GMT
Thacher Island Photography Workshop open to all https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/thacher-island-photography-workshop-open-to-all I have adjusted the course description for this workshop as several people have inquired about who can come out. It was originally scheduled as an advanced workshop but I have since changed this to anyone who wants to learn and enjoy the day photographing on Thacher's Island. Check out the new course description and sign up here. 

 

Thacher's Island Photography WorkshopFormer lighthouse keeps at Thacher's IslandDottie and George Carroll take a moment to relax before doing some more island chores. The Carroll's were lighthouse keepers from 1986 until 1991.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Rockport, MA Thacher's Island Workshop photography photography workshops https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/thacher-island-photography-workshop-open-to-all Fri, 08 May 2015 23:07:07 GMT
Leica M-P 240 upgrade from M9 rolling review #2 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/leica-m-p-240-upgrade-from-m9-rolling-review-2 I'm getting used to the new M-P 240 it's a wonderful camera. I have set up four user profiles that fits how I shoot and it's been great to switch back and fourth for certain situations. I guess I have been used to the center weighted average metering in the M9 because I ahve set everything to that setting. Using the sensor metering makes a weird sound as it re-cocks the shutter release. I don't like it. So I don't use it. I really like the thumb wheel for scrolling through the menu items, blowing up images to check for sharpness etc. I have used Live View a few times and feel like I need the EVF to really enjoy looking through the sensor. The color has been really great. For a guy that leans toward B&W I have been very impressed by the CMOS sensor in this camera. The lenses make the color look a little different from my Canon images which of course are also CMOS images. The images below were made with the M-P 240 of the Cape Ann Tool Co. in Rockport. It has had this orange insulation on the metal since it closed a long time ago. I remember the familiar loud thumping coming out of this forging operation way back in the 60's when the wind was blowing toward Annisquam. I have made a few images of the outside of this building before but only in B&W. Yesterday I came home a different way and the low light and shadows were playing across the front of the orange building making some very interesting images. Here are a few.

 

Cape Ann Tool Company Rockport MALeica M-P 240 w/ 35 f2 SummicronCape Ann Tool Company Rockport MA Cape Ann Tool Company Rockport MALeica M-P 240 w/ 35 f2 SummicronCape Ann Tool Company Rockport MA Cape Ann Tool Company Rockport MALeica M-P 240 w/ 35 f2 SummicronCape Ann Tool Company Rockport MA Cape Ann Tool Company Rockport MALeica M-P 240 w/ 35 f2 SummicronCape Ann Tool Company Rockport MA Cape Ann Tool Company Rockport MALeica M-P 240 w/ 35 f2 SummicronCape Ann Tool Company Rockport MA

Cape Ann Tool Company Rockport MALeica M-P 240 w/ 35 f2 SummicronCape Ann Tool Company Rockport MA Cape Ann Tool Company Rockport MALeica M-P 240 w/ 35 f2 SummicronCape Ann Tool Company Rockport MA

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M-P 240 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/leica-m-p-240-upgrade-from-m9-rolling-review-2 Fri, 08 May 2015 22:29:44 GMT
Leica upgrade from the M9 to a M-P 240, rolling user review https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/leica-upgrade-from-the-m9-to-a-m-p-240-rolling-user-review So I love my M9! But when I had to send it back to Leica for a sensor change out I was a little miffed. Six years and the sensor needs to be replaced, uggggh. The good news was it was being replaced along with the leatherette and a few other things, gratis. Awesome Leica, fabulous! What happens when the sensor goes bad again in six years? Well at the same time the good news came in they also offered an upgrade to an M 240 or an M-P 240. Now normally the M-P is $1000 more than the M so when I saw the upgrade to the M-P was only $250 more I said now that's really interesting. The difference between the two is significant. First off everything on the front is blacked out with the Leica signature on the top, sapphire glass on the monitor, frame line selector on the front and 2 gigs of ram instead of 1. Pretty decent upgrade from the M 240. So I hemmed and hawed about it but finally took the M9 off the que for repair and ordered the M-P.

 

Yesterday was my birthday and it showed up via UPS whoohoo. Now you have to understand that a camera that cost this much requires some special packaging and it was pretty special. A nice black box that housed the camera in it's on special box plus two pull out drawers (yes drawers) with the battery, charger, cables in little bags and literature, very nice. So last night I started figuring out the menus and setting things up which was pretty easy but I a still have a long way to go. So I charged up the battery, about two hours while I read the book of instructions. This morning I took it out for a spin with my M lenses and here are some of the images I got. All I have done in Lightoom was a normal tone then and a slight crop if it needed it. Just some quick shots walking around the wharf for testing.

 

Leica M-P 240 w/21 Super Elmar 3.4A wire lobster guards a memorial to Gail King at Pigeon Cove in Rockport.

Leica M-P 240 w/ 90 Tele ElmaritLobster traps wait to be deployed at Pigeon cove in Rockport.

I was pleasantly surprised by the dynamic range of the CMOS sensor as the reds did not block up like the M9 would. More to come on color rendition in future posts.

Leica M-P 240 w/21 Super Elmar 3.4Lobster trap buoy painting station on the hill above the anchorage at Pigeon Cove.

Leica M-P 240 w/50 Summilux 1.4Used paint and brushes harden after use painting lobster trap buoys on the hill above the achorage at Pigeon Cove.

Leica M-P 240 w/ 50 Summilux 1.4New buoys wait to be deployed out in Sandy Bay in Rockport.

 

Leica M-P 240 w/ 21 Super Elmar 3.4New traps wait to be deployed in Sandy Bay Rockport MA.

 

Leica M-P 240 w 21 Super Elmar 3.4An old "red nun" sits idle while lobster boats wait to be worked on before going in for the season at Pigeon Cove Rockport, MA.

The image below was processed in Silver Efex Pro 2 to bring the sky up then back in Lightroom I did some more work with the gradient tool.

Leica M-P 240 w/ 21 Super Elmar 3.4Lobster traps sit idle with winter straw at Pigeon Cove in Rockport, MA.

I really like this shot - the black and white guy could not resist converting at least one image.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M-P 240 Rockport MA Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/5/leica-upgrade-from-the-m9-to-a-m-p-240-rolling-user-review Wed, 06 May 2015 18:44:51 GMT
Atlantic waves inspired by friends images https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/4/atlantic-waves-inspired-by-friends-images A couple of years ago I made several wave photos over on the backshore off Atlantic Rd in Gloucester - they are some of my best selling images. A gallery in Boston continues to sell the large canvas images I have printed of them. Why then has it taken me so long to get out and do more - life has gotten in the way. Work and other things have kept me from shooting my landscape stuff.

 

The conditions this week have been inspiring. Nice early morning light and a crisp off shore breeze (depending on where you are) combined for some images this morning. Some photog friends on Facebook have some really nice wave images so after seeing some awesome wave curls this morning early on my bike ride I went back to shoot some more. Now I shoot this stuff differently than most. I used my Canon 7D mk2 (cropped sensor) with my Canon 300 2.8 and a 1.4x extender which brings the focal length to 672mm. I was rushed for time or I would have ditched the 1.4. I only climbed down a bit to the water. The exposure was 1/2000 sec. at f4 100 ISO. Here are a few from today's shoot.

 

Atlantic WavesCanon 7D Mk2 w/300 2.8L & 1.4XWaves along Atlantic Rd. in Gloucester, MA

Atlantic WavesCanon 7D Mk2 w/300 2.8L & 1.4XWaves along Atlantic Rd in Gloucester, MA Atlantic WavesCanon 7D Mk2 w/300 2.8L & 1.4XWaves along Atlantic Rd. in Gloucester, MA Atlantic WavesCanon 7D Mk2 w/300 2.8L & 1.4XWaves along Atlantic Rd. in Gloucester, MA

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 7D MK2 Gloucester, MA gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/4/atlantic-waves-inspired-by-friends-images Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:51:53 GMT
Winter a B&W photographers dream https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/4/winter-a-b-w-photographers-dream Even though this winter was nasty snow wise it gave the B&W photographer some great opportunities. Even before the snow arrived January was cold and this provided at least one opportunity for sea smoke. I have posted my shot from this year which was done from the Abbot Hall clock tower in Marblehead. The cold weather did provide some other interesting images that I had fun with. The Ipswich River was a really interesting place as the ice and light snow created some very interesting shapes and tones in B&W. The shot shown here was made with the Sony Nex-7 and the Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit which on this camera makes it a 135mm. This combination has proven to be a wonderful setup. I process the color version in Lightroom and then open it up in Silver Efex Pro2. I tweak it a little here and there until it looks like how I envisioned it when I made the image.

Frozen riverSony Nex-7 w/90 Tele-elmaritThe Ipswich river mostly frozen over in January of 2015.

This next image is of frozen snow on one of my sky light windows. The early morning light was making some interesting tones and I just had to make an image of what was going on. To me it was a great abstract moment that just begs to be made into a B&W. I processed it in Lightroom and added a little contrast but really not much tweaking involved. I made this image again with the Sony Nex-7 but this time with the 50mm Summilux 1.4. Which on this camera is a 75mm. To some this image may seem dark but this is how I envisioned it with sparkles of light areas interesting tones everywhere.

snow on skylightsSony Nex-7 w/Leica 50mm SummiluxMorning light bouncing around this snow and ice on skylight windows.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Rockport MA Silver Efex Pro Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/4/winter-a-b-w-photographers-dream Wed, 22 Apr 2015 17:18:47 GMT
The Gray Cold Day and the Black & White Photograph https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/4/the-gray-cold-day-and-the-black-white-photograph Today I was stuck outside for a good hour freezing my butt off waiting for some folks to show up for an assignment I was working on. The assignment was out at Glen Magna in Danvers which is a pretty cool place. I wondered around a bit out by the Derby Tea House and noticed that the gray light was making things look really interesting. The trees were looking really cool, no pun intended. I had with me two Canon cameras the 5D Mk3 and the 7D Mk2 the 24-70 was on the 5D and the 70-200 was on the 7D. As I poked around images just started flowing as they often do. Some of the trees really attracted me and I made images that I knew would be B&W. A bench with some really cool sides just jumped out at me. A window in a shed was my main attraction as it had some new tools in an old window, just really cool stuff. The Canon's while breaking my back did a great job as usual.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/4/the-gray-cold-day-and-the-black-white-photograph Thu, 09 Apr 2015 21:00:00 GMT
Using the new version of Final Cut Pro X https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/4/using-the-new-version-of-final-cut-pro-x Back in 2012 I purchased Final Cut Pro X and found it a real departure from Final Cut Pro 7 and the baby version Final Cut Express. So I was a little skeptical when I installed the latest version onto my new Macbook Pro. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. I am not a wiz at the video thing but I was surprised at how easily I got the hang of it. My first project was pretty easy but I found that things that were pretty difficult in the older version were now really simple. Multiple audio tracks are a breeze. Splitting the video and audio is also simple and less of a headache than the last version. Working with still images was also very easy. Changing time, doing animations, cropping, etc were a snap. It helped to know the program a little and what some of the buttons did but overall a pleasant experience. I was able to pull together tons of material and put together a decent piece on the historic season of the Hamilton-Wenham boys basketball team. Check out the Adobe Slate I created for our Wicked Local websites here.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Apple Final Cut Pro X, Canon Canon 7D Mk2 video photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/4/using-the-new-version-of-final-cut-pro-x Thu, 09 Apr 2015 05:37:06 GMT
Palm Sunday and the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/3/palm-sunday-and-the-leica-m9 It's been a while since I have been out and about with the Leica. So today, Palm Sunday, I wanted to bring the camera along to church because I knew that the photo opportunities would be numerous. The Leica M9 or any Leica are the perfect tool to record life as it happens. The size of the camera gives photographers the ability to blend in and make images that really give feeling. Last year I shot with my dad's Leica 28mm lens and I got a couple of outstanding images. I was really excited about them. Today the images did not come easy. The palm fonds were given out by the children and not at the door like last year. So I needed to look for something different but nothing really presented itself. I was able to make some nice images but nothing that really grabbed me like last year. This year I had the Leica 35mm Summicron on the M9 and it worked out great. I have always used the Leica 35 cron as my carry around lens even when I was shooting film on the Leica M5. 

 

I don't know what it is but when I shoot with the M9 I like to convert my images to B&W. They just have a different look to them when I convert them. Today it was obvious as the AWB was off and on, mostly off. My brain also thinks in B&W as I was trained in my early years shooting B&W all the time so I tend to think that way. The images below are from today's shoot. Some are converted and some are not. They are all made at ISO 1600 at 5.6 or 2.0. Normally I try to process my B&W in Silver Efex Pro but this time I did them in Lightroom. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/3/palm-sunday-and-the-leica-m9 Sun, 29 Mar 2015 22:22:57 GMT
Hamilton Wenham State Champions - A special story https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/3/more-basketball-playoff-images This playoff season was really something here on the North Shore. We had two teams that went undefeated and captured the State Title in the process. I followed both of them most of the way and was there when they won the whole thing. I was most interested in Hamilton Wenham since it had an interesting dynamic and it had never happened before in the schools history. 

Back in 1990 I had photographed the Salem High team go all the way to the Sate semi-final before losing to Duxbury and eventual college Div.1 and NBA player Bill Curley. That team was special! Coach Jack O'Brien had done a marvelous job of pulling that team together and had instilled in them a winning attitude. Duxbury and Curley (35 pts) were just to much to handle. One of the players on that team was Zach Zegarowski. At the time he was 15 and a sophomore but a very good player. His twin sons now 15 play for Hamilton Wenham. They are projected to be Div. 1 college players. I talked with Zach about his whole experience after so many years had passed losing to Duxbury. He said he thinks about it almost every day. He also talks with coach O'Brien four to five times a week about his sons development on and off the court. You see - coach O'Brien is more of a life coach and is a big part of Zach's life. So as Zach and I talked about things before the big game he causally mentioned that Coach is coming to see the game. I looked around the arena and there O'Brien was up in the stands black wavy hair watching the goings on before the game.

So you see I had a special reason for covering this team. Not only had four of the seniors been playing together since they were very young but the Zegarowski twins were another very special story to me. I had photographed their father in the same situation 25 years ago. Zach's comment to me was that he, his wife Mandy, daughter Maizee, and son Michael (now an NBA player) were not able to get it done (state championship) so it was up to the twins now to make the dream come true. Indeed a very special game for the Zegarowski family. So when they won it all going undefeated it was a dream come true for everyone. Here are some of the photos I made that day at WPI in Worcester.

The Hamilton Wenham crowd rushes the floor after the Div. 4 championship game as the Generals went on to win over Sutton 59-50. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

The Hamilton Wenham student population rushes the floor after the game.

Nolan Wilson and Max Zegarowski celebrate with the Div. 4 State Championship trophy after defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Nolan Wilson and Max Zegarowski celebrate with the trophy.

Austen Michel, Nico Serpa, Nikos Lara, and Mark Vivenzio celebrate after the Hamilton Wenham boys basketball team defeated Sutton 59-50 to win the Div. 4 State Championship at WPI on Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Nikos Lara and his teammates celebrate

Marcus Zegarowski, left, Max Zegarowski, C.J. Cooper, Nikos Lara, Jimmy Campbell and Jimmy Baras celebrate with the trophy after the Hamilton Wenham boys basketball team defeated Sutton 59-50 to win the Div. 4 State Championship at WPI on Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Nikos and friends celebrate with the trophy

Hamilton Wenham senior Jimmy Campbell gives his coach Doug Hoak a hug after winning the Div. 4 State Championship by defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Senior Jimmy Campbell gives coach Doug Hoak a tearful hug after the victory.

The Hamilton Wenham teammates Austen Michel, Marcus Zegarowski, Nico Serpa, Jimmy Campbell, and Mark Vivenzio celebrate with the trophy after the Hamilton Wenham boys basketball team defeated Sutton 59-50 to win the Div. 4 State Championship at WPI on Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

The team celebrates with the tournament ball and state trophy

Nolan Wilson celebrates with the Div. 4 State Championship trophy with fellow students after defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Nolan Wilson and a fan celebrate with their fans.

Marcus Zegarowski celebrates with his parents Zach and Mandy after winning the Div. 4 State Championship by defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Mandy and Zach Zegarowski celebrate with son Marcus after the game. The excitement was contagious and I was so happy to be a part of it.

Max Zegarowski gets a big hug from his dad Zach as Jimmy Campbell and Marcus Zegarowsky share the moment after the Hamilton Wenham boys basketball team defeated Sutton 59-50 to win the Div. 4 State Championship at WPI on Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Zach gives his son Max a big hug after the victory as Jimmy Campbell and Marcus celebrate.

Marcus Zegarowski celebrates with the Div. 4 State Championship trophy by giving it a kiss after defeating Sutton 59-50 Friday, March 13, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Marcus gives the state championship trophy a kiss.

Marcus listens as legendary coach Jack O'Brien talks about errors made during the game and how to avoid them in the future. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Hamilton Wenham boys basketball state champions photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/3/more-basketball-playoff-images Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:55:44 GMT
High School basketball tournament time with the Canon 7D Mk2 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/3/high-school-basketball-tournament-time-with-the-canon-7d-mk2 Sorry for the long delay in posting it's been a tough month photo wise. It's been all about work and no personal work. So I thought I would write up about my experiences with the Canon 7D MK2.

I guess I was expecting to much out of the AF system on this camera. I have been using the old 7D for quite some time and was moderately happy with the AF performance. Sometimes it was unbelievable and other times it was dismal. So when the new model came out I waited a bit and got a good deal on it (thanks John). I immediately did some research on how to set up the AF settings and ran across an article by Peter Read Miller a well known sports photographer. He ran through the settings he has done on his 1D X. Since the AF systems are basically identical I have set up the 7D Mk2 the same. So far the results have been mixed. I love the 10 frames a sec. as I get a lot of choices but in the end I'm not getting a good ratio of in to out frames. I still blame myself for some of the errors like not holding down the AF button hard enough or at all. I'm still getting used to it. Basketball is really difficult as it is with so many people running around in the frame it's hard for the camera to lock on. But it has missed some really easy ones like a single player driving to the basket with no one around. I have been able to get some good frames and I post them here as a combination of images from the past couple of weeks. We still have more to come this week as two of our teams have been undefeated throughout the season. I did do an experiment with my older Canon 100 f2 (I love this lens) on my 5D Mk3 and the results were much better. I used this lens back in the day with my EOS 1 system and loved it for basketball. All of these images were made at ISO 6400 or 3200 1/800s @ 2.8. After a little practice with the 70-200 L the camera and I should get along better.  I have some nice images so I thought I would share some of them with you. 

phone selfiesphone selfiesMasconomet students celebrate senior night for the girls basketball team with headshots on sticks of the senior players while they take a selfie of themselves during Masco's 62-34 win Friday night Feb. 13, over the Hamilton Wenham Generals. Canon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 L

Girls basketballGirls basketballBeverly's Ashley Augulewicz passes from the baseline to a teammate as Salem's Brianna Rodriguez, Rachel Zipper, and Jaclyn Panneton defend during Salem's 56-46 tournament loss to Beverly at the Salem High Fieldhouse Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Sony Nex-7 w/Sony 20 2.8

Girls basketballGirls basketballBeverly's Ashley Augulewicz goes up for a rebound with a host of Salem players during Beverly's 56-46 win at the Salem High Fieldhouse Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015.

Canon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 L

Boys basketballBoys basketballHamilton Wenham's Nolan Wilson goes up for a shot as Manchester Essex' Justin Eigenlebiger and Craig Carter try to block during the Generals 87-44 win Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Canon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 L

Canon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 LCanon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 LDanvers Peter Merry can't find the handle on this rebound with Wakefield's Andrew Auld during Danvers 69-52 win over Wakefield Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

Canon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 L

Boys basketballBoys basketballDanvers Devin Harris chases down the ball with Wakefield's Tighe Beck during Danvers 69-52 win over Wakefield Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

Canon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 L

Boys basketballBoys basketballThe Danvers High cheering section was very active as seen here during a rough play on the floor during Danvers 69-52 win over Wakefield Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

Canon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 L

Boys basketballBoys basketballDanvers Devonn Allen dives after the ball with Wakefield's MJ Urbano during Danvers 69-52 win over Wakefield Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

Canon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 L

Girls basketballGirls basketballBeverly's Natalie Mellinger takes a contested shot past Arlington's Grace Caulo during Beverly's exciting 56-55 win Monday, March 2, 2015.

Canon 7D Mk2 w/Canon 70-200 2.8 L

Girls basketballGirls basketballBeverly's Melissa Lubas, right, celebrates with teammates after Beverly's exciting 56-55 win over Arlington Monday, March 2, 2015.

Canon 5D Mk3 w/Canon 100 f2

Girls basketballGirls basketballThe student cheering section celebrates after Beverly's exciting 56-55 win over Arlington Monday, March 2, 2015.

Canon 5D Mk3 w/Canon 100 f2

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 7D Canon Canon 7D Mk2 Mk2" photography sports sports photography the with https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/3/high-school-basketball-tournament-time-with-the-canon-7d-mk2 Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:20:33 GMT
Interesting take on falling snow with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/2/interesting-take-on-snow-with-the-leica-m9 Well things have been a little lean photographically here. If I start posting more from images from work then it might be more active. But after all the snow blowing and shoveling I'm pretty exhausted. Yesterday we had some nice pretty snow falling as I left work. Large flakes falling and it was really kind of cool looking. I had the M9 with the 35 Cron on board and decided I needed to make something! So as I drove home I started thinking about shooting at really slow shutter speeds and what the images would look like. So I made a shot as I was driving home at 1/6 of a sec. 

 

Slow shutterSow shutter speedI made this as I drove home with the snow falling. The Leica M9 and the 35 Cron at 1/6s at f2.

Then when I got home my outside light did some interesting things with the large flakes falling.

snow slow shuttersnow slow shutterThe large snow flakes shot with a slow shutter speed made an interesting image.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/2/interesting-take-on-snow-with-the-leica-m9 Fri, 13 Feb 2015 19:36:40 GMT
East Coast Blizzard - Some photos https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/east-coast-blizzard---some-photos Yesterday and today have been on the rough side because of the NorEasta or NorBeasta' as some are calling it. I snow blowed the driveway twice and was able to get out and shoot some photos during and after the event which gave me a chance to use an old piece of gear that I really love. That being my Canon 1D Mk2 which really is a tank but is invincible. I used both my 16-35 and my 70-200 on it and it worked awesome! Here are some of the photos made with that camera and the Canon 5D mk3.

 

East Coast blizzardEast Coast blizzardBeverly resident (name withheld for this blog post) snowblows through a snowdrift on the sidewalk on Abbot St. in Beverly Wednesday morning Jan. 28, 2015.

This shot was made with the Canon 5D mk3 and the 70-200 I love the way the snow looks backlit.

East Coast blizzardEast Coast blizzardThis store on Main St. in Rockport was completly blocked by a snowdrift during the 2015 blizzard Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2014.

This store on Main St. in Rockport had an eight foot drift in front of it at 12 noon Tuesday I wonder if it ended up being as tall as the building.

East Coast blizzardEast Coast blizzardAndrew Bettencourt clears snow off his front stoop on Bearskin Neck during the blizzard Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.

This guy was trying to dig out his front steps on Bearskin Neck in Rockport Tuesday. Then he had to do it again this morning.

East Coast blizzardEast Coast blizzardMartha Sutwak and her Britney Spaniel "Tripp" shovel out the end of their driveway on Ober St. in Beverly Wednesday morning Jan. 28, 2015.

This shot was made this morning with the Canon 1D MK2 and the Canon 16-35 I love it!

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Blizzard of 2015 Canon Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/east-coast-blizzard---some-photos Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:11:13 GMT
Shooting hockey with the Canon 5D Mk3 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/shooting-hockey-with-the-canon-5d-mk3 One of my assignments earlier this week was to shoot a girls hockey game at a local college rink. I had not been back to this place for many years and things had changed for the better. The entrance had changed and the lighting was much better than I remember. Now, keep in mind that the last time I was in this place was maybe 15 years ago and I was shooting color film pushed. I was a regular at this place in the 80's and 90's and was there probably three times a week. I would normally shoot Tri-X pushed to 1600 and later color Fuji 800 pushed to 1600. We did shoot TMax 3200 from time to time but the grain was pretty bad. The exposure was 1/500s @ 2.8. This day was different. I was in for a pleasant surprise. The rink was bright! I decided to use my Canon 5D Mk3 for sports and was wondering what it would be like for hockey. This camera is not really known for being a sports camera. So I put the Canon 70-200 f2.8L ll on the camera and figured my exposure in manual mode at 1/1000s @ f4 at ISO 3200. The results are really pretty good. I was surprised at the auto focus. It was not as good as I thought it would be but then again I was shooting through the glass which was amazingly clear. So the auto focus was only really working well where I expected it to. At obtuse angles to the glass it had some issues. Overall I was pretty happy with the results. The camera only shoots at 5 frames a second (only) that's what my film camera did so I should not be upset. Well my 7D does 7 frames a second. Here are some of the images from the game.

Marblehead girls hockeyMarblehead vs Masco girls hockeyMarblehead's Sydney Cresta of Swampscott is knocked off the puck by Masco's Lily Dow of Amesbury during Masco's 6-2 victory Monday night Jan. 19. at Salem State. This play resulted in a penalty against Masco near the end of the first period.

For action coming right at you the camera performed flawlessly. The glass was clear and I have a whole series of images that are sharp of this action.

Marblehead girls hockeyMarblehead vs Masco girls hockeyMarblehead's Faithe Shatford of Manchester Essex fights for the puck with Masco's Lexi Rosenbaum during first period action of Masco's 6-2 victory Monday night Jan. 19. at Salem State.

Shooting girls hockey is a little different than shooting the boys or men. The game is slower (getting faster every year) and there is not as much action. The best place to stand to shoot through the glass is in the corner where you can get one team coming at you and a clear shot of the goal. Action with the girls happens around the net and along the boards a lot so you have to be ready for this.

Marblehead girls hockeyMarblehead vs Masco girls hockeyMarblehead's Brooke Keough follows up on her shot on Masco goalie Molly Kelley of Newburyport as Masco's Brynne O'Connor of Hamilton Wenham helps out during first period action of Masco's 6-2 victory Monday night Jan. 19. at Salem State.

Here the camera was focused on the player in the middle so the goalie is a little out of focus. If the focus had hit the goalie instead it may have been enough to include the player in the middle. With the 7D the smaller sensor may have been enough to make the goalie sharper. The amazing thing to me is that with the 5D mk3 the results were pretty darn good. The 7D would have had a little more noise at 3200 but it would still be negligible. The other issue with the 7D is the crop factor may have given me to much reach. Usually I shoot from the stands for playoff games and the 7D is way better for that.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 5D Mk3 Canon 70-200 f2.8L ll girls hockey photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/shooting-hockey-with-the-canon-5d-mk3 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:39:27 GMT
Sony - Is the Super Mirrorless Camera Next? https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/sony---is-the-super-mirrorless-camera-next I made this photo of my used Nex-7 last year in January I think? The camera and hoopla about Sony's cameras taking just about any lens with an adapter was starting to die down a bit. The original A7 and A7r created quite a buzz because of this feature. I started shooting with three very old Leica lenses and was amazed at what I got. This past year (2014) Sony went on a real tear introducing some incredible A7 series cameras that continue to switch Nikon and Canon people over to their system. The only drawback has been the lenses, but now with three formidable zooms they are taking the professional market by storm. I myself have considered switching from my Canon system to a Sony A7 Mkll and a Sony A7s. But I can't shoot sports with Sony A7 cameras and lenses they are to slow focusing,so there's the rub.

Which brings me to my point. Is Sony on the verge of blowing up the professional camera market with a Super Mirrorless Full Frame camera? I am only speculating here but the facts bear some of this out.

The specs as I see it would be this.

49 megapixels

High ISO capability similar to the A7s or slightly less so

5 Axis image stabilization like the A7 Mkll

Very advanced autofocus similar to the A6000

And the street price would be somewhere in the vicinity of $3000.

Think about it, by bringing all of these incredible advancements into one pro body would be killer. For me I could do everything I want, photojournalism, sports, landscapes - wow! All that and better than Canon and Nikon at a similar or less than, price point. So let the speculation begin. Canon is on the verge of announcing a mirrorless system as well. The camera wars are really heating up and getting very interesting.

Sony Nex-7 and Leica glassSony Nex-7 with Leica 35mm Summicron f2 v1 attached, Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4 v1 and Leica 90mm Tele Elmarit f2.8 v1

The Metabones adapter seen above was unacceptable to me as it was very tight in use so I have now changed to a Novoflex which is typical of German engineering fits and works perfectly.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Sony Nex-7 Sony mirrorless photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/sony---is-the-super-mirrorless-camera-next Wed, 14 Jan 2015 18:33:25 GMT
Yay - It's Finally Sea Smoke Weather, -2 degrees F https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/yay---its-finally-sea-smoke-weather--2-degrees-f Well my fingers are frozen and most of the rest of me. The difference is that I made sea smoke photos today in Marblehead instead of Rockport. I got up very early to drive to Marblehead to photograph some folks known as the "kranks" cranking up the clock in the tower of Abbott Hall. It was a fun cold assignment but it did provide an interesting view of the harbor with the sea smoke rolling around. I made a couple of shots out the window and then as I was leaving Marblehead I went over by the Barnacle Restaurant to make a sea level photo. Since they were not taken early enough in the day there was very little color so I converted them to B&W. I don't have Silver Efex Pro here at the office so the conversions don't really look they way I want them to. I will work on them again at home to see if I can get the desired effect. I have just added two images that have been worked on in Lightroom and Silver Efex pro I like them a lot better they are cropped a little looser.

Marlbehead Light in sea smokeCanon 7D w/ 70-200 2.8LMarblehead Light at Chandler Hovey Park with Islands in the background in seasmoke Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

This one below was processed in Silver Efex Pro.

seasmoke-2seasmoke-2Marblehead Light at Chandler Hovey Park surrounded by sea smoke.

Marblehead Light at Chandler Hovey Park in seasmokeCanon 7D w/ 70-200 2.8LMarblehead Light at Chandler Hovey Park in seasmoke Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

 This one below was processed in Silver Efex Pro.

seasmoke-1seasmoke-1Marblehead Light at Chandler Hovey Park surrounded by sea smoke.

Lobster boats sit in seasmokeCanon 7D w/70-200 2.8LLobster boats sit in seasmoke at the end of Marblehead Harbor Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Chandler Hovey Park Marblehead MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/yay---its-finally-sea-smoke-weather--2-degrees-f Thu, 08 Jan 2015 18:06:30 GMT
Moving water and ice with the Sony Nex-7 and Leica Glass https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/moving-water-and-ice-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-leica-glass I have always maintained that moving on a photographic idea instead of sitting around and thinking about it is good for the soul. Last night I was thinking about using the Leica 21mm Super Elmar on my Nex-7. It's a great little lens on the M9 but I have not really used it on the Nex-7. The reason for this is that on the APS-C camera it becomes a 30.5mm lens which I find odd. I already have a Sony 20mm which makes it a 30mm and usually I use that instead of hauling out the Leica 21. This morning I wanted to shoot ice since it's been cold lately and I knew of a place in Rockport where water would be running by and collecting on things. So I headed over to Meadowbrook without a tripod. Oh crap no tripod! Moving water and no tripod don't mix real well. I decided that I would try it out and see what I got. After surveying the scene it was obvious that I would have to get down low to make a shot the included some nice ice formations with moving water. My tripod would not have gone down that low anyway so using the Live View screen I balanced the camera off my knee and held my breath. Many shots later (I was checking the screen after each one for sharpness) I finally had one I thought would make it. I have added a couple more images to this post that I processed in Silver Efex Pro underneath the images that were converted in Photoshop. Let me know what you think. Click on the photos to see larger versions!

Rushing water and iceSony Nex-7 w/Leica 21mm Super ElmarThis image is handheld at 1/10s at f16. Straight Photoshop conversion

Rushing water and ice1Rushing water and ice1Water rushes down a stream near Meadowbrook Park in Rockport, MA.

Converted in Silver Efex Pro

So with that done I decided to head home but as I was looking over the bridge down onto the stream another shot presented itself. It just so happened that I had the Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit in my pocket (love these small lenses) and made the change to shoot over the bridge for the next shot. This was a bit easier as I was able to brace the camera on one of the large granite piers holding the bridge up. I only needed three shots to get a sharp one. This time the exposure was 1/13s at f16 instead of 1/10s.

Rushing water and iceRushing water and iceSony Nex-7 w/Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit I made this shot braced against some granite for the slow shutter speed. Converted in Photoshop

Rushing Water and ice 2Rushing Water and ice 2Water rushes down a stream near Meadowbrook Park in Rockport, MA.

Converted in Silver Efex Pro

So you see if you act on ideas instead of sitting on them you just might get something interesting. I envisioned both of these in B&W as I would do with any subject like this.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Rockport Rockport MA Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2015/1/moving-water-and-ice-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-leica-glass Fri, 02 Jan 2015 16:55:22 GMT
Governor-Elect Charlie Baker at Home in Swampscott https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/governor-elect-charlie-baker-at-home-in-swampscott Before Christmas I had the opportunity to photograph Charlie at home while being interviewed by reporter Will Dowd. I was looking for a shot that would show his personality. This would be difficult shooting with two big cameras which take over the room and the interview with the size and noise they make. The Canon 5D Mk3 is a big camera with the battery grip but fairly quiet in silent mode. The 7D on the other hand is loud. So I opted for two cameras that are known for being quiet, small and unobtrusive, the Leica M9 and the the Sony Nex-7. As it turned out they worked great and my shooting did not interfere with the interview at all. I started out shooting with the 35mm Summicron on the Leica and the 90mm Tele-Elmarit on the Sony which makes it a 135mm. This combo worked really well. The Leica gave me some nice overall images and the Sony w/90 gave me some really tight headshots. All of these images were post processed in Silver Efex Pro2 and gave me exactly what I was looking for. The on-line version of some these images can be found at swampscott.wickedlocal.com .

Charlie BakerSony Nex-7 w/Leica 90mm Tele-ElmaritMassachusetts Governor Charlie Baker talks with the Swampscott Reporter at his home in Swampscott MA in December of 2014. Charlie BakerLeica M9 w/35mm SummicronCharlie Baker relaxes with his dog Lucy at home before Christmas in Dec. 2014.

Next I switched over to shooting with the Leica and the 50mm Summilux f1.4. I started out at f2.8 and then made the rest at wide open to give the images more of a dreamy look in the background. These two were made wide open at 1.4. I really love this lens it gives the images a nice 3d look to them.

Charlie BakerLeica M9 w/50mm Summilux wide open at 1.4Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker talks with the Swampscott Reporter at his home in Swampscott MA in December of 2014.

Charlie BakerLeica M9 w/50mm Summilux wide open at 1.4Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker talks with the Swampscott Reporter at his home in Swampscott MA in December of 2014.

This next one was made with the Sony Nex-7 and the 50mm Summilux which with a 1.5 crop gives me a nice portrait lens at 75mm.

Charlie BakerSony Nex-7 w/Leica 50mm SummiluxMassachusetts Governor Charlie Baker talks with the Swampscott Reporter at his home in Swampscott MA in December of 2014.

The last thing I did was look for something different. I already had plenty of images but I really wanted a shot showing him in a pensive mood. He was tired as heck and it was 8:00 AM. You know he has a lot on his mind trying to figure out how to turn the state around with the new budget. I could have got him to smile but that would have been one of those fudged staged portraits you get when you say - smile! So I just let it take it's natural course. This last shot was made with the Leica 21mm Super Elmar with a pretty hefty crop. It gave me that pensive thinking shot I was looking for.

Charlie BakerLeica M9 w/Leica 21 mm Super ElmarMassachusetts Governor Charlie Baker talks with the Swampscott Reporter at his home in Swampscott MA in December of 2014.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Charlie Baker Leica Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro Sony Nex-7 Swampscott photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/governor-elect-charlie-baker-at-home-in-swampscott Sun, 28 Dec 2014 21:31:02 GMT
The Annual End of the Year Message https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/the-annual-end-of-the-year-message This year has been a rough one for me. There have been lots of ups and downs with my life and the photo industry. I find myself in the 60th year of my life and have been involved with photography in one form or another since I was in my early teens. The changes that have occurred in the last 14-15 years have been some of the most incredible but yet the most disturbing. Let me explain. Up until the early 90's photography was pretty simple. You bought a rangefinder or SLR and you made photos on film. The cameras had advanced to include auto focus and auto exposure but for the most part the photographer still had to know what was going on. ASA was what let you know how sensitive the film was and the photographer had to know what that meant and what film to use in certain situations. Developing the film was part of the fun. You had no idea what the image was going to look like until you developed the negative and made a print either by yourself or from a lab. 

National Guard 1978Leica M5 w/35mm Summicron f2.This shot was made in 1978 while on maneuvers with an army unit using an all manual camera. I processed the film myself and made the print myself.

Fast forward to today and it's completely different. One does not need to be knowledgeable about the photographic process at all. The process is all done by a computer embedded in the camera. This is why I have gone back to shooting with my Leica M9 rangefinder because it has slowed the process down and made me think about the image more. I have to think about what aperture and shutter speed I want to shoot at. I also have to focus the camera and figure out my aperture to determine what I want in focus. The new cameras make it so easy to make quality images it's amazing. What really shocks me is the amount of money people spend on pro quality gear not knowing how to use it at all. Back in the old days shooting with a high end Canon or Nikon meant you were a pro or an advanced amateur that was invested in the craft. Nowadays it seems just about anyone can plop down a bunch of cash for pro gear and think they are instantly a professional, I guess that's what the P setting on the dial means. Just the other day I handed the M9 to friend who has purchased some of that pro gear and asked them to see if they could use it. I showed them where the ISO setup was and how to focus and said OK go to it. I got the camera back in about five minutes with the comment "how do you use that piece of crap?" I explained that some of the best professional photographers in the world use it or the newest Leica M because it makes you think. The comment I got back was "I don't need to think my camera does it for me". 

There's the rub for me. These new cameras are breeding a world of photographic dummies. These folks now have thousands of images all shot in jpg sitting on memory cards that will never be looked at. If these folks have figured out how to get them off the card then they are on a hard drive someplace never to be seen again. The real pros and advanced amateurs who are invested in their craft are printing their work out for all to see. Which brings me back to the "photographic process", it may have changed but it is still there when considering the end result - a beautiful print to look at and admire. 

Oregon transit Leica M9 with 35mm Summicron f2This image was made with the M9 which is mostly manual. I have to figure out what ISO I want to use and what lens (no zoom), and pick the right aperture and shutter speed.

As a professional I still use the high end Canon pro gear for work. I love auto focus and the ability to use auto ISO. Picking my shutter speed and aperture then letting the camera figure out the ISO is fabulous. The only reason I do this is because the cameras can handle the enormously high ISO's and - I KNOW HOW TO USE IT. Since I know how to frame a good photograph, that's all I have to worry about unless the conditions are really tough. As a photojournalist these advances in camera and computer technology have made my life easier. My wish for the new year is for more people who have purchased the high end equipment is to learn the photographic process and make some prints so all can see. The only way they will get better is for people to see their images.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/the-annual-end-of-the-year-message Fri, 26 Dec 2014 16:57:23 GMT
Preparing for the annual Christmas pageant https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/preparing-for-the-annual-christmas-pageant This past Sunday after church the children were all downstairs putting on their costumes for the dress rehearsal of the annual Christmas play. It was a fun time as the shepherds, kings, angels etc. got ready. Some costumes fit just right but others had to be adjusted. I brought my Leica M9 along like I usually do just in case a good photo might come up. This day was no different as good photos were happening everywhere. I use the 35mm Summicron on the M9 as a carry around lens and for things like this it works great. One of my friends had their granddaughter there who is very young. She is going to be an angel which suited her perfectly. Here are some of the images I made of the kids getting ready.

 

Shooting tip: When photographing children make sure to get down to their level. Looking down on kids while you photograph them is a classic mistake. Then only way to get their perspective on things is to be at their level. B&W conversions are not the best. I will try to clean them up if I can. 

 

Preparing for the Christmas pageantPreparing for the Christmas pageantChildren prepare for the annual Christmas pageant at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA.

Preparing for the Christmas pageantPreparing for the Christmas pageantChildren prepare for the annual Christmas pageant at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA.

Preparing for the Christmas pageantPreparing for the Christmas pageantChildren prepare for the annual Christmas pageant at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA.

Preparing for the Christmas pageantPreparing for the Christmas pageantChildren prepare for the annual Christmas pageant at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA.

Preparing for the Christmas pageantPreparing for the Christmas pageantChildren prepare for the annual Christmas pageant at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA.

Preparing for the Christmas pageantPreparing for the Christmas pageantChildren prepare for the annual Christmas pageant at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA.

Preparing for the Christmas pageantPreparing for the Christmas pageantChildren prepare for the annual Christmas pageant at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA.

Preparing for the Christmas pageantPreparing for the Christmas pageantChildren prepare for the annual Christmas pageant at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA.

Before the end of the month I will be posting images I made of the governor-elect in Massachusetts Charlie Baker. I was over to his home to make photos for an article on his new administration this past Monday.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/preparing-for-the-annual-christmas-pageant Tue, 23 Dec 2014 14:28:06 GMT
Christmas in Rockport with the Sony Nex-7 and the 20mm f2.8 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/christmas-in-rockport-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-the-20mm-f2-8 What a great experience the annual Rockport Christmas Pageant is. Every year folks from around the North Shore of Massachusetts gather in Rockport for this annual christian spectacle. Townspeople dress as shepherds, roman soldiers, Mary, Joseph, etc and make a pilgrimage from Dock Square up to the Congregational Church. They stop along the way at the Rockport Art Association (acting as the Inn in Bethlehem) and then stop at the church where the baby Jesus is laid down for all to visit. The story is narrated along the way with giant loud speakers. Here are some photos I made during the event not really trying to cover like I normally would but just for fun since it's pitch black out. The Sony did very well shooting at 6400 at f2.8 on the 20mm. With the Nex-7 (a cropped sensor) it becomes a 30mm. Not bad and it was small and easy to use. I thought about bringing the Leica M9 but it's poor low-light capabilities soured me on it. I also considered the Canon G15 because of the zoom lens and the low aperture of 1.8 to 2.8 but in the end it was the Sony sensor that won out. It is much better in low-light than the other two. The shot below is my favorite. These women were a bit chilly with the wind blowing outside the Art Association. The woman in the middle is putting on gloves despite being dressed in period costume.

Rockport Christmas Pageant 2014Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 for the annual Christmas Pageant in Rockport, MA. With a light snow falling the procession made it's way up Main St. stopped at the Rockport Art Association (no room at the inn) and ended at the Congregational Church with a manger meant for a king.

Yes ugly fill flash. Interesting flash globs flying around from the on-camera flash. I show this because it's the best of the bunch. Ya ugly.

Rockport Christmas Pageant 2014Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 for the annual Christmas Pageant in Rockport, MA. With a light snow falling the procession made it's way up Main St. stopped at the Rockport Art Association (no room at the inn) and ended at the Congregational Church with a manger meant for a king.

This was the scene from far away as it is really tough getting close to the creche scene at the church. Look a that crowd wow! Christianity is a live an well no matter what the media says.

Rockport Christmas Pageant 2014Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 for the annual Christmas Pageant in Rockport, MA. With a light snow falling the procession made it's way up Main St. stopped at the Rockport Art Association (no room at the inn) and ended at the Congregational Church with a manger meant for a king.

Before the pageant started folks walked around Rockport shopping. A popular stop is Tucks Candies where this father and son filled a box full of taffy. I'm sure a giant candy cane was also part of the purchase. Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 for the annual Christmas Pageant in Rockport, MA. With a light snow falling the procession made it's way up Main St. stopped at the Rockport Art Association (no room at the inn) and ended at the Congregational Church with a manger meant for a king.

Christmas in Rockport, MA 2014This giant Christmas Tree comes from somewhere in Rockport and stands in Dock Square for the Holiday's including First Night! Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 for the annual Christmas Pageant in Rockport, MA. With a light snow falling the procession made it's way up Main St. stopped at the Rockport Art Association (no room at the inn) and ended at the Congregational Church with a manger meant for a king.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Christmas Christmas in Rockport Pageant" Rockport Rockport MA Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/christmas-in-rockport-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-the-20mm-f2-8 Mon, 22 Dec 2014 00:58:38 GMT
The Red Ford Truck https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/the-red-ford-truck The other day I was on assignment in Ipswich, MA at the Russell Orchard & Winery. I was illustrating an interesting story on how they make hard cider. What I found was a mixture of giant plastic jugs and a vintner with an eclectic look. No oak barrels or anything really interesting to shoot. So it was with some surprise and delight that I noticed this old truck on the side of the barn with a vintage gas pump next to it. It had been snowing lightly off and on and the snow had collected on the windshield. I had used the Canon 5D Mk3 with the 24-70 and had it in my hand so that's what this frame was done with. The Leica was in the car but I was having a hard time keeping the barn cat out of the car so I used the Mk3 instead. 

Old Ford Truck & Gas PumpOld Ford Truck & Gas PumpThis 1950's era Ford truck stands idol next to a vintage gas pump at the Russell Orchard and Winery in Ipswich, MA. A light snow was falling and had collected on the windshield.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Ipswich MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/the-red-ford-truck Tue, 16 Dec 2014 20:25:24 GMT
Shooting Sports in the Rain - what fun, not really! https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/shootingsportsintherain It was with some hesitancy that I hauled my gear out to the car last Saturday. It was pouring rain and I had a long drive ahead of me. One of our local football teams was playing in the high school football Super Bowl and I assigned my self to shoot the game. I have photographed way to many Santa Claus events in my time and that was the other choice. So off I went to the Meca of football in New England, Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. It poured rain all the way down and when I got there it kept it up. I try not to shoot sports in the rain if I can help it and that means I have not dropped a ton of cash on rain protection. Let's face it a good heavy trash bag will do the trick. That's how I usually roll. The heavy contractor bag with a hole in one end for the 300 f2.8 lens and either tape or an elastic band over it to keep it on. Then another hole for the mono pod. There is enough bag left over for you to cover your head which is awesome. The only problem can be condensation so I tend to give it some air every once and a while. This is great if you are only using one camera. If you are using two you have a problem. Most of the cheap plastic covers don't have a way for you to hang the camera off your shoulder. So if you shoot some frames and forget to cover the back of the camera you have a large puddle forming on the back of the camera ... not good.

Canon 7D w/300 f2.8L Canon 7D w/300 f2.8L Canon 7D w/300 f2.8LWhen you can't see through your glasses what do you do take them off and squint of course.

Canon 7D w/300 f2.8L

Canon 7D w/70-200 f2.8LWhen covering a big event that captures the communities excitement getting crowd photos is a big deal. They are as much a part of the event as the actual game.

So I do my best to shoot long stuff for the first half unless the team I am covering gets near the end zone then I start shooting with the camera that has the 70-200 f2.8 on it. When the action is close the 300 is not a great lens and the shorter telephotos are better.

Canon 5D Mk3 w/70-200 f2.8LMelrose's Jack Hickey reacts to scoring Melrose's only touchdown during their close loss to Dartmouth 14-7 in the MIAA Div. 3 Super Bowl Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

When I get into the second half I take off the 300mm and set things up differently. I put the 70-200 on the 7d and the 24-70 on the 5D MK3. This gives me more flexibility. So at the end of the game I can get all the sideline action as well as some decent on field action with the 70-200.

Canon 7D w/70-200 f2.8LMelrose's Christian Pizzotti just misses this pass at the end of the game as Dartmouth's Marley Dembitski attempts to break it up during Melrose's close loss to Dartmouth 14-7 in the MIAA Div. 3 Super Bowl Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. Canon 5D Mk3 w/24-70 f2.8LEnd of game reaction is so important. Getting the distraught player in the foreground and the excited players in the background are key.

Problems did arise as the cool cheap plastic cover I had does not allow for the camera straps uggh. Therefore a puddle was forming on the back of the camera. I noticed it in time and was able to wipe it off, thank god, or the 5D would have been toast. For the second half it worked out great as I did not use the camera straps. My other camera was a challenge as I grabbed a trash bag out of the press room and just covered it up until I needed it. I then poked a hole in the end and stuck the lens out. Yes I was pretty soaked but the LL Bean 3-1 worked great. I wound up with 13 images transmitted and another 18 images of the crowd transmitted as an online gallery.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Melrose football high school football melrose ma photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/shootingsportsintherain Tue, 09 Dec 2014 20:20:44 GMT
Canon Rumored to Introduce New Mirrorless System - Really? https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/canon-rumored-to-introduce-new-mirrorless-system---really So that's the news floating around the internet. If Canon is not working on a full frame mirrorless system they are missing the boat. Pros are already using a Leica, Sony or Fuji for many of their jobs, why because they don't want to lug the big heavy DSLR's around any more. Try shooting a big job with a 1DX or 5D Mk3 w/battery grip times two. I shoot with a 5D M3 with grip and a 7D with grip and two monster lenses a 24-70 f2.8 L and a 70-200 f2.8 L the lenses and cameras are excellent, superb even. But lets face it they weigh a ton. I am a photojournalist and have started using my Leica M9 and a Sony Nex-7 with Leica lenses as an alternative - what a load off. I have even thought of buying a Sony/Zeiss 16-70 f4 (24-105, 35mm equivalent) and a Sony flash for most of what I do - again what a load off. What keeps me from that is that my main camera (the 5D Mk3) allows me to shoot in Auto ISO up to 12,500 with no loss in quality (for newspaper repro). I love it. My back doesn't.

The little EOS M was a start in the right direction but has major issues. Like no EVF and the new mount has few fast lenses and is not a full frame sensor. At one time I thought Canon was onto something with the G1X and I bought one right away. I loved the results from the camera but hated almost everything about it. No EVF, lousy macro, slow lens at the long end and on and on. The new version is much better with the optional EVF, close focus macro and much faster lens at the long end. See my blog post here on the first version and my complaints about it - which they fixed with the new one. 

Canon G1X a user complainsCanon G1X a user complainsThe Canon G1X taken with the Nikon V1 which allowed me to get close to it.

I sold this baby almost as fast as I got it. Nice results but lousy typical Powershot G series viewfinder and the lens was a 2.8 to 6.3, yikes. So that brings me to the point of this article. Canon, I hope you have thought this through! As a working pro I will be all over a system that does a number of things. The first is a full frame sensor which will enable it to shoot at high ISO's without sacrificing quality. The second is small and light weight. This is a key element. Third the EVF has got to be top notch no ghosting or lag. Basically everything that Sony now has with their A7 series cameras. I will need to be able to use an adapter for my Leica glass including my 21 Super Elmar. Of course Canon may not think that's a big deal but it is to me. Now for the biggie. New fast lenses for the smaller format camera. I can't jump completely into a system until I know I have lenses like my monster L series glass. Canon you better think about that one long and hard. Fast, small, light, glass at f2.8 or better. Using my giant lenses on a smaller body only makes sense for one lens my 300 f2.8 so I can shoot sports with it. So the adapter they sell better be able to handle fast autofocus. So as you can see this is a tall order for Canon and lets hope they come through because even though I own a Sony Nex-7 I really don't want to buy the Sony/Zeiss 16-70 and a Sony flash to do my job with. Why - because I'm a Canon guy!

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/canon-rumored-to-introduce-new-mirrorless-system---really Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:54:58 GMT
The interesting and bizarre with the M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/the-interesting-and-bizarre-with-the-m9 I was out with a friend yesterday in Somerville having the sensor cleaned on the Sony Nex-7. There was a piece of crap on there I just could not get rid off myself. So in we went to have sensor cleaning done. While we were waiting we stopped in to a local pub/restaurant in Cambridge to have lunch. The sun was blazing in through one of the windows and the barkeep came over to lower the shade a bit to cut down on the glare. I had the M9 with the 35 Summicron with me so I grabbed a shot with the shadows and the interesting gargoyle thing above his head. I made the shot, then discovered there was this guy in the window trying to get the barkeeps attention. He was an interesting character and came into the pub to talk with the barkeep. He noticed my camera and struck up a conversation with my friend and I about it. Ya it was a weird day.

 

Leica M9 w/35 Summicron

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica 35mm Summicron Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/12/the-interesting-and-bizarre-with-the-m9 Tue, 02 Dec 2014 21:07:44 GMT
Shadows and Lines - exploring the designs they create https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/shadows-and-lines---exploring-the-designs-they-create This afternoon the light was playing an interesting tune on the new fallen snow and my deck. This arrangement caught my eye and I made several images in different ways. The angled shadows of the deck railing newels and the actual newels themselves created an interesting abstract. The planter in front centers the image. The out of focus shadows in the foreground and background give the image depth. I used Silver Efex Pro2 to process the B&W. I tweaked it a bit in Lightroom after importing back in. Snow is a B&W photographers best friend as everything looks like a good image. Snow has always fascinated me photographically and this years Christmas card is one of those images that was really interesting. On the 25th of December it will appear here with my annual Christmas message. If it snowed in your area I encourage you to get out and explore with your camera.

Leica M9 w/90 Tele-Elmarit Vers.1

Exposure ISO 160  1/3000 @ f 2.8

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/shadows-and-lines---exploring-the-designs-they-create Sat, 29 Nov 2014 20:34:56 GMT
The train yard and it's interesting lines https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/the-train-yard-and-its-interesting-lines Yesterday was a beautiful day in Rockport, the sun was out and the air had a nice clean chill to it. I was headed to the hardware store which is next to the train yard so I thought I would bring the camera along. I had not used the Leica 21mm Super Elmar in a while so I put that on the M9 and headed out. The first thing I noticed were the brand new engines hauling the commuter trains. This was a revelation since I had not heard they had made an upgrade. These new engines have a modern look to them and had many new lines and angles to explore. I just shot a couple of them which are below. I am fascinated by the old crane that rots away in the yard right next to the trains and I know at some point I will spend some time with it before they decide to haul it away. I used a Tri-x grain and look to the crane photo which ads to the gritty old time feel. I made some images of it and one of them is presented here. The sky had plenty of clouds to exploit which I did using Silver Efex Pro when I processed the images. I explored for a short period of time with the wide angle but I did not have any other lenses with me so I had to pass up several opportunities. I have always loved the wide angle look but at times you really need something longer like the 50mm or the 90mm to separate out details that make great abstract images. Here are the images from the shoot.

New MBTA commuter engineLeica M9 w/21mm Super Elmar

Old crane at the train yardLeica M9 w/21mm Super Elmar

Fence and trainLeica M9 w/21mm Super Elmar

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/the-train-yard-and-its-interesting-lines Sun, 23 Nov 2014 12:19:44 GMT
The Beauty of Auto ISO with the Canon 5D Mk3 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/the-beauty-of-auto-iso-with-the-canon-5d-mk3 I was always a skeptic of auto ISO and never ever used it until recently. I was convinced that the camera was never going to be able to pick the right ISO without me setting it manually. Well I was wrong. These computers with lenses attached are really amazing and have changed how we use cameras forever. My thoughts on the matter come from being an old film guy and it was up to me to correctly set the camera ASA so the meter would give the correct exposure. The Canon 5D Mk3 will pretty much shoot in the dark which means I don't have to fiddle with the ISO to keep the grain under control. It's pretty amazing well past ISO 4000. So today while I was on an assignment I decided to use the camera on manual exposure and auto ISO. The ISO's the camera used were anywhere from 6400 to 2000 and as you will see the results are great. I like to shoot at between 1/200s and 1/160s to stop most medium movement while using the 24-70, so for static inside photojournalistic shots 1/160s @ f 2.8 works great. The amazing thing that the 5D Mk3 does is give you really great AWB as well. This really sets you up for concentrating on the moment and not worrying about anything but shooting. If you use program mode the camera will pick the wrong shutter speed at the worst time so I like to set everything manually except for ISO and WB. Here are some images from the shoot. I have converted them to B&W because I like the way they look for this type of subject. The first shot is a color image of the first image to show how good the AWB is. These shots were made with two bare lightbulbs at the very most in a very dark basement. Normally I would have shot with a Speedlight with a dome on it. It was in my pocket but I never pulled it out. I wanted to give the images the feel of working in the basement of a church rectory filling up Thanksgiving boxes and this did the trick.

 

Canon 5D Mk3 w/Canon 24-70 L

Exposure ISO 4000 1/160s @ f2.8

Canon 5D Mk3 w/Canon 24-70 L

Exposure ISO 4000 1/160s @ f2.8

Canon 5D Mk3 w/Canon 24-70 L

Exposure ISO 2000 1/160s @ f2.8

Canon 5D Mk3 w/Canon 24-70 L

Exposure ISO 6400 1/160s @ f3.2

Canon 5D Mk3 w/Canon 24-70 L

Exposure ISO 4000 1/160s @ f2.8

Canon 5D Mk3 w/Canon 24-70 L

Exposure ISO 4000 1/160s @ f3.2

Canon 5D Mk3 w/Canon 24-70 L

Exposure ISO 2500 1/160s @ f3.2

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Canon 24-70 L Canon 5D M3 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/the-beauty-of-auto-iso-with-the-canon-5d-mk3 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:51:54 GMT
The Sony Nex-7 and the Leica 90mm Tele-elmarit - always ready, even in traffic https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/the-sony-nex-7-and-the-leica-90mm-tele-elmarit---always-ready-even-in-traffic I pass by this image every day and there is no place to park to make a shot. Bummer! But every once and a while the traffic stops at a stop light close by as was the case early last week. I had the Sony Nex-7 on the front seat with the Leica 90 attached and as luck would have it I stopped right across from this scene. The 135 focal length was still a bit short but worked out in the long run as it cropped in nicely. This bike is so old and cool I would love to do some closeups of parts of it but you can't park anywhere. I did some burning around the edges which I think helped it. 

 

Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 90mm Leica Sony Nex-7 Tele-Elmarit photography vers.1" https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/the-sony-nex-7-and-the-leica-90mm-tele-elmarit---always-ready-even-in-traffic Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:45:46 GMT
Channeling my inner Edward Weston https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/channeling-my-inner-edward-weston This morning I was reading Szarkowski's 100 images book and was really absorbed in it. I ran across one of Paul Strand's images that I really liked and it stuck with me as I read through numerous other photographers work from the early 1930's. I decided that I needed a break from reading and as I was walking through our kitchen the strong side light coming onto our porch was overwhelming. My wife had put some small pumpkins on a bench my son built and the shadows, colors and lines reminded me of images I had seen of Edward Weston's. Weston did many still life images of vegetables and these really made me think of some of them. Of course this is in color and Weston's images were B&W. The colors in these images are fairly mute except for the strong orange in the middle. I would have loved to convert this to B&W but when I do it's much to grey and the tones are not what I would like even with the heavy contrast of light. I may try to mess around with it some more we'll see. I used the Leica M9 with the 50mm Summilux for both shots. I experimented with the f stops shooting one wide open at 1.4 and one at f8. Both have their good points. I like both equally but I lean towards the one shot wide open. It seems more interesting in some ways. These images are a strong departure for me and is something I don't normally do. As far as my art photography goes this is a step in the right direction.

 

Exposure ISO 160 1/3000s @ f1.4

I love the way the pumpkins nicely fall out of focus.

 

Exposure ISO 160 1/90s @ f8

The interesting thing is that after I shot the first one I went back in the house and looked at the images on the back of the camera and decided that maybe I need to do this again at f8. So back out I went and did it again at a tighter f stop. This image above is the one shot at f8.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/channeling-my-inner-edward-weston Sat, 15 Nov 2014 17:23:57 GMT
A Good Friend Leaves his Post for a New Horizon https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/a-good-friend-leaves-his-post-for-a-new-horizon My good friend and fellow photo chief from our South group Mark G. is moving on to another position. It's a good job and with his young family he needed to make the move. Mark and I rode the Pan Mass together and have collaborated on projects and sports shoots over the years so I am sad to see him leave the company. We would always meet up at the NENPA awards ceremony in Feb. as the work of our photo teams were always competing against each other. It was always a fun night. So last night one of my photographers and I went down to an English beer pub on the South Shore to be there when they gave him a grand send off. We had a good time talking with other photogs and Gatehouse folks attending the leaving do. I brought along my M9 and 35mm Summicron to make some photos not sure how they would look because it was so dark. I was surprised at what I got. Here are just a few with Mark, his wife Deirdre, and their son Quinton. I was a little nervous shooting these at ISO 2000 with the M9 but I was really surprised. In raw the results were really amazing and the grain was not all that bad compared to what I'm used to seeing. All of the exposures were made at 1/45s @ f2.0. The B&W's were processed in Silver Efex Pro.

 

 

 

Here is a color one just to show what they looked like in color.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/a-good-friend-leaves-his-post-for-a-new-horizon Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:51:15 GMT
Fog, changing light - magic https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/fog-changing-light---magic Today as I drove home from work the light was starting to fade and as I got closer to Cape Ann I saw that the fog that was present this morning was still around and with the fading light was creating some magical moments that I really needed to capture. The fog was moving in and out along the shore and I initially pulled out the Sony Nex-7 with the Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit which at 135mm was a little short but gave me a larger view that included the sky above the fog which was very interesting. I envisioned a B&W shot that included the clouds above the scene with the dory on it's mooring. I converted it in Silver Efex Pro and got the result I was looking for. The print will have to be large to get the feeling I want. 

 

The light started to get lower as the sun went down, and the sky started to turn orange above the river and fog. The fog started to get a little heavier and started to enshroud the coastline so I switched over to my Canon 5D Mk3 and the 70-200 L to get in tighter to the dory. In Lightroom I adjusted things slightly but overall this is the scene I envisioned as I was standing there.

 

I love both these images and they are so different. With just a little time in between them and a longer lens created something totally different but magical each in their own way. I look at these images as some of my most important to date. Seeing the same scene in two totally different ways is a departure for me and I hope that my vision will keep improving. I also took some wider shots with the Leica M9 and Leica 35mm Summicron which I worked on this morning. As promised, here are two wide angle shots.

 

Here is the color version which I don't like as much but your opinion may be different.

 

These images may work for you or may not please let me know what you think.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Leica Silver Efex Pro Sony Nex-7 gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/fog-changing-light---magic Thu, 13 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT
Defining the Photojournalist https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/defining-the-photojournalist I've been meaning to write this post for a while and since I have not posted in a while I thought it was about time. This is my take on what I have observed during my over 30 year career as a working photojournalist and it's what I try to give to new folks coming into the business. I work with two outstanding PJ's that exemplify the statements I am about to make. One of them came from working at multiple papers as an intern and then as a working photojournalist and so had plenty of training with several mentors. She has been the NENPA "Photographer of the Year" twice. The other one came in without any real training in photojournalism but has worked into a classic self trained excellent photojournalist through every day experience and a lot of hard work. He has been nominated for the same award.

 

The following are my opinions and not that of anyone else and are © 2014 Kirk R. Williamson

 

Mary Ann Hoomis talks with a reporter before her giant pumpkin is weighed at the Topsfield Fair giant pumpkin weigh-off Friday night Sept. 28. Wicked Local Photo by Kirk R. Williamson

Thsese Images are from the story "The Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off"

 

Photojournalists seem to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. They seem to know when something will happen that will produce a quality image. I like to think of this ability as the combination of four things which I call COPE for short. They being Curiosity, Observation, Patience (Persistence), and Experience.

 

Curiosity - The first of these is something that all successful photojournalists have. Always being curious as to what is going on around them and wanting to know what the story is. Where is there a good image - always looking and digging both visually and mentally for the story. Asking the right questions can open up areas of a story that may produce good images. If you are always curious you will never be wanting for good imagery. 

 

Observation - This is my personal favorite. I like to think that photojournalists are trained observers. The other day my wife and I were having lunch across the street from a house on the main drag of a small tourist town in Maine. Just for fun I said to my wife, what's the story behind that house? She looked at me with a puzzled look and said what do you mean. So I started telling her what I had observed in the last few minutes. The windows were covered by something other than curtains but kind of looked like a window covering of some kind. The house looked a little run down and there were some posts outside that were meant to hang something on. This was a regular old New England style house but something was going on. So I challenged her and after thinking and observing for a bit said, "It used to be an office or professional building and they are rehabbing it". Bingo, she guessed what I had surmised after looking at the house for five minutes. Just after she said that a contractors truck (which was out back and out of sight) pulled out of the driveway confirming most of what we had thought. This is just a minor example of what I am talking about. If you are constantly aware of what is going on around you the pictures will happen because you will know the inside story.

 

Patience or as some say Persistence - This is one of the most over looked aspects of being a good photojournalist. The pressure of making photos on deadline and lots of them can sometimes be overwhelming. I tell young PJ's to slow down and observe. Wait for the moments to happen. If you are running around to much you are going to start to miss things. Being patient and waiting for the moments to happen will produce better images. In some cases it's just plain persistence that pays off in the end, waiting is the name of the game in a lot of cases. Ye who sticks around usually ends up with the shot.

 

Mary Ann Hoomis of Ipswich thinks positive thoughts before Ron Wallace's world record pumpkin is weighed at the Topsfield Fair giant pumpkin weigh-off Friday night Sept. 28. Wicked Local Photo by Kirk R. Williamson

 

Experience - There is no other thing that helps a photojournalist more than experience. Over time you see the same situations over and over again and eventually you are running on instinct. Younger people coming into the business don't know some of the things it takes to make good images because they have not been there and done that yet. Only the experience of doing and making mistakes will make you better. When I came into the business back in 1978 I was as green as they come. I had a mentor that helped me through some of the tough times of dealing with difficult people and situations but it was experience that eventually gave me confidence. Instinct tells you where to stand to make the best images - or is that experience.

 

Armand Michaud of Ipswich, left, George Hoomis and Mary Ann Hoomis also of Ipswich cheer as a pumpkin is weighed at the Topsfield Fair giant pumpkin weigh-off Friday night Sept. 28. Wicked Local Photo by Kirk R. Williamson

 

I hope this helps. The acronym COPE is in itself a word that has meaning to photojournalists. Coping with things that happen while on assignment are part of the job and can sometimes be very trying, this is where patience comes into play. 

The images above were made as part of a story I did on a group of giant pumpkin growers in our area. I got to know them while doing a multimedia piece a few years ago. I knew this woman was excited and kept my eye on her the whole time. I was rewarded with some great images. For more images form the story go to "The Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off".

 

This is my opinion and not the opinion of anyone else. So therefore it is © 2014 Kirk R. Williamson

 

 

 

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) photography photojournalism photojournalist https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/11/defining-the-photojournalist Tue, 11 Nov 2014 13:24:37 GMT
Foggy Morning in Rockport with the Leica M9 and 21 Super Elmar https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/foggy-morning-in-rockport-with-the-leica-m9-and-21-super-elmar What a great morning! I woke up to see my driveway enshrouded in fog and couldn't wait to get out there with the camera. I went down to one of my usual haunts and the images just kept coming - oh the fog. My best shot at a great image walked away as I approached. A young woman was doing the same as I, making photos of interesting things in the fog. She was standing atop a granite post making a shot of the Motif #1 with all the fog around. I just missed her as she climbed down as I approached. It would have been cool to get her up there making a photo with all the fog around, a B&W image if ever there was one. So I moved on making photos of other interesting objects changing my aperture from wide open to f8 depending on what I wanted in focus. A great exercise!

 

All the moorings are out and Billy Lee's Ocean Reporter sits waiting for more work.

A lobsterman backs off the dock to head back to his mooring.

An interesting composition of lobster buoy's wait to be deployed.

The fog enshrouded inner harbor in Rockport.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/foggy-morning-in-rockport-with-the-leica-m9-and-21-super-elmar Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:09:40 GMT
The Leica 21mm Super Elmar on Assignment - Tiny House Giant Journey https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/the-leica-21mm-super-elmar-on-assignment---tiny-house-giant-journey Today I met some cool folks living the dream in a Tiny House traveling across the United States and Canada writing, photographing and blogging along the way. Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard have built a tiny house on a trailer and are telling the world about the experience with workshops, their website, and blog. I thought what a great time to use the new Leica 21mm Super Elmar. On a tiny house. So as I rolled up to where they were staying there was Jenna coming back from a run with her dog. She greeted us with a hearty handshake and introduction to herself and her dog who was just as cheerful. My reporter and I climbed up inside their home on wheels and were immediately amazed at what they have done with such a small space. The camera and lens fit the assignment perfectly. Here are a few shots from the assignment.

Guillaume and Jenna have done a great job with the house as I think you can see from the photos. I struck up a conversation with Guillaume about his photography and he mentioned that he was using an A7 and an A7s with some Leica and Voigtlander glass. Check out his great images here. Guillaume told me the reason he switched from his full Nikon Pro system was because of the size. The A series and rangefinder glass fit in a smaller camera bag for storage - for the tiny house, cool. Here is the link to their sites tinyhousegiantjourney.com they have plenty of really good stories and images of their journey.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica 21mm Super Elmar Leica M9 Tinyhousegiantjourney photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/the-leica-21mm-super-elmar-on-assignment---tiny-house-giant-journey Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:45:00 GMT
Leica 21mm Super Elmar ASPH First Impressions https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/leica-21mm-super-elmar-asph-first-impressions I just received the Leica 21mm Super Elmar from Leica Store Miami last week and I have been out shooting. First let me say that I also have a Leica 21mm Super Angulon from the late 60's which on my M3 and M5 (without meter) work just fine, but on my M9 not so much. It has to many issues that make using it kind of a pain and not worth the trouble. Early in my career I enjoyed shooting with this lens and when I switched over to Canon a 24mm was my go to lens and never really left one of my camera. So I was really looking forward to having my wide back as this is how I like to shoot - wide or tight. I decided to go out early in the morning for a photo shoot down by the water and it was really enjoyable. I am using my 21mm viewfinder from the 60's which being older I thought would have some issues but I was amazed at how accurate it is. I have to remember to give it a little room around the outside as it can be real tight but for the most part it's really good. Here are some of the images from the shoot.

 

 

 

Then I went out again this morning to shoot some more early morning light over in Annisquam and this little lens did not disappoint.

My main reason for purchasing this lens was because it is small! Really small for a 21mm lens. The other lenses may be faster but this little lens packs a punch. The 21 Elmarit is a beautiful lens and used is much less expensive than a new Super Elmar but it's a much bigger lens. This lens is the same size as my 50mm Summilux a perfect size on the M camera. I can't imagine why someone would want to spend $7600 on a 21mm Summilux that is clearly enormous for an Leica M camera.

Right from the start I was impressed with the wonderful amount of contrast this lens has. The color is just gorgeous and it is tack sharp even wide open. No wonder it's very rarely seen on the used lens market. I waited for close to eight months for one to show up and none did. If you can find one used that has not been beat up grab it. I will continue to post more photos soon. Tomorrows post you will see images from an assignment I did today. Very cool stuff.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 21 Super Elmar Leica M9 Rockport MA annisquam photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/leica-21mm-super-elmar-asph-first-impressions Mon, 27 Oct 2014 23:44:47 GMT
Impact Photography - Against the Light https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/impact-photography---against-the-light I have often thought that my trademark or style has included images with impact. It seems that I lean towards the dramatic quite a bit. I guess it's the news photographer in me. Early in my career I learned that shooting into or "against the light" gave me something different. My images had a certain look that others did not have and it defined my style. I found I looked for images that had a dark background and some contrast and this meant shooting into the sun. Back in the film days this was tricky and required good exposure control, development and good printing technique. It took practice but after a while it became the norm for me when out looking for features to lead the paper the next day. Just the other day I came across some feathery plants outside of a local high school that were shimmering in the afternoon light. Just the type of subject I gravitate to.

Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron ASPH

I made this shot with the Leica and the 35 and was kind of cool looking but I wanted a tighter composition. I like the narrow depth of field as I shot this at f4. So I switched over to the Sony with the Leica 90 Tele-Elmarit. I kept the narrow depth of field by shooting at f2.8 but the 90 turns into a 135mm with the 1.5 crop factor. I think the image is much more striking than the wider view.

Sony Nex-7 w/90mm Tele-Elmarit

If I was printing these in the darkroom it would have been a simple task to either use a grade 4 paper or pump up the contrast using a multi contrast paper and adjusting it in the enlarger. But since this is digital it was a little easier. I just desaturated the image and added some contrast to give me what I wanted. I did not use any other software besides Photoshop. These images did not need any special attention which would require software like  Silver Efex Pro. Simple and effective impact by shooting against the light.

Sony Nex-7 w/90mm Tele-Elmarit

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/impact-photography---against-the-light Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:46:56 GMT
Light and Shadow with the Leica M system https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/light-and-shadow-and-the-leica Since I started my career in photography 37 years ago I have looked for light that strikes me immediately. I often find myself shooting against it as I love the way it looks. The rim lighting and shadows that it creates enthrall me, it's always the first image I look for. Last night I was at a TV studio to shoot a debate and I made the usual images with my Canon gear but I made it a point to bring along the M9 with the 35 f2. The first thing I saw struck me as a moment in time that people don't see. As folks were sitting down in the audience they were silhouetted against the lights in the studio. The M9 is great for this as you get to see everything around you and can see more than you can with the DSLR. I made this shot quickly and it was the only time I was able to get such an interesting image from the event. I made a manual WB exposure before hand and the ISO is at 1600.

 

Leica M9 w/35 Summicron ASPH

Exposure ISO 1600  1/160s @ f2

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/light-and-shadow-and-the-leica Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:24:15 GMT
Wonderful fall late day shadows with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/wonderful-fall-late-day-shadows-with-the-leica-m9 This afternoon I was struck by the dynamic shadows that interplayed on a painting on the way into my office. I always have the M9 w/35 f2 with me and it was so dramatic that I had to make at least one frame. I framed it to include some black space around the edges

 

and really loved the color and dramatic shadows of the window. As the sun lowers quickly at this time of year the images are very striking. I consider fall and spring to be the best times of the year for shooting as the light is lower. In the fall it makes the leaves pop and in the spring it does the same to the beautiful greens and yellows of the leaves. I shot this image wide open at f2 and the area of sharpness fell just right for me.

 

Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron ASPH

Exposure ISO 160   1/750s @ f2

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/wonderful-fall-late-day-shadows-with-the-leica-m9 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:50:25 GMT
Angie Miller of American Idol promotes her new album - Photographs with Leica M9 & Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/angie-miller-of-american-idol-promotes-her-new-album Yesterday I had the opportunity to photograph Angie Miller of American Idol fame in a local coffee shop in her home town. This was a bit different than the last time she was around which was crazy. This time only a few people recognized her and asked for a picture or a autograph. I decided to photograph her as she was talking to our reporter with cameras that were as intimate as possible. I pulled out the Leica M9 and the Sony Nex-7 which were perfect for this assignment. I used all Leica glass the 35 Summicron, 50 Summilux and the 90 Tele-Elmarit. This combination worked out really well as the 50 became a 75 1.4 on the Sony with the 1.5 crop factor. This was the go to camera as this was the perfect combo for the tight portraits I had envisioned. Everything was shot wide open and the images really pop. I used the 50 and 90 on the Leica and the 35 a few times. The Sony has a great ISO range so I used it on auto ISO and most of the images were shot at 1600, and they look amazing. The Leica was shot at a much lower ISO at the beginning which had me shooting at a shutter speed of 1/45s so I upped it to 800 and the images are still really beautiful.

 

Please be aware that these images are all copyrighted Gatehouse Media, my employer, and may not be used for any purpose outside of this blog and our Wicked Local sites, so be aware that if you try to use them in any way you will be prosecuted. 

 

Sony Nex-7 Images

Angie MillerSony Nex-7 w/Leica 50 SummiluxBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered"; at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Angie MillerSony Nex-7 w Leica 50 SummiluxBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered" at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Angie MillerSony Nex-7 w Leica 50 SummiluxBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered" at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Angie MillerSony Nex-7 w/ Leica 50 SummiluxBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered" at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Angie MillerSony Nex-7 w/Leica 50 SummiluxBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered" at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Leica M9 Images

 

Angie MillerLeica M9 w/ Leica 90 Tele-ElmaritBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered" at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Angie MillerLeica M9 w/Leica 90 Tele-ElmaritBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered" at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Angie MillerLeica M9 w/Leica 90 Tele-ElmaritBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered" at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Angie MillerLeica M9 w/Leica 35 SummicronBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered" at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Angie MillerLeica M9 w/ Leica 35 SummicronBeverly's Angie Miller talks with Wicked Local about her new album "Weathered" at What's Brewin Cafe in Beverly Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Angie Miller Leica Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 Sony Nex-7 and Leica Legacy glass photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/angie-miller-of-american-idol-promotes-her-new-album Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:44:50 GMT
The Milken Award With the Canon 5D Mk3 and Canon 7D https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/the-milken-award-with-the-canon-5d-mk3-and-canon-7d Last week I was at the McGlynn School in Medford for a very special event. One of the teachers at the school was receiving the annual Milken Award for teaching excellence. It was a big secret but i was able to find out what was going on when I got there and who the recipient was. This inside knowledge was critical in getting the shots I did. I was able to get shots that none of the other news media got because I placed myself in the perfect or near perfect spot to get the shot. As the ceremony began I moved over to the side where the teacher was located. As luck would have it he was sitting amongst his students. The kids were very excited and once they new that one of their teachers would be winning $25,000 they were hanging all over this one teacher. Anthony Petrelis is his name and when his name was announced his students were even more excited. I was in a great spot behind the seated guests. I was able to make some great shots with the 7D and the 70-200 but soon the folks in front of me stood and got in the way. As Petrelis moved up to the front I moved opposite of all the news media and placed myself in a great position to get a shot of the principal giving Petrelis a big hug - no one else had this angle. As I finished making my shots, my good friend Stan Forman (shooting video for Ch. 5 in Boston) came over and said "you must have some great shots from where you were. I was right next to you". So here are the shots made that day I was pretty happy with what I got. The ISO on the 7D was set at 1600 and the 5D at 2000. The shutter speeds ranged from 125 to 160 and the aperture was constant at 2.8. This was a great assignment and I had a great time getting these emotional images. Another perk of the job.

Canon 7D w/70-200 f2.8LMcGlynn Elementary School fifth grade teacher Anthony Petrelis, center, waits for the Milken Award announcement as second grade student Lara Madkhali with her hand on his shoulder and fifth grade student Jonathan Dias, right, wait as well Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.

Canon 7D w/70-200 f2.8LMcGlynn Elementary School teacher Anthony Petrelis reacts to winning the Milken Foundation Award during a ceremony at the school Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

Canon 7D w/70-200 f2.8LMcGlynn Elementary School teacher Anthony Petrelis reacts to winning the Milken Foundation Award as fifth grader Jonathan Dias congratulates him during a ceremony at the school Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

Canon 5D Mk3 w/24-70 f2.8LMcGlynn Elementary School principal Diane Guarino congratulates fifth grade teacher Anthony Petrelis after he won the prestigous Milken Award Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.

Canon 5D Mk3 w/24-70 f2.8LMcGlynn Elementary School fifth grade teacher Anthony Petrelis, right, looks at the giant check that represents his award as Elaine Swain and Lucille Feragamo former award winners from Massachusetts in the year 2000 hold it for him after he won the prestigious Milken Award Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. Dr. Jane Foley of the Milken Awards looks on.

Canon 5D Mk3 w/24-70 f2.8LMcGlynn Elementary School fifth grade teacher Anthony Petrelis is mobbed by students after he won the prestigous Milken Award Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 5D Mk3 Canon 7D Milken Award photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/the-milken-award-with-the-canon-5d-mk3-and-canon-7d Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:25:00 GMT
Carrying a camera at all times - produces opportunity https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/carrying-a-camera-at-all-times---produces-opportunity How many times have you said to yourself - I wish I had my camera with me! I can't say I've never had that problem but it's less of a problem now since I have the Leica M9 with me all the time. This morning as I was about to drive out of my driveway the light just struck me. It was beautiful and I knew I had to make an image or two. The first thing I saw were the needles all over the driveway and I knew there was an image there somewhere. The second situation I saw was the early morning light blasting through leaves next to my house and I could not resist recreating what I envisioned. The starburst was what made it for me. The most important part of the whole exercise was that it was fun! If you always have your camera you will never have a moment when you wish you had it.

Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron ASPH

Exposure 1/60s @ f5.6  ISO 400

 

Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron ASPH

Exposure 1/60s @ f5.6  ISO 400

Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron ASPH

Exposure 1/60s @ f5.6  ISO 400

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/carrying-a-camera-at-all-times---produces-opportunity Thu, 09 Oct 2014 15:49:34 GMT
The Leica M9 with 50mm Summilux f1.4 ASPH #2 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/the-leica-m9-with-50mm-summilux-f1-4-asph I had a great time yesterday at a friends retirement coffee. My friend Wayne is retiring on Friday after 30 odd years as a local town manager. We are both within a year of each other age wise and we started at our first real jobs about the same time. Wayne as a town manager and I as the local news photographer, we both started in 1979 at our jobs. So over the years we became friendly and I knew at some point he would retire as many other friends in public sector jobs have over the last few years. I brought along my M9 just to take a few fun shots while I was at the event. I decided before hand to shoot with the 50 Summilux wide open at 1.4 so I could get some nice separation and isolate him more. I used manual white balance and knocked the ISO down after the first images I made at ISO 640. I probably could have got away with 400, but why when you are shooting at 1.4. 

Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux ASPH

Exposure ISO 250 1/250 @1.4

I'm not sure what he is referring to here but the harem of ladies got a kick out of it.

Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux ASPH

Exposure ISO 250 1/250 @1.4

When listening to folks talk Wayne often does this chin up thing that shows he is listening and understands. Interesting!

Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux ASPH

Exposure ISO 640 1/750 @1.4

Talking to a friend.

Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux ASPH

I will always remember Wayne's smile. I know that his town is still very special to him and will keep an eye out even though he is retired.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica 50mm Summilux Leica M9 flipboard photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/the-leica-m9-with-50mm-summilux-f1-4-asph Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:25:59 GMT
Thacher Island Photography Workshop Announced https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/thachers-island-photography-workshop-announced Cape Ann Light Photography Workshops has announced the Thacher Island Photography Workshop with 30 year veteran photojournalist Kirk R. Williamson. The workshop will take place June 17, 2015 and is weather permitting. This exciting workshop is only available for five people due to travel constraints to the island. If you have not been to Rockport and experienced the wonders of Thacher island in the spring you are in for a treat. The workshop starts with a sunrise photo shoot of the island from the eastern shore of Rockport and continues with a short break for breakfast and then out to the island for a full day of shooting. At 3:30 PM we leave the island and come back to Rockport for more shooting or to download the days shoot. A critique session follows from 4-6 PM and is followed by a group dinner on Cape Ann. Check out all the details here

 

Sydney Wedmore, president of the Thacher Island Committee, looks out over the island from the top of the north tower.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Flipboard Leica Rockport Sony Thacher Island Thacher Island Photography Workshop with Kirk R. Williamson https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/10/thachers-island-photography-workshop-announced Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:30:09 GMT
Knock-out the background for super pop to your images https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/knock-out-the-background-for-super-pop-to-your-images You know what I like about shooting with the Leica, using the viewfinder. It's so clear and gives you a great idea what you are going to see in the end. With the DSLR you are looking at something that is through the lens at 2.8, at least with my L lenses it is. I like it but it's just different from the way I see with a Leica. The other day I picked up my Canon 7D with the 70-200 and said damn this thing is heavy. It is slowly losing it's luster as I get older. The Leica on the other hand is light in comparison. Even with the 90mm it's light. Working with it has become effortless. Yes, the M9 has it's flaws but I have learned how to deal with them and have the camera set-up the way I like to use it. But using the rangefinder is great. With the 50mm Summilux wide open you can make your background disappear. This shot of my dog "Kodak" is an example. I wanted to show some personality with this image and making sure there was no background was paramount in my decision to shoot wide open. I love this shot as "Kodak" is giving my the hairy eyeball, like ain't no way you are getting this ball.

 

Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux

The other day I decided to shoot this interesting fall foliage photo. I was using my Leica M9 with the 35mm Summicron. I was a distance away so I knew the background would not be totally out even at f2. But as you can see I was able to knock out enough of it so it is not distracting. Whenever you can focus the attention where you want it the photograph will have much more impact. Shooting close to your subject with a wide aperture will take care of the background and bring the impact you are looking for.

Leica M9 w/ 35mm Summicron

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/knock-out-the-background-for-super-pop-to-your-images Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:09:03 GMT
The morning photo shoot with the Sony Nex-7 and Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/the-morning-photo-shoot-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-leica-90mm-tele-elmarit This morning the light was overcast with the sun kind of poking through from time to time. There was no wind at all so I headed down to the harbor looking for some interesting images. I had with me the Leica M9 with the 35 Cron and the Nex-7 with the 90 Tele Elmarit. It was low tide to make things even more boring or interesting if you look at it that way. I decided to go for a high angle of the harbor up on Bearskin Neck. You never know what will pop up if you are ready.

Leica Nex-7 with Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit

It looked like these folks were heading out to bring the boat back to dry dock because there was no wind at all. I love the ripples in the calm water and some of the foliage on the shore starting to turn. I get the feeling of fall and time to bring the boat back into drydock.

 

Sony Nex-7 with Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit

The still water with just ripples running through it with the sun reflecting off it was such a cool affect that I shot this image and then another vertically. 

Sony Nex-7 with Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit

This next shot of seaweed reminds me of heads of trolls with lots of hair.

Sony Nex-7 with Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit

Then as I turned around I saw this mother and daughter having a quiet moment looking out at Sandy Bay and I just had to make a shot of them.

 

Sony Nex-7 with Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/the-morning-photo-shoot-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-leica-90mm-tele-elmarit Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:20:56 GMT
Comparing the M9 w/35 Cron ASPH and Canon 5DMK3 w/24-70 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/comparing-the-m9-w/35-cron-asph-and-canon-5dmk3-w/24-70 Today I had a pretty boring assignment and decided to bring along the M9 knowing the photo was going to be bland. I needed to photograph someone hanging a show of posters at a local library. My standard tool would be the Canon rig but I wondered if the Leica would give the image a different look. No flash was involved so I could evaluate both systems. I started shooting with the Leica and the 35 Cron ASPH in jpg mode knowing that I could not adjust the color very well afterward. The AWB works fairly well when there is only one light as there was in this case. At first I was excited about the pop the 35 Cron has but after looking at the Canon shot overall it's much better. 

 

Leica M9 w/ 35 Summicron ASPHStephen Lewis hangs one of a set of three anti-racism posters at the Beverly Public Library in preparation for an exhibit of his diversity posters starting Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.

Exposure 1/60s @ f2   ISO 400 at 35mm

As you can see this image at f2 is exciting as the woman's face and the Mr. Lewis's face are tack sharp but everything else is slightly out focusing the attention right where it should be. At 2.8 it would not be as nice. My problem with this image is the hot spot on Lewis's head. This is a problem with the jpg mode on the M9 and srgb mode. The original still has no information there. As you will see the Canon handled this much better. New technology trumps everything.

Canon 5DMk3 w/ 24-70L

Exposure 1/60s @ f4.5  ISO 1250  24mm

At 4.5 this image does not have that special character to it with the interaction between the woman's face and Lewis's. This is also because of the wider angle lens. This lens is only a 2.8 and at 35mm would not have given the same look as the Summicron. I kind of like both images but this one I like a little better because there is no hot spot on Lewis's head. But the Leica does have a special look to it. Let me know what you think!

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 5DMk3 Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/comparing-the-m9-w/35-cron-asph-and-canon-5dmk3-w/24-70 Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:16:22 GMT
Manual white balance with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/manual-white-balance-with-the-leica-m9 I have been using my M9 on AWB much of the time and had the opportunity to try out the really fast method of using manual white balance. I was on assignment to photograph a guy that restores old films. He was at his storage facility where he keeps hundreds of films. I was hoping to get him in action restoring but that was not the case. The room where he keeps these films is a light green and the film canisters are also a light green and the florescent lights have a green color balance. What a problem! Everything is green. Normally I would have used a green gel on my flash and let the camera figure it out but this time I wanted it to look more natural so I quickly decided that manual white balance was the way to go. It's pretty easy to do you just go into the Set menu push the Set button to show your choices and using the up button above the wheel go up two to manual white balance. When you press the Set button again you will get a red square saying "Attention Point camera at white surface and release shutter. When you do this your white balance will be set. I also shot these images in jpg fine. Everyone has said the jpgs out of this camera suck - I disagree. If the WB is on they are really good. It's just like shooting chromes (transparency film).

I'm glad I know the M9 menu system inside and out and quickly changed it over and searched around for something white. I found a roll of paper towels and made and exposure of that. I then shot a test shot of the subject. The preview on the screen showed me that it had done a pretty decent job of figuring out the overly green light and had given me some natural skin tone. Pretty amazing. If you are ever in a situation where you need correct color and you will be shooting in the same location you should use this method. Just don't forget to set it back to AWB after you leave the situation you are in. Carrying around something white like a note book works great. 

In full disclosure I also used my Canon 5D Mk3 with it on AWB and a 430EX2 with a stofen box as the wide alternative. The flash over powered the florescent lights and gave me a good WB. I knew that would be the case especially with the flash. If I had used just the AWB and natural light the 5DMk3 would have been spot on. New technology is wonderful. Below I show both situations with the Leica M9 and the 50 1.4 ASPH and the Canon 5DMk3 with the 24-70L.

 

Leica M9 w/50 1.4 ASPH MWBPhil Hopkins sits amongst a growing collection of old films that need to be restored at his storage facility in Rockport Tuesday, September 16, 2014.

Leica M9 w/ 50 1.4 ASPH MWBPhil Hopkins looks at a few frames of one of a growing collection of old films that need to be restored at his storage facility in Rockport Tuesday, September 16, 2014.

Canon 5DMk3 w/24-70L AWB 430EX2 & StofenPhil Hopkins looks at a few frames of one of a growing collection of old films that need to be restored at his storage facility in Rockport Tuesday, September 16, 2014.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 24-70 2.8L Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/manual-white-balance-with-the-leica-m9 Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:54:19 GMT
The Legendary Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4 ASPH - The Going Away Party https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/the-legendary-leica-50mm-summilux-f1-4-asph---the-going-away-party It's always a little sad when a friend of many years at work leaves for new horizons. So at my friends going away party I made sure to bring the Leica M9 with me to capture the moments that were sure to happen. I had the Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH with me and really wanted to test out my focusing with the lens wide open at 1.4. I was a little disappointed in my focusing but really excited when I was spot on. This lens is really amazing but is a handful when things are happening quickly and you are shooting at your widest aperture. Thank god she was sitting down and the focusing was fairly easy. Here are a few images from the going away party. 

Leica 50 Summilux ASPHLeica 50mm Summilux ASPHThe going away party Leica 50 Summilux ASPHLeica 50mm Summilux ASPHThe going away party Leica 50 Summilux ASPHLeica 50mm Summilux ASPHThe going away party Leica 50 Summilux ASPHLeica 50mm Summilux ASPHThe going away party Leica 50 Summilux ASPHLeica 50mm Summilux ASPHThe going away party Leica 50 Summilux ASPHLeica 50mm Summilux ASPHThe going away party Leica 50 Summilux ASPHLeica 50mm Summilux ASPHThe going away party

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4 ASPH Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/the-legendary-leica-50mm-summilux-f1-4-asph---the-going-away-party Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:34:16 GMT
Enjoying the last days of summer with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/enjoying-the-last-days-of-summer-with-the-leica-m9 Labor Day weekend is always a fun time as we go out for a cruise around Gloucester Harbor on a party boat. We go motor around and wait for a fireworks display which lasts about 45 minutes. This year was really fun and I brought along my M9 with the Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH attached. While we were cruising the harbor we had some sandwiches and drinks and my friends for some strange reason started singing Irish songs. I have no idea what prompted it but they really got into it. My friend Brian was very animated and the shots tell the story. All of these shots were made with the 35 at f2 with varying shutter speeds at ISO 800.

Of course the internet helped some with the lyrics in places but for the most part Brian had them down pat. The Leica M9 performed really well. I just shot B&W jpg's and these are pretty much right out of the camera. I did shoot some color jpgs and the auto WB was a little off but could be corrected very easily.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/9/enjoying-the-last-days-of-summer-with-the-leica-m9 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:16:06 GMT
Leica M9 write speed tests and problems https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/leica-m9-write-speed-tests-and-problems It's been a long time coming for this little write speed report and I must say it has been well documented by many others. But since so many people are picking up used M9's I felt it needed to be written about again since most of this information is really old. After having some problems with my M9 locking up and losing some images with my 16gig Sandisk Ultra Class 10 30mb/s card I thought I needed to write about it. I was on assignment to shoot an older gentleman (96 years old) who had done some blue water sailing back many years ago and was recounting some old tales of his experiences with a reporter. So here I was sitting on the floor banging away with the M9 and a 50 and a Sony Nex-7 and the 90 and the 50. He had a great face and I really wanted to capture him for our readers. The best shot came out of the Sony with the Leica 50 Summilux ASPH at 1.4. The image is pictured below. The card on my M9 was not clean (it had images on it) and I was shooting pretty quick with the camera in DNG+JPG (b&w). So you can image how slow the camera was writing to the card. So I would get the usual bars showing up in the display telling me to wait. Ok I can deal with that - slow down and think more. The problem came when I decided I needed to look at the images for sharpness while the red light was blinking. Well that is a no,no according to Leica. Eventually the camera locked up on me - three times. I lost one or two images but everything went back to normal after taking the battery out and replacing it. So after this experience I decided I needed to do my due diligence and test the camera out in the various settings. So here are my results using the Sandisk 16 Gig Ultra 30mb/s class 10 card. These tests were done with a clean formatted card. I'm sure results will vary. Firmware is 1.196. Ya, I know Leica does not like Sandisk but for the most part I have been problem free for months with this card until I over did it.

DNG

DNG Uncompressed - 6 sec.

DNG Compressed - 3.5 sec.

DNG+JPG fine (color) 

DNG Uncompressed - 8 sec.

DNG Compressed - 6 sec.

DNG+JPG fine (B&W)

DNG Uncompressed - 7.5 sec.

DNG Compressed - 5.5 sec.

JPG Fine

B&W - 2.5 sec.

Color - 3 sec.

My conclusion here is that unless I really need it I will be shooting in DNG compressed since it's the fastest and if I need the B&W jpg I will also use the DNG compressed version with the jpg. I'm glad I did this as I was normally shooting in uncompressed mode but really, does it matter - I doubt it. By the way these results are really not the same as tests other folks have done mine are slower. I have no idea why but the camera will be going back to Leica for a CLA in the winter so maybe it will come back better.

Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 50mm Summilux ASPHJake Burridge chuckles while recounting tales of his around the world trip aboard his sloop "Trepidation" many years ago while at his home in Ipswich Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.

Leica M9 w/Leica 50mm Summilux ASPHJake Burridge recounts tales of his around the world trip aboard his sloop "Trepidation" many years ago while at his home in Ipswich Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Ipswich Leica Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/leica-m9-write-speed-tests-and-problems Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:51:58 GMT
Leica M9 and the Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH 1.4 #1 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/leica-m9-and-the-leica-50mm-summilux-asph-1-4 The other day I decided that I needed to get used to shooting with my 50mm Summilux ASPH. You see I'm really not a 50mm guy I have always drifted towards the wide side and the tight (long) side. When I was a full-time news shooter back in the 80's and 90's I shot with a 24mm on one camera and a 70-200 on the other. This covered everything. If the 24mm was to wide than I just cropped it a bit in the enlarger and I was all set. When I am out shooting editorial work now I shoot with two zooms the 24-70 on the Canon 5D Mk3 and the 70-200 on a Canon 7D as I like the cropped sensor to give me more reach. This really covers everything. I have to tell you that even with the 24-70 I'm either at 24mm or 70mm never at 50. So I decided I needed to train myself (again) to see in another way. At the beginning of my career I used the Leica 50mm Summilux and the 35 Summicron on a daily basis and I was used to it. I have found that I am tending to shoot a little loose so if you are coming back to the 50mm keep this in mind - and move in. Yesterday I was having dinner with my wife and some friends on the porch at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club. The light is just beautiful as it goes down on Cape Ann and yesterday there was no wind so it was absolutely gorgeous. I ventured around taking shots here and there looking for some interesting situations off and on. 

 

Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux ASPH

This image of my friend Brian making a point is stunning. You can count the individual hairs on his beard stubble. The Cape Ann light was just beautiful. You can see the reflection of the masts of the sailboats in the background.

Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux ASPH

John and Shirley were enjoying the front porch and the beautiful light as the sun receded behind the Rockport skyline. I closed down the exposure a bit to f2 to get John more in focus than 1.4 would have given me. The exposure was perfect, the M9's center weighted meter hit the exposure right on the button. 

Our launch operator Emma makes a great subject as she waits for folks to come in off the water. The aperture of 1.4 isolates her perfectly. The 50 1.4 is a great lens for people as you can still be farther away and not be right on top of them.

I could not resist shooting a B&W or two. So under the club I went to shoot the pilings that hold the building up. At the 1.4 aperture very little is in focus and that was what I was looking for with the out of focus pilings receding into the distance.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Cape Ann Light Leica Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH Leica M9 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/leica-m9-and-the-leica-50mm-summilux-asph-1-4 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:48:37 GMT
Lobstering with the Canon 1D Mkll and 16-35L https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/lobstering-with-the-canon-1d-mkll-and-16-35l What a great morning I had yesterday! Up at the crack of dawn and out with some local lobstermen for a story on how the family business is doing with the loss of one of the brothers and father of three boys. The interesting thing was that the young man driving the boat and hauling the pots was only fourteen and his dad was the one that passed away. I had an immediate connection with him as his dad died at age 45 the same as my father. The grandfather went along as he usually does to help the boys learn where the strings of pots are and the best lobstering areas. The interaction between the two was priceless as the grandfather is hard of hearing and speaks kind of mumbly and in a lower tone of voice. The grandson was always trying to understand what he was saying as the diesel engine and winch were very loud. The grandson told me that most of what his grandfather is saying he understands as it's usually the same thing. 

I brought along my Canon 1D Mk ll as it is mostly weather proof and my other cameras are less so. I used the Canon 16-35 L on it which makes it approximately a 21-45 which was perfect for the compact space inside the cabin of the lobster boat. I think I got some really nice shots of these folks in action and I am posting a few here.

 

Arrrrrrgh Ye Maties

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Beverly MA Canon Canon 16-35 L Canon 1D Mk2 lobstering lobstermen photography photojournalism https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/lobstering-with-the-canon-1d-mkll-and-16-35l Fri, 15 Aug 2014 18:00:26 GMT
Thachers Island Light Fresnel Lens https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/thachers-island-light-fresnel-lens The other day I was at the Cape Ann Museum making some photographs for the paper of areas of the museum that have been refurbished. The fresnel lens from Thacher's island has found a new home and the space they built for it is unsurpassed. It looks great! The camera I was toting was the Canon 5D Mk3 and the 24-70 F2.8 L which is perfect for shooting just about anything you want in the museum. I had shot the fresnel lens before but it was stuck in a storage room so the light was terrible. In it's new spot it takes on a majestic quality as the lighting is really nice. Since I loved what they did with the presentation of the lens I made a shot of it as a whole then I started shooting the lens in smaller sections as I think that's when the lens takes on a different quality. Here are some shots as I went from wide angle to medium telephoto.

 

Exposure ISO 400 1/100 @ f7.1

 

Exposure ISO 400 1/100 @ f7.1

 

Exposure ISO 400 1/100 @ f7.1

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 24-70 f2.8 L Canon 5D Mk3 Rockport Thacher's Island Twin Lights photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/thachers-island-light-fresnel-lens Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:46:26 GMT
Please leave comments - now without registering https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/please-leave-comments---now-without-registering Due to human error - mine, you had to register with this site if you wanted to leave a comment. That has now been fixed for many of the blog posts.  I still have to go through them one at a time to correct this issue. So feel free to leave any comments you may have about my blog posts. Enjoy.

 

Wicked Local Photo by Kirk R. Williamson / 090810 / The 935 ft. Eurodam sits at the head of Gloucester harbor as some of the 2100 passengers walk around Gloucester, Rockport and other North Shore communities.

I made this photo to show the enormity of this cruise ship inside Gloucester Harbor. By luck a small fishing boat happened by which gave it the needed scale. The Euro Dam visits Gloucester Harbor.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 7D Canon Canon 70-200L Euro DaM gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/please-leave-comments---now-without-registering Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:32:18 GMT
A Lesson in "Seeing" better photographs https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/a-lesson-in-seeing-with-the-rangefinder Several years ago a good friend of mine who is a very good photographer offered to give me a refresher course in "seeing" not just making a photograph. Well I was kind of taken aback as I at that point had been a professional photojournalist for over twenty years. I started to think about it and said sure why not learn how someone else does it. He is a fine art landscape and nature photographer of some note. His images are in the collections of several museums and private collections and I value his opinion on many things photographic. 

He took me out into the woods without any photo gear and handed me a plastic slide mount and said here ya go. I looked at him like he had three heads and said "what the hell is this for". He then said "use this 35mm slide mount as a guide as you look around for possible subjects". I still had my doubts but gave it a whirl anyway. As I moved around looking through my "slide mount" I began to discover that it was indeed a really cool method of looking at the world through a 35mm frame.

I have since adapted this way of "seeing" to my M9. Since the M9 gives you the opportunity to see several frame lines with the use of the frame line lever under the rangefinder window one has the ability to visualize how things would look with different lenses. I feel this is unique but has been around for many years. Yes, you can do this with your big dslr and a zoom lens but is much simpler with the rangefinder. I have found that I feel free with my lightweight M9 looking around for interesting subjects.

Here is a lesson in seeing that I challenge you to do. It can be done anywhere at anytime. I find it works best when you are alone in an interesting place not doing anything. Relax and start to look around concentrating on elements around you. If you concentrate hard enough you can "see" as a lens on your camera. Look for different areas that can be focused in on from one location not moving around and try to visualize the lens you would use. The key to this exercise is to do it from one location and see how many interesting images you might be able to come up with. I did this recently at a funeral of all places. Not really the best place since it was packed with people. It was in a Greek Orthodox church which was very ornate. I had no idea what the priest was talking about so I started to look around imagining images and what lens I would use. If that was not enough to keep my mind busy I started thinking about exposure and what f-stop would be appropriate for certain images. 

The Leica M9 or any rangefinder for that matter is the perfect tool for "seeing". It enables you to be unencumbered by the beast DSLR and jumbo pro lens. If you get a chance, try using your rangefinder in this way or do it "old school" as my friend does with the 35mm plastic slide mount. I think you will be amazed at what you see.

 

I came upon this image on Bearskin Neck in Rockport many years ago but it is still one of my favorites. The use of the wide angle lens makes the globe seem larger than it is and the many reflections (four I believe) really hold my interest. It's been photographed by many people over the years but I still feel mine is unusual.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/a-lesson-in-seeing-with-the-rangefinder Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:43:42 GMT
Review: Leica 35mm Screw Mount Summaron circa 1954 (recent CLA by Sherry Krauter) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/review-leica-35mm-screw-mount-summaron-circa-1954-recent-cla-by-sherry-krauter When I was 17 years old I was shooting with an Leica M3 and a Leica 50mm f2 and thought that a 35mm wide angle was the holy grail of photography. My dad took pity on me and I received a very old 35mm screw mount Leica Summaron for my birthday that required a view finder for the top of the camera since the M3 frame lines only went to 50mm. I thought I was in heaven as it opened a whole new world of photography for me. I had photographed everything in sight with the 50 and was now ready for a whole new way of seeing. As my photography career unfolded the tiny Summaron was put back in it's leather case and was only taken out to admire like a piece of jewelry. To this day I love how it looks on the camera. It can only look better on my M3 as I remember it. A few months ago I decided to take it out and try it on the M9 only to find out it was now a bit foggy with mildew. A friend mentioned Sherry Krauter in upstate New York as someone who could make it like new again. So off it went to Sherry and what I got back was like a brand new lens from 1954. All I can say is wow! So from time to time I like to take it out for a spin and love what I get every time. This morning it was very still out. Not a breath of air stirring so I headed down to Rockport harbor to see if there was anything interesting. What I found was plenty of reflections with the still water. 

The lens has an infinity locking focus lever which I find very useful when shooting landscapes and for storing the lens. This lens is a screw mount version and requires a bayonet mount adapter which screws onto the lens. I have never taken it off. I also have a wonderful little Leica lens shade that uses a set screw to attach it to the lens. The lens feels just like it was new. The focusing is smooth and the f-stops click into place easily. The results from this little lens are remarkable. I find that it gives me more of a film look but with plenty of contrast and the colors are just slightly cool. I have compared this lens to my 35mm Summicron in another post on this blog and was pleasantly surprised at how similar they are. 

 

Leica M9 w/35mm Summaron

 

Here are some shots from this mornings shoot with the setup seen above.

 

Wonderful reflections in Rockport harbor.

And in Black and White, flipped! This is the B&W jpg out of the camera and adjusted in Photoshop. It's a really high quality jpg and needs only adjustment to taste. Only problem with this image is the junk in the water looks like dust on the sensor! 

Rockport Harbor

Rockport Harbor

Ah, Motif #1 again

A beautiful pair of Icelandic Sheep dogs

My friend Skip shooting some images with his iPhone.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica 35mm summaron Leica M9 Rockport Rockport Harbor photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/review-leica-35mm-screw-mount-summaron-circa-1954-recent-cla-by-sherry-krauter Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:36:31 GMT
Shooting Sports with the Sony Nex-7 and Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/shooting-sports-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-leica-m9 The other day I had the opportunity to shoot some bicycle racing with my Sony Nex-7 and my Leica M9. I was not on assignment or I would have been using my beast cameras of choice the Canon 7D and 5D Mk3. These cameras require almost no effort to shoot sports as they are auto focus, auto exposure etc. etc. Love em' do death but I wanted light not big. So I put the Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit on the Sony Nex-7 and the Leica 35 Cron on the M9 and off I went. Here I was in a very familiar location having shot this event many times before but not with two manual cameras so light I had to look every once in a while to see they were still on my shoulder. I had a great experience using both cameras! Of course I was not under the gun to make pictures for publication or I would have shot tons more images. Here are a just a few. What I decided to do and most of you know this was to prefocus on an area and let the cyclists ride into the area that I focused on. The red fringing in the Nex-7 was turned up all the way so I could see small areas of the pavement show up in red. This worked great. The Leica 90 mm Tele-elmarit which was a 135mm on the Sony worked really well for what I was doing. I even used it on the M9 and got some good pan shots. I used the Leica 35 Cron for some people shots and I include my cousins kid here getting patched up by the medics after a fall on the fourth to last lap.

 

Sony Nex-7 w Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit Vers1

This image was shot directly into the sun and survived! This lens was built in 1964.

 

Leica M9 w/Leica 90 mm Tele-Elmarit Vers1

If not for the spectator this would be a keeper!

 

Leica M9 w/ Leica 35mm Summicron

A heavy crop on this frame but still nice.

 

Leica M9 w/ Leica 35 mm Summicron

 

End of a rough day on the road ... road rash!

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/8/shooting-sports-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-leica-m9 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:43:45 GMT
Leica M9 with the Leica 90mm Tele Elmarit Version 1 (rolling blog) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/leica-m9-with-the-leica-90mm-tele-elmarit-version-1 This photo opportunity just came upon me as I was exiting the Cape Ann Museum a couple of weeks ago. I was on assignment shooting the installation of a Walker Hancock replica of his famous Pennsylvania Railroad WWll Memorial which is of an angel going up to heaven holding a fallen soldier. It's quite striking and an amazing piece. This was a fun assignment and I got some really interesting photos using the M9 and the Sony Nex-7 with Leica glass. One of them is below. But that is not what this blog post is about. Always having the M9 with me has been something of a revelation. Even though I have been a photographer my whole life I have not had a camera with me all the time. Doing so I have been able to shoot more and get some really interesting images so far this year.

As I walked out of the museum this image caught me by surprise. The clouds were very interesting and I was drawn to it right away. I had the 90mm Tele-Elmarit mounted on the camera and the camera set on aperture priority so the camera figured out the exposure at f 2.8. Normally I would not shoot something like this at 1/4000 sec. at f2.8 but I was shooting inside the museum at a high ISO at f2.8. When I got outside I adjusted the ISO down to 200 while I was walking out the door. I looked up and saw the seagull coming in and the clouds over city hall. I instantly turned the lens barrel to infinity and got the shot. I really wanted the seagull in another place but he would not cooperate.

 

Leica M9 w/Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit vers. 1

 

Sony Nex-7 with Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit vers.1Cape Ann sculptor Daniel Altschuler smooths the joint between the wings and the rest of the body on the scale model of Gloucester sculptor Walker Hancock's famed "Pennsylvania Railroad War Memorial" at the Cape Ann Museum Thursday, July 17, 2014.

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/leica-m9-with-the-leica-90mm-tele-elmarit-version-1 Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:40:22 GMT
Hummingbird with the Canon 5D Mk3 and 300 2.8 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/hummingbird-with-the-canon-5d-mk3-and-300-2-8 Yesterday I thought I would try my hand at photographing the hummingbirds that frequent our yard. This first attempt was kind of a half baked attempt at it but the results were interesting. The set up was my Canon 5D Mk3 with the Canon 300 F2.8 L with the Canon 1.4 extender on a Gitzo tripod with the Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. The lens and the extender are vintage Canon being almost 20 years old and were purchased with with my original EOS 1 set up back in 1995. 

I started shooting late in subdued light which was the first problem. This operation really takes bight sunlight as I was shooting at 1/8000 sec. wide open at ISO 12,800. So I was trying to see what the camera could do more than capture the birds. I was surprised to see that for the most part the resolution held up at 12,800 (still grainy) even after some post processing in Lightroom. It's alright for the screen but not so much for printing.

I moved the focus area to the left and down a bit to give myself a better chance of focusing with the bird to the left in the frame. It's a good thing the Hummingbird hovered for a split second so I could nail the focus. It was a challenge. Next time it will be about the bird not the camera. I will do it in the late afternoon with tons of light coming through my yard and set up some perches and flowers for them to make it look somewhat real. In bright sunlight the colors on the bird will be much more vibrant. Stay tuned for more.

 

hummingbird-1Canon 5D Mk3 w/ 300 2.8 & 1.4 extenderHummingbird at feeder.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 300 f2.8 Canon 5D Mk3 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/hummingbird-with-the-canon-5d-mk3-and-300-2-8 Sat, 19 Jul 2014 13:13:06 GMT
Leica 90mm Tele Elmarit Ver.1 on the Sony Nex -7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/leica-90mm-tele-elmarit-ver-1-on-the-sony-nex--7 I have been shooting with my Nex-7 and Leica legacy glass for a bit now and I must say I really enjoy it. The focus peaking and focus magnification work really well. My 90mm Tele Elmarit Vers.1 is a super lens whether it's on my Leica M9 or on the Sony Nex-7. I use the Novoflex adapter as it is the best I have found to adapt my Leica lenses to the Sony. This lens is extremely sharp with plenty of contrast and a joy to focus. The shot below was done on assignment of a local politician under fluorescent lights with the camera on auto white balance. The camera put out a great jpg file, to bad I had the output set at rgb not srgb so I had to convert it. The image below has just been toned, slightly sharpened, and converted to srgb.

 

Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 90mm Tele Elmarit Vers.1

Exposure ISO 1600 1/125s f2.8 

My complete rig is as seen below with the Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit attached via the Novoflex adapter to the Sony Nex-7.

I used the focus magnification to zero in on her eyes because the focus peaking was not real strong around her eyes. If you look close you can see a highlight in her eyes which turned slightly red under magnification which showed me the lens was focused correctly. I could barely see it without the focus magnification on. I could pick it up with the magnification on which really helped. The Sony is a more advanced camera than the M9 and allows me to take many frames quickly unlike the M9 which will fill the buffer fairly soon. The EVF on this camera is excellent and allows me to see what I am getting. To me it resembles a small Leica M240 with it's features and ease of use. The thing I really enjoy about the Sony is the ergonomics. The twin dials which are right at thumb level I have set to shutter speed and exp. compensation. The dial on the back I have set to control the ISO. This combination works best for me but may be different for you. I have found that using the camera in shutter speed priority works best for my purposes. I hope to post some more images from this camera and lens setup soon so keep coming back to see.

 

I have posted several images with some of my other Leica glass that really got me excited. I have since auctioned off my 1958 50mm Summilux f1.4 Vers.1 Black Paint which worked perfectly on the Sony and the results were really cool. The shot below was made with this lens which I will miss dearly. I started my career with it back in 1978. 

Sony Nex-7 w/50mm Summilux f1.4 vers.1 black paint (circa 1958)

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 90mm Tele Elmarit Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/leica-90mm-tele-elmarit-ver-1-on-the-sony-nex--7 Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:28:49 GMT
Leica M9 with 35 Summicron ASPH "smellin the coffee" https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/leica-m9-with-35-summicron-smellin-the-coffee This morning i was out on assignment to shoot a local coffee roaster and I dragged along the M9 to go with the Canon 5D Mk3 with the 24-70 L attached. I used the 35mm "Cron" as it's a great lens for this type of work and it did not disappoint. The Canon rig is a beast even with the lighter 5D  Mk3. The M9 with the 35 is light as a feather compared to the beast weighing down my shoulder. I did my standard stuff with the Canon rig and then started to look for something different with the M9. The exposure was done manually as both cameras wanted to over expose things so I switched over to manual on both cameras. Most of these M9 shots were done wide open at f2 with the shutter speed at 1/125s at ISO 1600. The Canon allowed me to go way further than that but I kept it at 3200. It was interesting to learn how coffee is roasted before it is used for coffee. The average temperature for this particular company is around 425 degrees Farenheit. 

 

Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron ASPH

This is my favorite shot of this group. I converted it to B&W because of the nice contrast difference. 

Bags of beans wait to be roasted at Atomic Cafe Roasterie.

 

Roasted Arabica beans are cooled after being roasted.

 

A coffee roaster inspects the roasted beans for imperfections.

 

The roaster adjusts the roasting machine to get the right amount of air into the roaster.

 

The roaster empties the cooling bin on the outside of the roster.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Leica Leica 35mm Summicron Leica M9 coffee roasting photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/leica-m9-with-35-summicron-smellin-the-coffee Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:58:00 GMT
Lens Comparison - Leica 35mm Summicron vs Leica 35mm Summaron https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/lens-comparison---leica-35mm-summicron-vs-leica-35mm-summaron Recently I had my very old Leica screw mount 35mm Summaron lens overhauled by Sherry Krauter in upstate New York. She took the lens apart and cleaned the elements and changed out the lubrication. The lens looks like new and I really wanted to compare images taken with it and the relatively new 35 Summicron ASPH. I was pretty amazed at what I got. The ancient 35 Summaron amazed me. This lens was built back in the 50's. I used a subject that was in shade but bright color wise. To my eye the difference is very minimal. All the images were taken at f 5.6. 

 

35mm Summicron f2 ASPH

Exposure ISO 200 1/250s @ 5.6

The contrast and warmer color temp of the Summicron ASPH can be seen in this image. 

35mm Summaron f3.5

Exposure ISO 200 1/250s @ 5.6

Not much of a difference with the Summaron besides being a little cooler and the contrast is just a little less. Pretty amazing to me.

 

35mm Summicron f2 ASPH Exposure ISO 200 1/350s @ 5.6

You can still see the warmer tone and better contrast in the Summicron image above.

35 Summaron f3.5

Exposure ISO 200 1/350s @ 5.6

This Summaron image is a tad darker but is cooler and with a little less contrast.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 35mm ASPH" Leica Leica 35mm Summaron Leica M9 Summicron photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/lens-comparison---leica-35mm-summicron-vs-leica-35mm-summaron Wed, 09 Jul 2014 13:04:46 GMT
Leica M9 with the 35mm Summicron ASPH on assignment https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/leica-m9-with-the-35mm-summicron-asph I have been carrying this rig around with me every day and have found an opportunity most days to make some really nice images. One of my assignments this week was to photograph a wood carver that does whales. So I decided to shoot plenty of frames in this mixed lighting conditions. I have not used it much indoors with mixed lighting but today I gave it a whirl and was pleasantly surprised with the results. I am always shooting in raw so I can make minor changes if necessary in post. I also shot with the Canon 5D Mk3 with the 24-70 L and the results were a little different. This camera shoots on the warm side which I like and the Leica shoots on the cool side so matching them up afterward is a matter of adding a little yellow when opening the raw Leica file. I like the color jpg from the Canon - the AWB does a better job. The M9 was set at f2 and the Canon was somewhere around f8.

 

Leica M9 w/ 35 cron f2 ASPH

I purposely shot the Leica images at f2 to add that 3D look to it. This image is tack sharp it's almost shocking. Below is the Canon 5D mk3 image.

 

Canon 5D Mk 3 w/ 24-70 LJohn Early carefully carves the beginnings of one of his whales downstairs in his basement workshop Monday, July 7, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

This is my standard news shot most everything in the foreground is in focus. I really like the look of this image, yes I love my 24-70.

 

Leica M9 w/ 35 cron ASPH

 

Leica M9 w/ 35mm Cron ASPH

 

Leica M9 w/ 35mm Cron ASPH

 

Leica M9 w/ 35mm Cron ASPH

Maybe a little to warm with this one!

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 24-70L Leica Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/leica-m9-with-the-35mm-summicron-asph Tue, 08 Jul 2014 21:34:04 GMT
More Thunder Clouds with the Canon 5D Mk3 & 24-70 L https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/more-thunder-clouds-with-the-canon-5d-mk3-24-70-l Well I found the card reader - right where I left it. I knew that the image I made with this camera was potentially much more dramtic as the sun was behind the clouds which gave it a nice halo along the edge. I envisioned this as Zone 9 and the dark trees in the center of the image as Zone 3. I used Silver Efex pro 2 to process this B&W and it did not disappoint. The pre-set I used opened up the clouds and gave me this image. How nice of the seagull to soar through the image. I saw him coming and fired off a few frames as he moved through the image. The variety of tones are spectacular I burned in the upper left of the image a little to add more tone. I could not use the Leica as the lens was not wide enough at 35mm. I would have loved to have tried the Leica 21mm Super Elmar as it was I used the lens correction profile to correct some of the distortion from pointing the camera up. Lightroom did a pretty decent job of correcting it.

 

Canon 5D Mk3 w/ 24-70 LCanon 5D MK3 w/ 24-70L

Exposure ISO 200 1/160s @ f8

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Canon 24-70 L Canon 5D MK3 Rockport MA Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/more-thunder-clouds-with-the-canon-5d-mk3-24-70-l Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Thunder Clouds with the Leica M9 and the Leica 35mm Summicron https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/thunder-clouds-with-the-leica-m9-and-the-leica-35mm-summicron If you have been following me for a while you know that I love clouds. Silver Efex Pro 2 has given me the ability to process images as I envision them. What a revelation! Today at work I could barely contain my excitement as I knew storm clouds would be moving in later in the day and I wanted to be in a great position for them. When I got home I sat around and waited for some thunder in the distance which marked the ever increasing thunder cloud cover. I made my way over to Granite Pier in Rockport my favorite place to shoot this kind of thing and low and behold the clouds were making a really spectacular appearance. I envisioned a fully toned sky with the highlights of the clouds in zone 8 and the darkest areas of the image in zone 2. In Silver Efex Pro 2 I can monitor where these areas are and I was able to make a full contrast image out of my exposure. I took my meter reading off the lower half of the frame (which has been cropped) this gave me a slightly overexposed file. Just enough to the right on the histogram to lighten up the shadows a bit. The Full Structure pre-set seemed to work best and with some tweaking adjusted my zones the way I wanted them. Then back into Lightroom for cropping and dust removal and some burning of the sky on the right. I also made some shots of the harbor with my Canon 5D Mk3 with the 24-70 2.8 L and I will try to get that up tomorrow. I need to find my card reader it has disappeared. 

 

thunder-1Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron

Exposure ISO 200 1/350s @5.6

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/7/thunder-clouds-with-the-leica-m9-and-the-leica-35mm-summicron Thu, 03 Jul 2014 22:50:18 GMT
Hiking photography with the Canon G15 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/hiking-photography-with-the-canon-g15 As you all know by now I was in Oregon recently and had the opportunity to do some hiking at Silver Falls State Park. My son and I had a great afternoon hiking and photographing two out of the ten falls on the trail. I decided to carry just my G15 even though I knew we would be shooting moving water. I figured that I could somehow be able to handhold the camera at 1/4 sec., silly me. I was wearing a small photo backpack and I could have easily popped in a table tripod. I decided against it. We also forgot the electronic release which would have helped a ton. My son was carrying his Canon SL1 with the kit lens which is very small and light. He also had his cheap light tripod with him which made shooting the falls much easier at 1/4 sec. The trail we walked was great it had many photo opportunities along the way and aside from the falls the shooting was easy and the G15 made life even easier. No lugging gear around for me, which I was really happy about. The G15 has so many controls to do what YOU want to do creatively. Having a small point and shoot that has full manual along with all the automatic settings. The best of both worlds. I refer to the Canon G15 as the view camera in my pocket.

 

Canon G15

Some of the scenery along the trail was spectacular. This giant tree was covered with moss and with the trail going right past was perfect for an image.

Canon G15

This dead fern looks almost prehistoric and the worn path on the right side and the left side un worn made for an interesting shot.

Canon G15

Moving water is always a challenge. This shot was made at 1/4 of a sec with the built in N/D filter on, which gave me the latitude I needed. The trees, rocks, moss etc. were unmatched. The light was very choppy with it being mid day but there was not much I could do about that. 

Canon G15

When behind the falls you need to show the water as well as the scene. In this situation I stopped the water at 1/2000 sec. If I had shot it at 1/30 or slower it would have been a mist. So I stopped it to show it was water.

Canon G15

The G15 has a great macro mode. The tiny sensor gives you some really great opportunities in regards to options in the wild.

oregon-12oregon-12

The Canon G15 is my view camera in my pocket. The depth of field with various subjects with such a small sensor is remarkable. The color with this shot was just ok so I converted it and the tones were very nice.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon G15 Oregon Silver Falls State Park photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/hiking-photography-with-the-canon-g15 Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:07:49 GMT
Black & White landscape photography with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/black-white-landscape-photography-with-the-leica-m9 Last week my wife and I were visiting our boys in Portland OR. We had waited eight months to make this trip and we had a wonderful time visiting with them. At the end of the day on Monday we went over to Sauvie Island outside of Portland to see a farm and buy some wonderful Oregon strawberries. They are delicious by the way. The weather had been terrible all day with rain showers and thunderstorms moving through. Just as we were leaving the farm another thunderstorm came through and drenched everything but quickly dried up with the heat of the day. The storm clouds were magnificent all around us as lighting was still present so black clouds were everywhere. As we made our way around the island several opportunities presented themselves. The Leica M9 proved to be an easy camera to use as I made frames with three different lenses in short order following the clouds around us. We first came upon a field of flowers of some kind (I'm still not sure what they are). My son John and I jumped out of the car to make some images. We first jumped into the field of flowers and came up with this image. I used the jpg B&W and put it into Silver Efex Pro 2 for processing. I'm not sure what preset I used but I know it was not to extreme. The presets in Silver Efex Pro 2 really give me some latitude in B&W post processing. Instead of fooling around in Lightroom 4 I can get something similar to what I envisioned right away and then I can tweek it inside the preset. For clouds there is nothing like getting something close with one click. In the wet darkroom this meant printing on Agfa Brovira grade 3 and dodging and burning to get the desired result. Then later when multi-contrast Kodak paper came out dodging and burning and changing the contrast for the clouds. As you can see the results are stunning.

 

oregon-4Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron

The next thing that struck us was this incredible scene across the street. The storm clouds where zipping by a farm house with it's silo. I have never seen clouds so intense and my wife commented on this as I changed lenses to my Leica 90 Tele-Elmarit. We raced across the street to get this incredible scene. I have also run the B&W jpeg through Silver Efex Pro 2 which has enhanced the clouds a little bit more. All I can say is wow! It was such an other worldly scene. I remember this scene as you see it. I envisioned this in B&W just like the flower scene above. Color never really entered my mind as the clouds really dramatically took over. 

 

oregon-5Leica M9 w/Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit

Earlier in the day we were looking for waterfalls along the Columbia River and the clouds were just as dramatic. The image below was made with the Leica M9 and the 50mm Summilux ASPH.

 

oregon-3Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux ASPH

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4 ASPH Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/black-white-landscape-photography-with-the-leica-m9 Tue, 24 Jun 2014 19:10:42 GMT
Silver Falls State Park, Oregon with the Canon G15 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/silver-falls-state-park-oregon-with-the-canon-g15 Yesterday my son John and I had a wonderful time visiting a spectacular state park that boasts 10 waterfalls. It was the coolest thing to see. We got a late start so the sun was in a horrible position for photography but we managed to get some nice shots even with the nasty hotspots. Next time I come out here for a visit I will be a little more prepared. When I am hiking I still like to carry my Canon G15. It is so light and has a great zoom range with a 28mm 1.8 lens at the wide end and a 140mm 2.8 at the long end. I got to use a lot of the features of this camera. All the shots in the gallery are with the G15 not the Leica M9. I am going to load all the M9 work when I get home and really do a good job of working on them for a book. 

The Canon G15 was really awesome, did I say that already? Well it's true. The only thing missing was the tripod and the electronic release. Since the lens only stops down to f8 I had to use the built-in ND filters to shoot at 1/6 of a sec to slow down the waterfalls. Most of the time I just went with 1/30 sec since that's what our eyes and brain perceive things at. 

My son had his Canon SL1 with him with the kit lens the 18-55 which did a great job in the woods and of the waterfalls. He had a light cheap Vivitar tripod with him and he was able to shoot at 1/4 sec at f22 which made a huge difference. Of course we left the electronic release back at his apartment.  Here is the link to 12 of the photos. There are more but I will wait until I get back before I add to the gallery.

Here is the link Oregon Gallery

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Canon G15 Silver Falls State Park Oregon photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/silver-falls-state-park-oregon-with-the-canon-g15 Fri, 20 Jun 2014 21:59:21 GMT
Hood River Oregon area with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/hood-river-oregon-area-with-the-leica-m9 Well after a couple of days shooting I am enjoying shooting landscapes with the Leica. It's been a long time since I have done that. The weather has been typical of the Northwest rainy and cloudy but it has provided some really great scenic vistas with clouds that are just unbelievable. Here are a few images. I just have time for a few each day. We have color today because I have my netbook with me and I have a trial version of Photoshop Elements on it. It processes my color DNG file but very slowly. Enjoy. More to come tomorrow.

 

Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux 1.4

This is certainly one of my favorites so far.

Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron f2

Everything in the woods is just plain green.

Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron f2

This old John Deere tractor was turned into a jungle gym for kids a local farm.

Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux f1.4

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/hood-river-oregon-area-with-the-leica-m9 Wed, 18 Jun 2014 00:39:45 GMT
More images from Portland OR with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/more-images-from-portland-or-with-the-leica-m9 Yesterday I posted a few images that I made here in Portland OR using my iPad which is not the ideal way to post things. I'm on my netbook at the moment which works better for this stuff. Here are a few more images I made at the Saturday Market in downtown Portland on Saturday.

We are going out to the Columbia Gorge today so I will post some more scenic images tomorrow. I have been using my iPad to process the images but the software that lets me process the color DNG's keeps crashing. That's why everything is in B&W. When I get back I will do some in color to see what they look like.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica M9 Portland OR photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/more-images-from-portland-or-with-the-leica-m9 Mon, 16 Jun 2014 14:50:58 GMT
Portland OR with the Leica M9 w/50mm Summilux and 35mm Summicron https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/portland-or-with-the-leica-m9-w/50mm-summilux-and-35mm-summicron We are in Portland and doing all sorts of things with our boys who live out here now. When we got in yesterday they took us to a market in downtown Portland that had street performers and open air vendors. We took public transportation which was a hoot. Of course I got gum on the bottom of my camera bag. Not fun. Here are a few images from our day starting with an image I made of Mt. hood out the window of the plane. All the images are B&W because my mobile editing software has a hard time with the giant files. 

Canon G15

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/portland-or-with-the-leica-m9-w/50mm-summilux-and-35mm-summicron Mon, 16 Jun 2014 05:03:05 GMT
Graduation Party with the Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron ASPH https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/graduation-party-with-the-leica-m9-and-35mm-summicron-asph Sorry to be away for a while. I have just been able to sit down and write a blog post. This time of year is very stressful at work. This past Sunday I was able to attend a graduation party for a friends daughter. We had a great time dancing, talking, and eating. After about an hour I grabbed the Leica with the 35mm Summicron ASPH to try and capture the event. Most of the shots are so-so but I did get a couple I like. I must admit I did not really work at it. Focusing on moving subjects is tough and I'm not used to it. Lots of people could have meant plenty of opportunities but I was not concentrating and only a few things came up. Here are a couple that I got. Either way it was fun. I encourage anyone to shoot events like this looking for moments not just shooting people staring at you.

 

graduate-1Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron ASPH

Exposure ISO 160 1/500s @5.6

This lens is silly sharp with contrast that really just blew me away. The color version was not really what I wanted even though the color was right on. These two kids were playing on this hammock and they always had their back to me so this is the best I got. The light was uneven as you can see with the top half of the frame a little overexposed. I just took an average reading that included more of the foreground and it worked out great. 

 

graduate-2Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron ASPH

Exposure ISO 800 1/500s @5.6

The graduate and her mom boogie to some music. When I first saw this frame I was amazed at the contrast and sharpness to me it was way over the top. I love this photo it just summed up the party for me and told the story of this young lady her graduation and party. This is really what I was looking for a shot that summed it up in one photo. I knew I had a good chance with the women out dancing. 

graduate-3Leica M9 w/35mm Summicron ASPH

Exposure ISO 800 1/500 @ f4

This guy is from Alabama and he had one heck of a tan. His little girl is 8 months old and was adorable. This is one of the only examples of the type of image I was looking for an unguarded moment. The two B&W's are straight jpg black and white's right out of the camera with just a little work done in Photoshop. Really amazing. I have the M9 give me a color DNG and a jpg black and white. I love this because Lightroom gives them to me side by side.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 35mm Summicron f2 ASPH B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/graduation-party-with-the-leica-m9-and-35mm-summicron-asph Thu, 12 Jun 2014 23:46:05 GMT
A Day of Baseball with the Canon 5D Mk3 and 7D https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/a-day-of-baseball-with-the-canon-5d-mk3-and-7d Well this is hell weekend for me and my staff as we battle through numerous graduations and sports tournament playoff games. Yesterday I was stuck at a baseball park in Lowell MA for close to ten hours. It was a very stressful day. I had to shoot each game and then upload all the photos to our internet sites before the next game started. I had three games to shoot one right after the other with the middle game having both teams in our coverage area. That meant images from both towns had to be up on the towns website before the next game. Ugggh. My main camera for sports action these days is my Canon 7D with an older Canon 300 f2.8. It's still tack sharp even though the focusing on it is much slower than the newer ones. For some reason these games all lacked some really good action but I was able to get something out of each one. The Canon 5D Mk3 was used for shooting first base with the 70-200 and after the game stuff with the 24-70. This system proved to work well as I have used it over the years with success. I used the auto ISO to full advantage for most of the day choosing to shoot at 1/1250s at f5.6 on manual until the lights came on and then I went to ISO 6400 and shot at 1/800s @ 3.2

Needless to say I was looking around for different photos for the blog. Here are a couple shot with the Canon 7D and the 300 2.8. The crop factor for this rig turns out to be a 480mm f 2.8, excellent for sports and other far away objects.

 

Canon 7D w/Canon 300 f2.8

I noticed these two standing on wires used to make sure cars did not fly off the top of the parking garage across the street from the stadium and I thought it was a cool shot with the lamps.

 

 

For a moment I thought I was at Belmont Park waiting for the Belmont Stakes to start. Sun protection, a cool hat, sunglasses, fieldglasses and a racing form? No actually the lineup card for the game.

 

Here are some shots from the games.

 

Georgetown's Ben Noelk is out at third after a runndown with Lowell Catholic's James Sullivan in the first inning of Georgetown losing to Lowell Catholic 9-4 in the Div. 4 North Sectional Championship game Saturday, June 7, 2014 at LeLachuer Park in lowell. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson Georgetown's Ben Noelk is forced out at second by Lowell Catholic's James Sullivan in the fifth inning of Georgetown's loss to Lowell Catholic 9-4 in the Div. 4 North Sectional Championship game Saturday, June 7, 2014 at LeLachuer Park in lowell. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson Georgetown's Michael Goddu reacts to Georgetown losing to Lowell Catholic 9-4 in the Div. 4 North Sectional Championship game Saturday, June 7, 2014 at LeLachuer Park in lowell. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson Georgetown's Mike O'Leary wears everyone's rally caps during the last inning of Georgetown's loss to Lowell Catholic 9-4 in the Div. 4 North Sectional Championship game Saturday, June 7, 2014 at LeLachuer Park in lowell. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson Hamilton Wenham's Austen Michel slides back safe to first during The Generals 8-7 loss to North Reading in the Div. 3 North Sectional game at LeLacheur park in Lowell Saturday, June 7, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson Hamilton Wenham's Austen Michel watches the last at bats for his teammates during The Generals 8-7 loss to North Reading in the Div. 3 North Sectional game at LeLacheur park in Lowell Saturday, June 7, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

Masconomet catcher Michael Manni, Jr. signals he has the ball after tagging out Glocuester's Jordan Pallazola at the plate during Masco's win over Gloucester to win the Div. 2 North Sectional at LeLecheur Park in Lowell Saturday, June 7, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson Masconomet pitcher William Twiss celebrates his five hit 5-0 shutout win over Gloucester to win the Div. 2 North Sectional at LeLecheur Park in Lowell Saturday, June 7, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 7D baseball photography shooting sports shooting sports with the Canon 7D https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/a-day-of-baseball-with-the-canon-5d-mk3-and-7d Sun, 08 Jun 2014 14:30:02 GMT
Leica M9 with the 35mm Summicron f2 ASPH first shots https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/leica-m9-with-the-35mm-summicron-f2-asph-first-shots I just got my used 35 mm Summicron F2 ASPH from Leica Store Miami and it's mint! This lens is 6 bit coded and was a very reasonable $2195. The lens is like brand new. Figures it's raining out and the photo opportunities are limited on the way to work so I was only able to do some basic testing. I went down to the water front and jumped out of the car for a brief shot and on the way out my door I grabbed a shot of some bushes etc. Not very exciting but I will post more later on as I get a chance to shoot more. I am including color and B&W just to give you a feel for how the lens performs in drab lighting. I'm not going to go overboard yet but the results are very nice. I set the camera to pick up the 6 bit coding automatically which it seems like it did. Not a lot of data. No shutter speed (aperture priority) and no f stop recorded. The focus is very smooth. I am so used to focusing my very old 28mm Elmarit V.1 which is smooth but slow so the ease of focusing caught me by surprise. Looks like the 28 will be going back to Leica for a CLA. More to come

 


 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 35 mm Summicron f2 ASPH B&W photography Leica Leica M9 gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/leica-m9-with-the-35mm-summicron-f2-asph-first-shots Thu, 05 Jun 2014 15:54:42 GMT
Leica 135 Tele-Elmar Version 1 and the M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/leica-135-tele-elmar-version-1-and-the-m9 I had the opportunity to pull out my Leica 135 Tele-Elmar today and give it a try. I had only previously used it on my Sony Nex-7 with great success. I was curious to see if I could focus the lens close-up. I just banged around the yard to make a few shots and to my surprise I was able to make some good frames and the lens did not disappoint. The background bokeh has a nice creamy effect and really makes this lens stand out amongst many other newer lenses. At f4.0 it is rather slow but that does not matter with today's digital cameras. This lens is very inexpensive at around $400 used and I always tell people it is a bargain at that price. I plan to use it more when I head out to shoot. Here are some shots from around the house. Sorry I don't have any travel shots from all over the world like Thorsten but soon enough I will have travel work from Oregon.

 

teleElmar-4Leica M9 w/Leica 135 Tele-Elmar

Exposure ISO 400 1/180s @ f4

The cool thing about this image are the spider webs that are tack sharp. Really amazed me. The background is just beautiful.

 

teleElmar-1Leica M9 w/Leica 135 Tele-Elmar

Exposure ISO 400 1/125s @ f4

I thought this refection of my car on my boats hull was kind of cool.

teleElmar-3Leica M9 w/Leica 135 Tele-Elmar

Exposure ISO 400 1/350s @ f4 

These flowers really worked out nice. I love the sharpness of the leaves in places I think it really adds to it.

teleElmar-2Leica M9 w/Leica 135 Tele-Elmar

These are the same flowers as above but in color. I have cropped it a bit to make it a little more interesting. Of course I messed up again and forgot to set the camera for the Tele-Elmar and left it on the 28 Elmarit. Pretty stupid of me.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 135 Tele-Elmar Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/6/leica-135-tele-elmar-version-1-and-the-m9 Sun, 01 Jun 2014 21:48:26 GMT
Documenting life with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/documenting-life-with-the-leica-m9 On Memorial Day weekend Janet and I were over to a friends house for a beer and dinner. My friend has an old (very old) beach house that has been in the family for generations. So we had a great time and of course the Leica M9 came along for the fun. I made some shots outside of my friends doing goofy things which won't make these pages. After dinner us old folks sat around talking and listening to, of all things, ring tones. My wife and I have iPhones and it's pretty easy to set up ring tones. But on my friend Will's ancient flip phone it was endless menu's he had to keep going back through. It was a howl watching him do this and getting frustrated while doing it. I could not resist making a shot of him attempting to make ring tone changes on his ancient flip phone. The M9 gave me beautiful B&W jpgs right out of the camera. I did very little to this image in Photoshop. This image is handheld at 1/24s at f2.8. Try holding your Canon or Nikon and big glass without IS it ain't fun. This allows one to shoot with a nice light camera and record everyday events with ease. Sure it takes a little practice but it's worth it in the long run.

 

Leica M9 w/Leica 28mm Elmarit V.1

Exposure ISO 1600 1/24s @f2,8

will-1Processed in Silver Efex Pro 2 Tri-X filter added

I like this version much better using Silver Efex Pro 2. The Tri-X grain really adds something. The other filter was Full Spectrum.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/documenting-life-with-the-leica-m9 Tue, 27 May 2014 20:44:27 GMT
Shooting with the Leica M9 in very low light https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/shooting-with-the-leica-m9-in-very-low-light Yesterday I had the chance to do some shooting at a bar in downtown Gloucester while a friends band was playing. Janet and I had a great time being with old friends from high school and enjoying some great music from our high school days. The band is called Garfish and they have added a horn section that gives them the opportunity to play some great old tunes from legendary bands such as Chicago, and Blood Seat and Tears. I had no idea how dark it was going to be until I sat down and noticed I could barely see the band. All I have for lenses at the moment are a Leica 28 mm 2.8 Elmarit V.1 and a 90 mm 2.8 Tele Elmarit. As I have said before my very rare black paint Leica Summilux V.1 is up for auction at Tamarkin Rare Camera Auction this Thursday so my low light shooting is limited. So how do you feel about shooting in the dark. 

 

Well I gave it a whirl at ISO 2000, which for the Leica M9 is kind of a stretch. You can't imagine what it's like to time the lighting so you get something at 1/25s or 1/15s or even 1/6s it's brutal. It was a struggle to get the exposure right with this camera. Here are few of the images I got.

 

garfish-6Leica M9 w/90 Tele Elmarit

Exposure ISO 2000 1/60s @2.8

I was lucky in some respects as my friend Gary had the LED strobe lights mounted pretty close to him and the bright blue light would occasionally light him up. I did make a rookie error while using this camera. I have found that setting the camera on manual for lens selection works well for my 28 Elmarit. I use the oldest setting which is 11804 which I think is for Vers. 3 Elmarits, mine is a version 1. But I forgot to change it over every time I shot with the Leica 90 oh well. The results were not to bad.

garfish-3Leica M9 w/28mm Elmarit

Exposure ISO 2000 1/45s @2.8

So you can see in this image how dark it was. The band was only lit by these colored LED bars on either side of the band. Dismal at best but I guess it's all about mood with rock music.

garfish-8Leica M9 w/90mm Tele Elmarit

Exposure ISO 2000 1/15s @2.8

Since the guitarist was in such a dark place and never got much light on his face I decided to just shoot his guitar with his hands blurred if I could.

garfish-10Leica M9 w/28mm Elmarit

Exposure ISO 2000 1/25s @2.8

I was lucky to some extent as one of the horn players was lit up by his own music stand LED lights. If you can call 1/25s lucky.

garfish-9Leica M9 w/90mm Tele Elmarit

Exposure ISO 2000 1/15s @ 2.8

Being a photojournalist requires waiting for peak action when shooting at slow shutter speeds. I just caught the lead singer at the right moment to freeze his moving around at 1/15 of a second. Talk about luck and skill meeting at the right time.

Leica M9 w/90mm Tele Elmarit

Exposure ISO 2000 1/60s @ 2.8

You can just make out the LED light on the right side of the frame lighting Gary up. 1/60 of a sec. was a real luxury. Using the Leica M9 for low light work is a challenge when you can't see the top of the camera. I was using it on full manual and not auto at all. Turning the dial on top to get the right exposure was a pain since with my close up eye sight is nil I had no idea what shutter speed I was at most of the time. Using it in auto would have allowed me to see the exposure but then I could not do much about it since I was shooting wide open at 2.8. It was still a worth while experience and I learned quite a bit about using this camera in almost total darkness.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica 90mm Tele Elmarit Leica M9 gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/shooting-with-the-leica-m9-in-very-low-light Sun, 25 May 2014 12:47:42 GMT
The Leica M9 goes on assignment as the extra camera https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/the-leica-m9-goes-on-assignment-as-the-extra-camera Last week I had an assignment for a news conference in Gloucester - mostly boring speeches but on a good subject. The Leica M9 came along with the two Canon beast cameras with it's soul purpose to find something different. Well I was to busy to really look for something different but I managed to get a couple of images that I like. One was at the event, the other after I had left. I was out of synch at this event and did not come away with anything I really liked for the paper. Nothing that summed it up in one image. The other paper managed to and my hats off to him for that. I sit at a desk to much so hence my being out of synch. But it was good to be out of the office and shooting images! Here are the two I like.

 

Leica M9 w/ 28 mm Elmarit v1.0

Most everyone is paying attention here except the guy in the foreground. It looks like he's dozing off but I know he was listening. I was hoping for some good people photos but nothing really jumped out at me. 

 

Leica M9 w/ 28 mm Elmarit v1.0

As I was walking out I noticed this old run down building in a very old industrial section of the city. I love the way the shingles show up in B&W and the old easy chair just thrown outside. Typical of parts of Gloucester. This building has so much character I can only imagine the characters that live in it.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/the-leica-m9-goes-on-assignment-as-the-extra-camera Thu, 22 May 2014 15:19:09 GMT
The Car Show with the Leica M9 & Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/the-car-show-with-the-leica-m9-sony-nex-7 This weekend I had an opportunity to go to a car show over in the small town of Essex not to far from where I live. It was a great site all these old, tricked out cars or just old and completely redone. Some of them were just beautiful. Of course as luck would have it we got a late start and ended up there around noon. Horrible light! Bright does not describe it. Chrome everywhere and reflections everywhere. Uggh. What to do. Well I just decided to start shooting and hope for the best. I looked for good situations and when I could shoot in the shade I did. Here are a few shots from the day.

 

A wonderful old 1955 Chevy Bel Air.

Leica M9 w/Leica 28 Elmarit

Old and new pass each other at the car show.

Leica M9 w/Leica 28 Elmarit

Some serious engine going on here.

Leica M9 w/Leica 28 Elmarit

Leaving old friends on their way back home after the show.

Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 90 mm Tele Elmarit

The dresses match the paint job on this hotrod.

Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 90 mm Tele Elmarit

Old friends gather to talk about their cars.

Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 90 mm Tele Elmarit

This guy was really into what he had done to this old truck.

Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 90 mm Tele Elmarit

I could not resist these stickers on the side of this old wagon.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/the-car-show-with-the-leica-m9-sony-nex-7 Mon, 19 May 2014 14:19:04 GMT
Low light shooting with Canon 5D Mk3 and the Canon 24-70 2.8 L https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/low-light-shooting-with-canon-5d-mk3-and-the-canon-24-70-2-8-l Last night I was at a play rehearsal shooting some images for the paper. The stage light was great so the images from the rehearsal were lit really well. But those images have a certain look to them and getting something different requires some looking around outside of the stage. I was lucky to find a woman dressed in costume studying, what I thought were her lines. Come to find out she was studying someone else's lines because that person could not attend the rehearsal. She was worried she would get her lines mixed up with her own. Now, the lighting outside the stage is non existent people use flashlights to walk around. This woman was using her cell phone to light up the book she was reading. 

 

The Canon 5D Mk3 is really incredible at low light. I shot this with the Canon 24-70 f2.8 L (not the latest version) lens which is pretty heavy. As a matter of fact the whole rig is a beast since I use the battery grip on the camera. This is one of the reasons I have been playing around with the Leica M9 and the Sony Nex-7. If I was able to use my rare version 1, black paint Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4 (currently in the Tamarkin Spring Auction) I would not have used this rig at all. But I digress. I was able to shoot this image in almost total darkness at ISO 6400 1/30s @2.8. Of course being the photojournalist I am I cheated and used a chair to steady myself. The image is tack sharp. I only wish I could have moved to a better angle to eliminate the fire extinguisher on the wall. I did burn it in a bit to make it less obvious. Moving to the right gave me a very ugly partially covered window and moving to the left gave me people and a door way. So I chose the best option I could.

 

Canon 5D Mk3 w/24-70 LEileen Fitzgerald studies Mary Rudolph-Black's lines by the light of her cell phone during the Theater in the Pines rehearsal of "The Heiress" Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at Sprian Hall in Rockport. Black was not able to attend the rehearsal because of a family emergency so Fitzgerald had to fill in for her. Fitzgerald stated she was hoping not to get her lines mixed up with Blacks.

Exposure ISO 6400 1/30s @2,8

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 24-70 2.8 L Canon 5d Mk3 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/low-light-shooting-with-canon-5d-mk3-and-the-canon-24-70-2-8-l Thu, 15 May 2014 13:00:00 GMT
The Sony Nex-7 with Sony 20 mm pancake 2.8, more https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/the-sony-nex-7-with-sony-20-mm-pancake-2-8 This rig is great for just carrying around with you. Of course my Canon G15 serves the same purpose with a zoom lens for less money and results that are arguably almost as good. The Sony gives you a few more things and plenty of pixel power. I can go either way but the Sony lets me carry a Leica lens on it which gives it the edge. I like to try and see if I can do some different things with the Sony pancake 20mm. Today I was out to the cafe for a snack and this image presented itself. The 20mm performed perfectly wide open. It did not have much color to it so I desaturated it and gave it a little more contrast and this is what I got.

 

Sony Nex-7 w/20mm pancake

Exposure ISO 1600 1/125s @2.8

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Sony 20mm pancake Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/the-sony-nex-7-with-sony-20-mm-pancake-2-8 Wed, 14 May 2014 13:00:00 GMT
Sony Nex-7 with the Leica 90 Tele Elmarit 2,8 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/sony-nex-7-with-the-leica-90-tele-elmarit-2-8 Yesterday in the early evening as the sun was going down over Gloucester harbor the wind was still and the harbor was like glass. I was waiting for a friend to show up and I had my trusty Sony Nex-7 with me with it's companion of late the Leica Tele Elmarit. At 135mm the lens was not really long enough for what I wanted to do but with the 24mp sensor on the Sony I was able to blow it up even more which gave me some great latitude. I was looking for a shot or two of the waterfront that looked crowded but peaceful and I think the two images I display here do that.

 

 

The juxtaposition of the lobster boats, a couple of fishing vessels, and a schooner really add to the working waterfront feel to the photo. Then as I started to look around for interesting light play on the buildings these shadows started to show up. 

 

Now that I have gotten used to the fringing feature of this camera it has become really easy to focus with the lens wide open at 2,8. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica 90 mm Tele Elmarit Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/sony-nex-7-with-the-leica-90-tele-elmarit-2-8 Tue, 13 May 2014 16:45:42 GMT
Doing it Old School with the Canon G15 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/doing-it-old-school-with-the-canon-g15 After shooting with Leica M9 for a bit I thought it would be fun to use my Canon G15 but in a different way. I decided to use the viewfinder for framing shots and adjust the zoom to a step zoom that stops the zoom at predetermined focal lengths, 28,35,50,85,100,140. I did this by going into the menu/set,function and adjusting it so that the front dial1 is set to these settings. Front wheel/M/TV, AV/AV, TV/TV and the Back Wheel set to AV/zoom, AV/zoom, TV/zoom. This information and a diagram are on page 168 of the manual under step zoom. The other thing I did was to turn off the LCD screen on the back. Whenever you make an adjustment the screen activates to show you the adjustments you have made but is otherwise black (more conducive to using the viewfinder). 

 

The real-time viewfinder is barely adequate but serves the purpose. It only shows 75% of the actual scene so be prepared to crop things a bit. The other thing you can do to make this a really cool street camera is to turn on the mute. This feature is really great. It's pretty close to totaly silent. I can't wait to try this out on the street. If you use the viewfinder a green light shines steady to let you know when it's in focus and when the image has been taken (blinking). If mute is off then a beep sounds to let you it's in focus and a shutter click when the image is made. The viewfinder adjusts in and out to show you the scene the lens is adjusted to but like I said only shows 75% of what the lens sees. I have overcome this to some extent by zooming to 85mm instead of 50mm which means you get what you actually thought was 50mm from the same position. It's more of a mental thing.

 

I came to this decision after using the M9 and Sony Nex-7 and really hating looking like a total noob by holding the G15 in front of me, god how I hate that. I'm a photographer and not some nit wit with a cell phone or a P&S. The shot below was made in the method I have described above using the viewfinder and the step zoom on aperture priority.

 

Canon G15 step zoom @100

Exposure ISO 125 1/200s @2.8 step zoom 100mm 

 

This was a fun experiment and I plan on using it more. I get to set my focal length, shutter speed or aperture on auto. The camera focuses automatically and the camera has matrix metering so I get to do old school but with some of the auto features I love. I can't wait to take this to the streets and see what I get. This camera is so small and compact and when I choose silent it's ideal for stealth street photos. When I get the chance to do more street shooting I'll post some photos.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon G15 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/doing-it-old-school-with-the-canon-g15 Fri, 09 May 2014 19:42:19 GMT
Sony Nex-7 with the Sony 20mm pancake 2.8 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/sony-nex-7-with-the-sony-20mm-pancake-2-8 Yesterday was a beautiful spring day but I was stuck inside at work. So when I got out I grabbed the Nex-7 with the 20mm pancake and headed out the door. I decided to test this lens out at wide open, 2.8. So I put the camera on aperture priority and shot away with the ISO set to Auto. Ya I know I'm a bum for sticking the camera on auto but hey the Nex-7 and the 20 are made for that. Manual focus is alright but autofocus is great for P&S shots. I found this tree blooming nearby and shot it wide open with the late afternoon sun which I thought would be a perfect test for the lens. I was surprised to see very little vignetting at the corners and the distortion was not very noticeable. I converted it to B&W because the color was not extensive.

 

Sony Nex-7 w/ 20 mm pancake

Exposure ISO 100 1/800s @2,8

 

At 2.8 the buds just jump out at you. A really cool 3-D affect! Of course this is true when shooting wide open on just about any lens depending on how close you are and the focal length. I find experimenting with f-stops and shutter speeds adds to the fun of getting out there and shooting some frames. Glad to be out of the office.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Sony 20mm 2.8 pancake lens Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/sony-nex-7-with-the-sony-20mm-pancake-2-8 Wed, 07 May 2014 14:51:55 GMT
Shooting with two cameras - the best of both worlds Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/shooting-with-two-cameras---the-best-of-both-worlds-leica-m9-sony-nex-7 Yesterday I had a great time photographing a very small play rehearsal for a friend. They needed some promo shots for the paper and I said sure why not. I knew that I would get a chance to shoot with two cameras with things going on around me. A feast of imagery. The play is about Albert Schweitzer and his obsession with classical music and his other obsession which was building a hospital in Africa. 

So here's the story - the Leica M9 with the 28mm Elmarit V.1 and the Sony Nex-7 with the Leica 90 mm Tele Elmarit which makes it a 135 f2.8. These cameras are tiny in comparison to the giant Canon L glass laden behemoths I usually travel with. I carried the M9 around my neck and the Nex-7 on my right shoulder. Everything was very easy to use and nothing got tangled up and no switching lenses what a joy.

 

albert-2Sony Nex-7 w/ Leica 90mm

The director talks with Albert about what is expected of him during his performance.

I decided to show one of each in this post. The Sony Nex-7 with the Leica 90 mm is really unbelievable as you can see above. So small and easy to use, wow I can't wait to travel with it. 

albert-3Leica M9 w/ 28mm Elmarit V.1

Here the Leica M9 with the 28 mm is perfect to use for this assignment. With it around my neck up it comes for the shot at any time. The longer shots are also quite easy as I can pull the Nex-7 around off my right shoulder very easily. When I am just walking around I tend to carry them both on a shoulder with the cameras hidden by my arm and hands which are in a coat or pants pocket.

 

With these two cameras I matched the exposure and was happy to see they did a great job. As you know the M9 has issues with mixed light and AWB and in this case did a reasonable job but still had the tell-tale green cast at times. I was going to put it into manual WB mode but decided against it since I was shooting in RAW. The Sony Nex-7 had no such issues and produced good WB though out the images. Overall I felt a conversion to B&W was the answer as you can see here. I did not put them through Silver Efex Pro2 as I had intended and may try that tonight we'll see how it goes.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/shooting-with-two-cameras---the-best-of-both-worlds-leica-m9-sony-nex-7 Mon, 05 May 2014 14:34:19 GMT
The Leica M9 - Everyday Camera https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/the-leica-m9---everyday-camera Over the years it has proven out that if I don't carry a camera with me all the time I miss things. You'd think as a professional photojournalist this would be an obvious thing but over the years I have purposely not carried a camera because I do that with my job. Now with the M9 I have started to carry it with me most of the time. On Friday I had a meeting to attend after work and I knew that where I was going might offer me something interesting. As I was walking to the meeting the sun was shining for the first time in a long time and the clouds were really cool looking as the showers moved off-shore.  I saw these two gentlemen enjoying the afternoon like me sitting on a bench along the waterfront. Another man and his dog happened by and a picture formed itself with the returning deep sea fishing boat about to go through the cut bridge on the left. I envisioned this in B&W and it really worked out that way. The color version is still pretty good but not what I wanted.

Leica M9 w/ 28 Elmarit V.1

Exposure ISO 200 1/750s @ 5.6

Another key to making the happened photo is to have the camera ready to go. This is not so much the case with the new cameras that make coffee for you but with the M9 I feel it's essential. I like to control the ISO and the f-stop and let auto control the shutter speed in this situation. That would be bright sun. I find myself using the camera in different ways depending on the situation. Of course you folks might use it differently - let me know how you set the camera up because it's a really personal thing. Either way the Leica M9 is a great camera for carrying with you everyday for those unplanned photos.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/the-leica-m9---everyday-camera Sun, 04 May 2014 13:08:19 GMT
Rainy Day Leica - M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/rainy-day-leica---m9 Ya I know you have all seen this before but I could not resist. It was raining hard this morning on the way to work and the Leica M9 was sitting next to me with the 28 Elmarit V1 so up it came and I made the shot out the window with the focus set all the way to close. It's a heavy crop but interesting to me so here you are. I guess this would be art - right! Either way when you have the camera with you make the shot don't blow it off because it will never be there again.

Leica M9 w/28 mm Elmarit V.1

 

So I bet you are asking yourself - this guy must be nuts making frames through the window while driving while it's raining. Well yes that's true to some extent. I preset the focus before I left my driveway so all I had to do was lift the camera up and make the shot, no focusing involved. The camera was on auto. I set the aperture to 2,8 before I left and let the camera figure out what the shutter speed was. Pretty simple. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/5/rainy-day-leica---m9 Thu, 01 May 2014 13:27:09 GMT
My life with the Leica - Part One https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/my-life-with-the-leica---part-one  

My Life with the Leica – Part One

 

Ever since my younger days in high school I have been a Leica guy. My dad was a big Leica fan and had a nice collection of cameras and lenses. He even had a Leica 2c enlarger in the darkroom. Yes my dad really enjoyed his Leica's and passed that on down to his two boys.

 

When I was 15 he gave my brother and I each a Leica 3g with a collapsable 50mm lens on the camera. He instructed us on the use of the lens and camera operation but for two teenagers it was a bit overwhelming. The amount of very dark frames with a circle in the middle were annoying to he and us so the 3g's and the collapsable 50's went back and were replaced with used Leica M3 double strokes. My brother and I love these cameras just as much today.

 

During my high school years the M3 and the 50mm went everywhere with me. I was in Jr. ROTC and I was the official photographer for our unit. I travelled to several army bases with our high school battalion and recorded everything we did. My dad had a Leica leather case for the M3 and meter and we fashioned two Agfa film tins to the strap to make the camera easy to carry. I felt like a war photographer - well kind of. I was also in charge of photography for the year book for two years which meant I went everywhere with that camera. Proms, teachers, classrooms, sports, graduations, you name it I was there with the Leica and my only lens a 50mm f2. The sports events were more sideline stuff since shooting action was out of the question with the 50mm.

 

Back in 1971 our family took a trip to northern Italy for a skiing vacation. My dad was ill with cancer at the time but was in remission and this trip was something he always wanted to do with us. We had a wonderful time making pictures as we travelled throughout northern Italy. I will always remember my dad waking me up early to go on a little photo expedition in the northern city of Milan which at the time was a very industrial city. I just remember it as dark and foreboding but unfortunately non of my photos have survived. The Leica M3 and 50mm with the meter on top of the camera were a technological marvel for the time. We wandered around the city by our hotel looking for people out walking their dogs or interesting buildings or signs. It was a fun time with my dad and I will never ever forget it.  As we made it up to Cervinia, which is the other side of the Matterhorn in Zermatt Switzerland, the photo taking was more interesting and all of us had fun taking photos of the Alps and the skiing that we were there for. It was here that my dad taught my brother and I the secret behind correct exposure with snow. He said "the reflected meter only tells you what the exposure is for the light falling on the subject in 18% grey so you need to open up a stop and a half". It worked like a charm. Back then you had to wait until you got back to see the results. We used to mail them out in pre-paid mailers to be processed by Agfa or Kodak. It was like Christmas when they came back.

 

While still in high school my dad started a photo class for my friends and I with the carrot being a group show at a gallery in Rockport. We all took to it with gusto. My dad bought us all these small Kodak books that had tons of information in it and we would have an assignment each week regarding something in the book like depth of field or composition. It was a great experience. All of us kids, which totaled about five, including my brother gained an enormous amount of experience during this time. But it was the access to my dads darkroom and the magic that happened there with the Leica 2c that floored all of us. The other kids quickly got their parents to set up their own darkrooms and the fun was on. The result was a great show at a gallery in Rockport. Several of us sold pieces (including myself) which hooked me on photography as a career at the age of 16.

 

The Leica 2c is such a wonderful enlarger and I still have it in the basement covered up in my now unused darkroom. Back then auto focus was unheard of and it was pure magic to see it work. My dad and a friend of his John Fields helped me see what could be done with a little dodging and burning to bring out the best print possible. It was this formative training in the darkroom that started my career for me. As I think back my dad and John Fields showed me the importance of full contrast prints. My early editors were wowed by my prints and that is a full reflection on my dad, his friend, and the Leica 2c.

 

John K. WilliamsonMy Dad, John K. Williamson in Sweden Maine sometime in the late sixties with a Leica M3 and collapsable 50mm Suumicron.

My dad John K. Williamson on a photo expedition with his friend John Fields (who made this photo of him) in Sweden Maine in the mid 1960's with what looks like a Leica M3 and collapsable Leica 50 or 90.

 

In my next installment – In part two I talk about my college years with the Leica and the start of my career.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/my-life-with-the-leica---part-one Wed, 30 Apr 2014 15:45:24 GMT
Disappointed in the Leica 21mm f3,4 SA on the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/disappointed-in-the-leica-21mm-f3-4-sa-on-the-leica-m9 Recently I had the urge to break out the Leica 21mm Super Angulon f 3,4 and try it on the Leica M9. I consulted Thorsten Overgaard on this becasuse it looked like he had good results. Thorsten has not used it for a while and was not sure what he had done but suggested that I not use the in camera profile of the lens and turn off the profiles. So I did this and the results were much better than the first time I tried the lens camera combination. Leica claims the meter does not work with this lens and the Leica 28 Elmarit. They are right with the 21 but absolutely incorrect with the 28, it works perfectly. So while on assignment with the big glass (Canon 300 2.8) and Canon 7D to shoot sports I carried the M9 and 21 to see if I could get something to test things out. I know I might be able to fix the corner issues with Corner Fix and that is on my list of things to try. Lightroom also does a credible job of correcting these corner issues and I will report back how that works. The conversion to srgb created some harsh transitions so in Adobe 98 it looks better. Either way this is a tough mission for a lens that protrudes so far into the back of the camera. It is a nice small lens and is in awesome shape for an older lens. I really love this lens and have used it off and on so much over the years on my M3 and M5 film cameras. I will miss it dearly but without being able to use the M9 meter and having to use other software to clean it up in post I will have to look for another 21. Most likely the Leica Super Elmar 3,4. Below is what I got straight out of the camera.

 

I was able to make it kind of useful with my antiquated version of Photoshop and Camera Raw at work to the image below.

 

Then I decided that B&W was better 

While I was thinking of how to test out the 21 SA on the M9 I was trying to shoot girls high school lacrosse. Here is the best image from that game.

Swampscott's Melissa Gavin tries to gain control of the ball as Beverly's Grace Otterbein moves in during their game at Beverly High School Friday, April 25, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

I must tell you that my Canon 300 f2.8 is ancient! But by god it is damn sharp and with plenty of contrast. Ya, it may not be as fast and small as the newer versions but I love it. I only pull it out for sports or for the occasional fine art shot ("Autumn Skiff" in my homepage slideshow) was made with this lens and the very new Canon 5D Mk lll. They worked beautiful together even though they are years apart in age, almost 20 years. I use the 300 f2.8 on my now pretty old Canon 7D and the focus might be a bit slow but with my experience of shooting sports for over 30 years I know where the action will be and I wait for it. The camera does just fine for me. I refuse to spend $6000 on a Canon 1D X. Now if it made coffee ....

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Canon 300 2.8 Canon 7D Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/disappointed-in-the-leica-21mm-f3-4-sa-on-the-leica-m9 Fri, 25 Apr 2014 20:50:15 GMT
The Black & White World - The Leica M9 seeing in B&W https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/the-black-white-world---the-leica-m9-seeing-in-b-w My friends accuse me of seeing in black and white. I admit it I do not see color well and some of my best photographs tend to be of a monochromatic nature. When color is obvious then I'm fine with it. But contrast always draws me in whether it's a strong light play or a strong design element that lends itself to B&W. Interestingly when I shoot images for my job everything is in color and translated to B&W for the paper. Only a few of them land on the front sections in color.

Early in my career everything was in B&W. The film was Kodak Tri-X and by god if it did not pop then it was kind of useless. So I learned early on that if the image did not pop it was going nowhere. So my favorite way to shoot (and still is) is against the light - I love it. So whenever I can I shoot against the light to give me that great contrast and an image that pops. News photography is all about impact. We look for images that make you look and pick up the paper. I don't know why but when I switched back to using the M9 I found myself converting my color images to B&W. Even my first shots with Leica M glass and the Nex-7 I converted, and man do I love the way they look. I find myself converting 75% of the time and bringing them into Silver Efex Pro to tweak them a bit.

This afternoon I went out for lunch and as usual had the M9 hanging off my shoulder. The sun was bright and the shadows straight down (boring) but the image below presented itself as I was walking into the building. The flowering bushes drew me in but in color it did not resonate with me that well so I converted it and it came alive. As far as photos go it's not the best but hey not everything you take is going to win awards. I love my Vers. 1 (11 801) 28mm Elmarit. It is a really beautiful lens for something that is really old. This lens was made in the sixties and is the 1,637th 28mm Elmarit made in Wetzlar. I love the red feet numbers. This lens is a rare bird and sings every time it makes a frame, it's awesome. What's really cool is I have the original box it came in with the S/N hand printed on the bottom of the box.

Thanks Dad!

 

Leica M9 w/Leica 28mm Elmarit

Exposure ISO 160 1/750s @ 5,6

 

The image below was made yesterday as the spring showers came through the area. I was stuck inside doing work on several papers and wanted like crazy to be outside shooting so I went over to the window to make something. This is what I came up with. Double click on this to see it larger.

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/the-black-white-world---the-leica-m9-seeing-in-b-w Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:10:45 GMT
Chris Hondros' iconic image remembered https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/chris-hondros-iconic-image-remembered It's not often that I sit down to pen something that moved many. But today I picked up a tweet from Time that really made me want to add my two cents and post the video that I viewed on Time Lightbox. As many of you know photojournalists Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington were killed during a firefight in Misrata Libya three years ago. But how many of you equate a famous photo with Hondros. I did not know Chris personally but I have known many like him. Always going where the action is, fearless to a fault but always there with a purpose, to show the world what we ourselves cannot see. This video with Getty Vice President/News, Pancho Bernasconi narrating, talks about Hondros and this iconic image and the circumstances surrounding it that brought the war in Iraq into our living rooms. This is not for the squeamish so be aware that these images are powerful.

 

 

Think about what Hondros and the unit he was embedded with were thinking as the car speeds towards them. I know for me I would have been firing at the car just like our soldiers did. After all these guys were in self preservation mode and a speeding car can only mean one thing "bomb". Hondros was there to record the aftermath, the horror these young children were going through. We will miss him and his images just like those of Tim Hetherington!

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Chris Hondros photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/chris-hondros-iconic-image-remembered Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:18:32 GMT
Easter morning service and the M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/easter-morning-service-and-the-m9 Every Easter I bring my camera to our early morning service. This service in Annisquam started in the early 60's when I was quite young and I have attended many of them over the years. Most of the time I bring my Canon G15 but this year I decided to bring the Leica M9 to see if I could get something different from the usual. The G15 gives me the opportunity to shoot wide and tight without two cameras. The quality is really good but let's face it it's not a Leica. The view finder sucks on the G15 and you have to hold the dam thing in front of you to frame a shot properly. I absolutely hate doing that. Take note Canon - wake up and put a proper EVF on one of these cameras. I own a Sony Nex-7 because you can't seem to figure that out. Correction: They have kind of figured it out. The G1X Mark ll they just came out with has an optional EVF. But it's huge and really makes the camera ugly plus it's another $300! But I digress! Back to the Leica experience.

Leica M9 w/Leica 28mm Elmarit

Exposure ISO 160 1/250s f 5.6

 

In this shot our music director is leading the congregation in song at the beginning of the service. Trying to get something different from an event you have shot so many times over the years is a tough one. As a news photographer this has been something of a practiced craft. As a news assignment you try to get the normal stuff you always do then you look for the unusual things that will get you that one shot people will remember. The Leica M9 really gives you that opportunity. The camera is very quite and not imposing at all. I have the red dot and the M9 logo blacked out and people don't seem to react much to me taking photos. If I was carrying around two big Canon pro cameras with big "L" glass I would be noticed by everyone. When I am on the job that's what I carry.

 

For this shot I just placed myself off to the side so I could see everything going on. As luck would have it the music director turned as she was singing and I was able to make this shot. Nothing else really moved me photographically besides just a few odd things here and there. I will post a few more photos in a gallery some time today so you can see the other images. I did bring my Leica 90 mm Tele-Elmar along and made some images before the service. I really miss having another camera along with that lens on it to give me some balance (long and short). As a news photographer I have always shot with two boxes. You miss shots when you have to change lenses.

Update: Click HERE to go to the gallery of more images.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon G15 Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 Sony Nex-7 annisquam gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/easter-morning-service-and-the-m9 Sun, 20 Apr 2014 23:36:48 GMT
Abstract shooting with the Canon G15 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/abstract-shooting-with-the-canon-g15 I am one of those people that always needs a camera with me most of the time. If I don't have my pro gear with me than I will usually have my trusty G15 or my iPhone. This image was made while watching TV back in January. I had finished drinking a bottle of water and it was sitting on a table in front of me. When I laid down on the couch it was blocking my view of the TV. Looking through the bottle created this interesting pattern of water droplets inside the bottle with the light from the TV shining through it. The G15 was the perfect camera for this application as it was easy to use and the result was really interesting. I purposely used a low f stop to show the layers of the droplets inside the bottle.

 

Canon Powershot G15Canon Powershot G15

Exposure ISO 1600 1/125s @ f2,2

 

I really like the way some of the droplets show the scene upside down. Overall I would like to keep experimenting with this somehow and see if I can get more interesting effect.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon G15 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/abstract-shooting-with-the-canon-g15 Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:19:11 GMT
Large photo mural makes for a good photo op https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/large-photo-mural-makes-for-a-good-photo-op Recently I was at an awards dinner in Boston at the Copley Plaza. Before dinner I was walking around looking for something interesting with my Canon G15 and noticed these giant photos of models around the lower floor of the hotel.

 

photo muralCanon G15

Exposure ISO 400 1/25s @ 2.2 @ 54.5 mm

 

I looked all over for a way to fit one of these model mural's with some people and came across these two people having a drink under one of them. It took a couple of shots to get something I liked but was amazed at the quality this little camera gives me. I converted it to B&W as the giant mural was a B&W and the lighting was an interesting slight yellow. I also liked the motion the guy is making to the waiter. I recently ran across this blog post that highlighted a 58 yr old photographer in Brazil who uses the Canon G15 exclusively. He posted some really nice images. HERE is the link to the blog.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Boston Canon Canon G15 Park Plaza photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/large-photo-mural-makes-for-a-good-photo-op Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:32:18 GMT
Palm Sunday in Annisquam with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/palm-sunday-in-annisquam-with-the-leica-m9 Palm Sunday at the Annisquam Village Church is always a fun time. We hand out palm fonds to everyone before the service and the service revolves around Jesus and the story of Palm Sunday and leading to his crucifixion. This year I decided to shoot this event with the Leica M9 and the Leica 28mm Elmarit. The lead shot on my home page is my favorite image from the group.

 

palm3Leica M9 w/ Leica 28 Elmarit

Exposure ISO 1000 1/25s @ f2,8

To me this really tells a story. The design of the palm fonds really makes it for me. I wanted to do these in B&W which I am doing a lot of recently. In color it's just ok as the palms are a nice green yellow color. I added a slight vignette to this image to focus on the palms. The darkness on the left was already in the image so I did not have to do much.

 

palm6palm6

Exposure ISO 1000 1/15s @ f2,8

 

This is another favorite of mine. I focused on the girl in the center as she was getting ready to walk down the isle as part of the service. The movement around her was great as it showed that in the midst of all the commotion this little girl was concentrating on what page the hymnal was supposed to be on. I enjoy doing these events on my own where I don't have to just record what is going on but can look for more interesting images. Click HERE to see the rest of the images.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/4/palm-sunday-in-annisquam-with-the-leica-m9 Sun, 13 Apr 2014 16:49:20 GMT
Delivering the model yacht America with Eric Ronnberg https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/delivering-the-model-yacht-america-with-eric-ronnberg In 2012 I had the pleasure of helping fine art model builder Eric Ronnberg deliver his beautiful model "America" to the International Yachting Museum in Newport Rhode Island. This model is historically accurate to the yacht America as she would have appeared as she raced in the 100 Guinea's Cup around the Isle of Wight. Ronnberg did extensive research on how the yacht looked from historical documents from around the world. I followed him as he built this model for eight months shooting photos and video along the way. The photo below is from our trip to Newport as we delivered the model. Click here to see the whole gallery

Model builder Eric Ronnberg adjusts the rigging on the model yacht "America"

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Eric Ronnberg Kirk R. Williamson Kirk R. Williamson photography model yacht America https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/delivering-the-model-yacht-america-with-eric-ronnberg Sat, 29 Mar 2014 14:54:56 GMT
Against the Light - Leica M9 and the Leica 28 Elmarit https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/against-the-light---leica-m9-and-the-leica-28-elmarit Today I was able to get outside to do a little shooting with the Leica M9. I headed over to my favorite place in the world Annisquam Village in Gloucester. I grew up here and have been making pictures in the village since I was a young boy. It has changed over the years but the famous Cape Ann light never ceases to amaze me. The first shot is of a lobster boat tied up at a float near the walking bridge that goes over Lobster Cove. Looking back into the light at low tide gave me a nice opportunity for a great image with the light shining off the mud and water. I love the footprints in the mud. I did not see these when I made the photo.

 

Lobster boat AnnisquamLeica M9 w/28mm Elmarit

The second image is one I have made before but I wanted to try it again with the M9 and the 28 Elmarit. I got down to a lower angle and made this perspective shot that is kind of interesting. Both shots were processed in Silver Efex Pro after some minor tweaking in Lightroom.

Annisquam bridgeLeica M9 w/28mm Elmarit

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro annisquam gloucester photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/against-the-light---leica-m9-and-the-leica-28-elmarit Thu, 27 Mar 2014 21:37:01 GMT
Portraits with the Leica M9 and 90 mm Tele-Elmarit https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/portraits-with-the-leica-m9-and-90-mm-tele-elmarit Here are some portrait shots taken of my aunt with the Leica M9 and the Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit. Nice sharp images with very little image correction in Lightroom. This lens, although older has a really nice look to it's images. The newer version 90 is beautiful but does not give the same Leica feel to it. These images look more like film.

moday-1Leica M9 w/ 90 mm Tele-Elmarit

Exposure ISO 1000 1/45s @ 2,8

This past Saturday I was able to visit with my 85 yr. old aunt for lunch. My Leica M9 came along for the ride as it was the camera that would be easiest to handle in this situation. After lunch we were sitting around looking at photos on her iPad and felt it was the perfect time to break out the camera to make some photos. I hobbled over to a good spot where there was some light coming through two large sliding glass doors and asked my aunt to turn towards me. The light was still low and very cool but beautiful. I tried to get as low as I could but still at a slightly higher angle than her as it would be more pleasing than straight on. I had on my dad's (her brother) Leica 90 mm Tele-Elmarit. This lens is so smooth to focus and made this situation easier. Just imagine me with one leg kind of working stretched out behind me leaning on a crutch to get the right angle. It was a neat trick.

moday-2Leica M9 w/90 mm Tele-Elmarit

Exposure ISO 1000 1/24s @ 2,8

With the shot above I wanted to show more of the room and give me the feeling I had when I made it. The light coming in from the windows was lower and the exposure tougher. The Leica M9 and 90 mm combo worked out perfectly at 1/24s, tack sharp. I warmed it up a bit in Lightroom but left it kind of alone. The background is a wonderful bokeh, nice and soft. The light from the iPad is giving her face a nice glow and really adds to the photo. A portrait I will remember for a long time. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M9 color portraits photography portraits https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/portraits-with-the-leica-m9-and-90-mm-tele-elmarit Mon, 24 Mar 2014 14:16:54 GMT
From the Archive: Weekend Warriors - Massachusetts National Guard circa 1978 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/from-the-archive-weekend-warriors---massachusetts-national-guard-circa-1978 warrior-1Leica M5 w/ 50 mm Summilux

One of the highlights of my early career was to follow a group of North Shore National Guard troops as they did their one weekend a month commitment at Fort Devens in Ayer MA. It was a great experience and I will never forget it.  At the time I had an old college friend that was stationed at Devens and it was great to see him. He had been stationed in Korea and had recently been moved to Devens so it was a great treat to be able to stay with him for the weekend.

For this assignment I brought along three Leica cameras. The Leicaflex SL, Leica M3, and Leica M5. The lenses that I brought along were the Leica 50 mm Summilux, 35 mm Summicron, the 90 mm Tele Elmarit and the Leica 280 mm for the Leicaflex. This lens was originally made for the Visoflex housing. 

So off I went with about ten rolls of film which I found out later was not quite enough for the whole weekend. The images are really a collection of images from the weekend and not a complete story. At that time I really had no dea what I was doing as far as story telling goes so I just have a few good images. I am missing a few because I don't know where the negatives might be. All of the images were scanned from prints I had  in the archive. They were then pulled into Lightroom and post processed in Silver Efex Pro using different presets. Check out the slideshow below of all the images in the set.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Fort Devens MA Leica Leica M3 Leica M5 Leicaflex Lightroom Massachusetts National Guard Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/from-the-archive-weekend-warriors---massachusetts-national-guard-circa-1978 Thu, 20 Mar 2014 18:24:10 GMT
From the Archive: Polo pony gives the evil eye https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/from-the-archive-polo-pony-gives-the-evil-eye Every Sunday up on the Northshore of Boston in the small town of Hamilton the rich come out to play at the Myopia Hunt Club and anyone can pay to watch. Early in my career I was hired to shoot polo for the Salem Evening News and came to like the quick action with the horses and riders.

polo-1Canon F1 w/ Canon 300 f4

 I'm a little disappointed in myself for not shooting from a lower angle but the image turned out great despite this issue. I think what has always intrigued me about this image is the look in the horses eye as he is twisted around by the rider trying to hit the ball. The other thing is the definition of the muscles in the horses neck and the riders arm as he swings the mallet. For many years I included this in my sports portfolio. Peak action in sports is key and this has it in spades. The rider is off the saddle and looks like he is falling off, the horse is looking into the frame wondering if he is going over too. And even though the player has not hit the ball yet the action is right there.

 

If you ever get a chance to shoot polo, do it. The results will amaze you. Oh and don't forget to shoot the crowd too they are a pretty interesting bunch.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon Myopia Myopia Hunt Club Hamilton MA photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/from-the-archive-polo-pony-gives-the-evil-eye Tue, 18 Mar 2014 19:05:19 GMT
From the Archive: Great Dane watching traffic https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/from-the-archive-great-dane-looks-for-owner daneears-1Canon F-1 w/ Canon 300 f4

As a photojournalist I am always on the look out for images that portray everyday life. Most of the time we do this by just driving around looking for interesting things to shoot or by going someplace and waiting for things to develop. On this day I was over in the Hamilton / Wenham area of the Northshore of Boston looking for something interesting. I had stopped at convenience store for a can of Pepsi and noticed this rather large dog sitting in the back seat of this car with his head sticking out the window. So I grabbed the camera and made a few shots but as I was putting the camera away the owner jumped into the car and sped off. All I could do was follow to try and get the dogs name as well as the owner. Luckily the owner pulled into her driveway just a few hundred yards down the road. As I pulled in the dog was very interested in who I was but seemed pretty tame. The owner was no where to be found. Well the background looked very good compared to the previous shot I had taken so I made some more of the dog looking at traffic. This is one of those shots. As I was taking this image the owner finally came out and wanted to know what I was doing. When I explained I was from the paper she was very excited to see her Great Dane "Nemo" make it in the papers. This shot ran above the fold on A1 3 cols across. We got so many calls and notes from folks saying how much they enjoyed it. For me it was just another day as a photojournalist.

 

This image was taken on Kodak Tri-X film at ASA 400 and developed in a curious mix of D-76 and D-76 replenisher known to us as skunk piss. It processed the film very quickly but enhanced the grain as you can see. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Canon animals canon F1 dog dogs photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/from-the-archive-great-dane-looks-for-owner Mon, 17 Mar 2014 14:15:49 GMT
From the Archive: Memorial Day in Rockport 1978 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/from-the-archive-memorial-day-in-rockport-1978 memday1978-1Leica M5 w/ 50mm Summilux 1,4

Since I am laid up from my hip replacement I thought I would dig back into my archives to look for images or stories I worked on many years ago. This image comes from the barber story I was working on for North Shore Sunday back in 1978. The "barber" Mr. Cooney participated in the Memorial Day ceremonies in Rockport. This is one of those grab shots that you get when you turn around and there it is. These school children were waiting to place flowers at a grave site. Over the years I have enjoyed looking at this image from early in my career. I love the white Mickey Mouse belt on the kid at right. The looks on these kids faces is priceless. I remember what it was like to stand and wait not really knowing why you were there or what you were doing.

 

Over time the negative of this image has some fungus on it and when I tried to print it at 11x14 the fungus was obvious. This image is a scan from a 8x10 inch print (image size 6x9). It was scanned as a color image then turned B&W in Lightroom and then moved into Silver Efex Pro for some more processing. This is great so if I have a decent print I can scan it and make a better version then print it larger than I could before. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/from-the-archive-memorial-day-in-rockport-1978 Sun, 16 Mar 2014 20:38:22 GMT
More fun with melting snow banks https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/more Sony Nex-7 w/ Leica 90 Tele-Elmarit

I made this shot at the same time as the last one. This red ring made for an interesting image against the dirt and snow. I processed it in the iPad app Photogene and picked one of the presets that gave me a cool blue cast. The Leica 90 at 2,8 really gives a nice soft background. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/more Mon, 10 Mar 2014 05:00:02 GMT
Fun with spring snow banks https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/fun-with-spring-snow-banks Sony Nex-7 w/ Leica Tele-Elmarit

Exposure ISO 100 1/1250s @ 2,8

 

The snow banks are melting at an alarming rate and at the same time creating some really interesting formations. I thought this was kind of cool so I made a shot of it. This lens is really nice and sharp for an older Leica lens. This is wide open at 2.8. All of the post processing was done in my iPad app Photogene. I used the B&W presets to make this image then used some vignetting to darken the corners.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/fun-with-spring-snow-banks Sun, 09 Mar 2014 01:08:47 GMT
Spring with the old Leica Summaron 35 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/spring-with-the-old-leica-summaron-35 Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 35mm Summicron 3,5 SM

 

Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 35mm Summicron 3,5 SM

This morning I dug out my old Leica 35mm Summicron f3,5. My dad gave this lens to me when I was in high school. It's an old screw mount lens built in Germany back in the 50's. I have a bayonet mount adapter on it so I can use it with my M cameras. At the moment it needs a good cleaning. On the inside one of the elements is getting a little foggy but I can still use it. It does give a soft affect to the images. So this morning I put it on the Sony to try it out and I was surprised at what I got. In bright sunlight it gives remarkably sharp images considering its condition. I also tried to do something a little different as I did all the post processing in Photogenie on the iPad. This app excepts raw files from the Sony so it was a revelation to see that I could process them like I do in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro. Some of the presets were pretty cool like the infrared one in the bottom photo.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/spring-with-the-old-leica-summaron-35 Sat, 08 Mar 2014 17:11:25 GMT
Signs of Winters Grip w/ the Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/signs-of-winters-grip-w/-the-sony-nex-7 Sony Nex-7 w/Sony 20mm f2,8 lens

Exposure ISO 100 1/320s @ f5.0

 

If you always have a camera with you then you won't miss opportunities for an interesting image as they come up . I was out to the post office and when I got back this car in front of me had tons of road salt on the hood and the interesting reflection of the trees just asked me to make a photo. B&W was the only way to go so I converted it in Photoshop adding some contrast and darkening it up some.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Sony Nex-7 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/signs-of-winters-grip-w/-the-sony-nex-7 Mon, 03 Mar 2014 20:24:46 GMT
More Leica M9 and the streets of Boston https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/more-leica-m9-and-the-streets-of-boston boston-1Leica M9 w/ Leica 28mm Elmarit

Exposure ISO 400 1/500s @ f13  

 

As you can see I made this shot as we passed Landsdowne St. and the legend sports bar the Cask'n Flagon near Fenway Park. I really wanted to give the sense of passing by this famous area in a car so I left the window up and left the rear view mirror in the frame. No need to focus with the lens set to infinity at f13 (in between f11 and f16). Without the person in the frame it would not have given the same effect as it does. After correcting color in Lightroom I pulled it into Silver Efex Pro and used the Full Contrast and Structure preset to bring out the reflections in the window and the clouds.  

 

boston-1Leica M9 w/ Leica 28mm Elmarit

Exposure ISO 400 1/500s @ f9.5

 

This shot was done the same way as the shot above. I used the same preset in Silver Efex Pro to bring up the clouds and reflections in the window. I love the reflections in the window of the bar showing the buildings. The billboard just adds to the sense of driving around Boston as they are all over the place.

 

boston-1Leica M9 w/ Leica 28mm Elmarit

Exposure ISO 400 1/250s @ f9.5

 

This shot was made with the window open as I wanted to show city living without noticing the window or any part of the car. Apartment style in Boston. I used the tools inside Lightroom to correct converging lines and it worked pretty good but not really what I wanted. I did also pull it into Silver Efex Pro and used the Full Contrast and Structure preset for the desired effect.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Boston Boston, MA Leica Leica M9 Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/3/more-leica-m9-and-the-streets-of-boston Sun, 02 Mar 2014 16:17:31 GMT
Leica M9 and the 28 mm Elmarit Boston street https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/leica-m9-and-the-28-mm-elmarit-boston-street Leica M9 w/ 28 Elmarit

Exposure ISO 400 1/500s @ f8 no focusing

While I was receiving a ride home from the hospital with a friend (after giving the vampires some blood) I decided that the M9 needed a workout. So just before we got onto Storrow Dr. I hung out the window a bit and grabbed this shot. The camera was locked on infinity (my lens lets me do that, no drift). Like they say f8 and be there. So I guess this would be auto focus right. Not the most interesting thing I've shot but the building is just plain cool looking, for an apartment building. A quick grab shot out the window of a cool building. I opened the DNG image in Photoshop and then adjusted the color and converted to B&W then added contrast and lightened it a bit. I will do it again at home in Lightroom and add a vignette. 

 

This image is crazy sharp! The lens is really old. It was made in 1964 in Germany, is black, and has red feet numbers. The s/n starts with 206xxxx so it's 50 years old and fairly rare. I love it. I use a viewfinder with it since for some reason the brightlines for 28 don't come up. I seem to be having an issue with that as my 90 Tele Elmarit does not pull up the 90 lines either. So it may be a trip back to Leica for the M9 to see what is going on. 

 

Zone focusing with these wides used to be standard practice. For instance this shot at f8 gave me from 12 ft. to infinity in focus. That really is like having an auto focus camera. Just as an example I could have made this shot at f2,8 and 25ft to infinity would have been sharp. I need to do more experimentation with this camera. Street shooting in Boston this spring would be a cool thing to do.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Boston Leica Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/leica-m9-and-the-28-mm-elmarit-boston-street Thu, 27 Feb 2014 20:16:19 GMT
Sony Nex-7 and Sony 20mm f2,8 lens first images https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/sony-nex-7-and-sony-20mm-f2-8-lens-first-images Sony Nex-7 w/Sony 20mm f2,8 lens

Exposure - ISO 100 Aperture Priority f2,8 shutter speed not recorded

 

So ok, I'm a little late to the game with this but I thought I would add my two cents. This is my second Sony 20mm lens. The first one showed up last week and was defective - so much for Japanese quality control! Or is it Chinese, who knows. I purchased this lens as a knock around all purpose leave it on the camera lens to go with my Leica glass. I don't have a wide angle Leica lens to complement the camera. I went down to the harbor to make a few first shots with the lens and was for the most part pleasantly surprised. This image has only been toned a little, no sharpening, and the curves adjusted a little for contrast after conversion to srgb for the web. At 2,8 it vignettes as you can see in the above photo. It also underexposes by about a half a stop which is not surprising. The image quality of the jpgs out of the camera are not to bad and for B&W should be outstanding. I'm not sure if I have a setting wrong but with the camera in aperture priority the camera does not record EXIF shutter speed data. Strange. The lens does not focus real fast but does not have to hunt either. I may post a few more later but I wanted to get one image up right away. 

I will be writing a hands on review of this lens tonight so stay tuned. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Rockport MA Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/sony-nex-7-and-sony-20mm-f2-8-lens-first-images Wed, 26 Feb 2014 15:50:20 GMT
The Leica M9 and the Train Yard https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/the-leica-m9-and-the-train-yard Leica M9 w/Leica 28mm Elmarit Finally a day out of the house without it snowing, frigid cold or rain. It was gray but otherwise warm and well worth the trip outside to make some frames with the Leica M9 and the Leica 28mm Elmarit. Down the street from me in Rockport is the "end of the line" for the MBTA commuter rail line. Most of the time there are at least a couple of engines with all the cars attached but on Sunday it's full.

 

So I roamed around looking for interesting photos and this particular arrangement caught my attention and was easily the best combination of elements at the site. I took a few other things but this one really got my juices going. I envisioned this as a high contrast black and white and after adjusting the colors the way I wanted them in Lightroom I pulled it into Silver Efex Pro. One of the presets was perfect and gave me the image you see above. I am really thrilled with it. You never know, it could end up at the RAA this summer.

 

Leica M9 w/ Leica 28mm Elmarit

While I was at the station the train was beginning to leave and a couple of families quickly ran out of Dunkin Donuts to catch the train back to Boston. I was ready to catch folks running by. This little girl decided that I was much more interesting than catching the train as she was looking at me the whole time. Today with the flat light I really felt like I was using Tri-X so I converted this image in Silver Efex Pro using the Tri-X preset. It is really close to what I was thinking at the time. Who would have thought street photography in Rockport in the winter.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Rockport MA Silver Efex Pro photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/the-leica-m9-and-the-train-yard Sun, 23 Feb 2014 18:48:56 GMT
Winter with the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/winter-with-the-leica-m9 Leica M9 w/28mm Elmarit f2,8 Exposure ISO 800 1/6s @ 2.8

After leaving work one day last week I turned around to see this car with the snow falling off and the wiper blades up in the air. It was almost dark out and I decided to make a shot anyway. It's a little soft from movement but hey it was at 1/6 of a sec.

Leica M9 w/28mm Elmarit f2,8

 

The other morning I was outside my car looking at all the ice and snow I had to navigate and saw this interesting pattern. So I grabbed the Leica not knowing if it would be of much interest. It took me a while before I downloaded it and decided to do it on my iPad. I have not done this in a while but it was really easy. I next pulled the image into my favorite photo processing app Photogenie. Tons of tools with this app. I killed the color and added some contrast and clarity then added a little vignette and this is what I got.  I did the same with the car photo in color.

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica M9 Photogenie iPad iPad photo app Photogenie photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/winter-with-the-leica-m9 Sun, 23 Feb 2014 13:31:16 GMT
Sony Nex-7 and Leica 90mm Tele Elmarit https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/sony-nex-7-and-leica-90mm-tele-elmarit Sony Nex-7 w/ Leica 90 Tele Elmarit Exposure ISO 800 @ 1/100s f2.8 "Kodak looking for birds"

 

The Leica 90 mm Tele Elmarit is one of those lenses that is always overlooked. In the used lens market it is only worth between $600 and $800 but is really worth a look for you folks that are out there looking for an inexpensive entry into the world of Leica glass. The combination of Leica legacy glass and the Sony Nex-7 is a super combination. I bought my Nex-7 for about $500 used and with the M adapter it totaled about $630. I was not thrilled with the tightness of the Metabones adapter so I am on the lookout for the overpriced Novoflex one. I am borrowing one at the moment and it is superior in every way.

 

So back to the 90 mm Tele Elmarit. As you can see it is tack sharp! On the Nex-7 it is a 135 f2,8 and this shot was made at an incredible 2 feet away wide open. With the M9 things would be different. At wide open the focus peaking works flawlessly and the highlight in Kodak's eyes was a nice bright red (peaking) so how can you miss - the focusing was fast. This is not always the case but it happens quite often. I think the best thing about my experience with the Sony and Leica legacy glass has been that the whole combination is so small and easy to handle. The upside benefit is that you have all the great features of the new digital cameras with Leica glass - what a combo.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Sony Nex-7 golden retriever photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/sony-nex-7-and-leica-90mm-tele-elmarit Fri, 21 Feb 2014 18:02:15 GMT
The Art of Exposure With the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/the-art-of-exposure-with-the-leica-m9 Update 09/03/2014: Since the interest in this blog post has been so high lately I thought I would add to it my experiences of late regarding exposure with the M9. Since this camera uses a center weighted meter you have to be really careful as to where the center of the frame is pointed. I either use my hand as I have stated or I will look around the scene for a place where the exposure matches what I am looking for and lock the exposure. I do this in standard shutter mode and in auto exposure (A setting) by holding down the shutter button down halfway until you see a steady dot show up next to the LED. That's Leica's answer to exposure lock. It works quite well. I use this mode often as I like to see what my exposure is. I also will use auto ISO from time to time and set the camera for the exposure I want. For instance if I want to make sure nothing moves I might go to 1/500 sec or 1/1000 sec and set the aperture at 5.6 as a standard walk around exposure in bright or subdued light. Or inside I'll set it at 1/60 or 1/90 at f2.8 and let the camera figure out what the ISO is. It's fun to experiment with these different methods as you get more familiar with the M9.

 

Leica M9 w/28mm Elmarit f2.8 Exposure ISO 800 1/90s @2.8 "Kodak"

Shooting with my Leica M9 really has been a trip back in time. I am enjoying the experience. One of the several things that folks have complained about in the now five year old Leica M9 is the center weighted metering system. This really is old school but a very effective and accurate metering system. It does make you think however. Get it! This process of thinking through a photograph instead of just depending on the camera to do it all has been very enlightening. So I took myself back to the late seventies and early eighties when this form of metering was all there was. My Canon's only had center weighted, 9% spot and 12% spot. So to fine tune my exposure I did what all photojournalists did back then. Take the meter reading off my hand. In most cases you can simulate what you want by adjusting your hand to the light. So what I do now is stick my hand out there and press the shutter button down half way to lock exposure (aperture priority) or in manual just point the camera at your hand and adjust the exposure manually. I like auto because quite honestly I hate not being able to see any kind of exposure info in the viewfinder. Red dots and triangles just don't cut it Leica, sorry. In auto at least you get to see what the shutter speed is and adjust from there. In Alfred Eisenstaedt's book "The Eye of Eisenstaedt" he says the following about seeing or feeling light; "When I'm on location, I feel the light. Very often I'll put my hand out and turn it, testing different positions to see if the light is favorable or not." Back when I started my career this was standard procedure in low light or high light situations to test the shadows.

 

Even now with my Canon's, I shoot in manual when shooting inside sporting events and I still use the hand method, it works flawlessly. The shot of "Kodak" above was done with the meter not on my hand. Since the dog takes up the whole center of the photo I knew the meter reading would be spot on. This photo is the B&W jpg out of the camera with very little tweaking involved. It is beautiful - worthy of a print on fine art paper. The tones are fabulous. The Leica 28mm Elmarit Version 1 circa 1964 used for this photo is a beautiful and very rare lens since it was built in Wetzlar at the beginning of production. (Red feet numbers, ya baby). 

 

As a photojournalist back in the 70's - 80's we were still using ASA 400 or 800 film. There was no such thing as ISO or auto ISO. So we pretty much knew that an outside exposure in bright sunlight was 1/1000s at f11. And it was kind of fun to try and guess the exposure and then check it with the camera. We would often show up at a night sporting event inside and never having seen the place before guess the exposure within a stop. I'm again having fun doing that and at the same time honing my skills, again!

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Black and White photography Canon Kodak Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/the-art-of-exposure-with-the-leica-m9 Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:30:39 GMT
Leica M9 - Sunrise in Rockport, Winter https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/leica-m9---sunrise-in-rockport-winter Leica M9 w/28 mm Elmarit 2.8 This morning I was up early to bring in some fuel to keep the house warm and the sunrise prompted me to pull out the M9 and make some shots. In this instance it was appropriate to under expose by one stop to bring up the sky. I contemplated using another camera and using HDR but that would be cheating, besides I had no time to fool around with a tripod which was in the car. The white balance was set to auto and it did pretty well. The meter was right on considering it is center weighted. The exposure for this image was ISO 800 1/125 sec. @ 2.8. I started out with a much smaller aperture for depth of field but the shutter speed was to low. I did the post processing in Lightroom but only took out a little blue and added some yellow, then added a little clarity, cropped things a bit and that was it.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 Rockport MA color photography photography rockport. sunrise https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/leica-m9---sunrise-in-rockport-winter Tue, 18 Feb 2014 13:40:24 GMT
Leica on Assignment 1979 Vintage Leica Images https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/leica-on-assignment-1979-vintage-leica-images The assignment back in 1979, was Rockport's Barber Harold Cooney. Harold was well into his 80's back then. The original story was done for North Shore Sunday a regional publication then part of the North Shore Weeklies chain of newspapers. I came in to do the photo essay and a reporter did the story. This was my first real assignment and I made many errors along the way. The editor at the time, (don't remember his name) helped me through the process. I learned that the closeup images of the little things made a big difference in the overall presentation. The Leica M system was such a wonderful tool to learn with as it gave me the ability to work with out whirring motors and large lenses. I was just part of the scene and the cameras and lenses allowed me to blend in. The images below are a sample of images made with the Leica M3, M5, Visoflex 2 with 65mm Elmar macro. The lenses I used were the 21mm Super Angulon f 3.4, 35mm Summicron f2.0 (M2 black, now rare), 50mm Summilux f1.4 (black first edition, also now rare), 65mm Elmar macro on the Visoflex 2. The film of course was Kodak Tri-X processed in my darkroom setup in a walk-in closet. Those were the days! The prints were made on a Leica Focomat 2C with Agfa Brovira paper, of course! 

 

Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4

Harold poses for a portrait.

 

Leica 50 Summilux f1.4

Cooney does one of his classic razor cuts as part of a normal haircut.

 

Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4

It would not be a classic Cooney haircut without an mirror inspection!

 

Leica 65mm Elmar macro The worn handle of the inspection mirror.


Leica 65mm Elmar macro

The stock and trade of any barber his equipment.

 

Leica 65 mm Elmar macro

Cooney's collection of barber's scissors.

 

35 mm Summicron f2. Cooney, at his best with a good laugh.

 

Leica 35mm Summicron f2

Cooney relaxes at the end of the day.

 

Leica 21mm Super Angulon f3.4

Cooney goes over the town's politics with Gordon Hull.

 

Leica 21mm Super Angulon f3.4

Cooney relaxes in his barber shop after a hard day on his feet.


Click here to see a PDF I created back in 2003 with a little bit of a story.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Black and White photography Leica Leica M system Leica Visoflex 2 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/leica-on-assignment-1979-vintage-leica-images Sun, 16 Feb 2014 17:47:50 GMT
Snow Photos With the Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/snow-photos-with-the-leica-m9 Leica M9 w/ 90 mm Tele Elmarit

 

This shot was made with the Leica M9 out the window with the 90mm Tele-Elmarit. The flakes were huge and the wind was blowing it all around - really cool stuff. I have the preview on the Leica M9 set to B&W and it really gives you a good idea what you have for exposure and at the same time a great idea of what you have in black and white. The jpegs this camera puts out when this is set to B&W are really good. The image above however was converted in Photoshop. After doing that I compared the jpg to this conversion and they were real close and that was straight out of the camera. I can't wait to do more shooting with this camera but the weather has been a major problem.

I hope to do more zone focus work with the 28 mm Elmarit soon I will post when I have some.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) B&W photography Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit 2.8 Leica M9 photography https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/snow-photos-with-the-leica-m9 Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:55:09 GMT
Me and my Leica - Impressions of the M9 #1 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/me-and-my-leica---impressions-of-the-m9 Leica M9 w/28mm Elmarit 2.8 Exposure ISO 800 1/125 @ f2.8  - "Kodak"                                                                                                                 

This camera is now five years old but to me its brand new. So the technology is really old. I have been a big Canon fan for my whole career and still own a full high end Canon set up. But my career started with the Leica M3 and M5. So the M9 is like coming home and it feels good. I do have to say it has taken some getting used to as I am used to my Canon's being so technically perfect. I am able to do so much with them that I don't have to think much when making images. I call it effortless photography and the results are spectacular. The lenses are so sharp that the images are really stunning. 

But Leica was doing that in the sixties! The images I was making back in 1979 were really super. Tack sharp with just the right amount of contrast and the bokeh was just wow at wide open. I hope to pull some files of B&W negs I scanned from back then and post them here. You have all read about how quirky the M9 can be and of course the pundits are correct it does have some issues. I tend to look beyond all that and concentrate on making great images like I used to with my old cameras. I set my ISO and go about it like I was shooting film. Set my shutter speed for the conditions and let the aperture fall where it may often times wide open!  As a photojournalist that's how I shoot. With the M9 I shoot slower as the buffer fills quickly, that's a good thing, I have to think. I have the screen review turned off and set to B&W so when I do want to call it up to check exposure it's like shooting in the old days in black and white. The color screen on the M9 is pretty bad so what's the use of looking at a bad representations of what I shot. That being said if I'm shooting color I need to check the white balance if things are critical. Most times I can tell from the black and white preview if the exposure is right and since I like to convert to black and white most of the time it works out great.

I have not had a chance to shoot much with the M9 yet as the weather has been pretty lousy around here, to much snow! This week I'll be using the camera on assignment following a politician for the day, it should be fun. I'll post some shots Weds. Or Thurs. I have tons of shots of my dog, Kodak, I'll have to add one to this post tomorrow. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Kodak Leica Leica 28mm Elmarit Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/me-and-my-leica---impressions-of-the-m9 Tue, 11 Feb 2014 04:09:25 GMT
First Images Leica M9, Lessons Learned https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/first-images-leica-m9-lessons-learned shakes-1Leica M9 w/Leica 28mm f2.8

Exposure ISO 1600 1/30 sec. @ f4

Well the Leica M9 showed up today and introduced me to a whole new way of thinking. Maybe not new, but I have not done it this way for a very long time. The camera itself posed some interesting problems that I knew about before I purchased the camera. The technology is really old, 2009. The rear LCD is awful so instead of checking color I turned it B&W so I could just check focus and lighting. The lens I was using was the 28 mm Elmarit 2.8 which is pretty old itself. So old in fact that there is no way for the lens to push the brightlines out to 28 mm because when this lens was made there was no 28 mm brightline on the M3 or M5 so you used an external viewfinder. So I had to use the preview lever for the brightlines to see what I was getting.  There will be more to come on this now ancient camera but one that a lot of folks will be picking up because they have Leica glass and don't want to spend the $7000 for the new M. These images are from a play rehearsal in Rockoprt. More images below. 

shakes-3Leica M9 w/ 28mm Elmarit 2.8

Exposure ISO 1600 1/30 sec. at 3.4

shakes-2Leica M9 w/Leica 28mm Elmarit f2.8

Exposure ISO 1600 1/25 sec. @ f4

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M9 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/first-images-leica-m9-lessons-learned Wed, 05 Feb 2014 01:43:13 GMT
Cape Ann Museum - Renovation https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/cape-ann-museum---renovation CAM-2943Sony Nex-7 w/ Leica Summicron 35mm f2

Exposure ISO 1600 1/20 @ 5.6

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Cape Ann Museum as it is being renovated. This shot was made in a third floor gallery which has these giant windows overlooking Gloucester City Hall and it's environs. Most of the time I was shooting away with the Canon gear but every once and while I was able to make a shot that lent itself to the Sony/Leica combo. This shot, with the snow falling outside gave me an interesting photo which I new was a B&W right from the start. When I used auto correct in Lightroom with the image in color it opened up the shadows nicely. I then put it into Silver Efex Pro and added one of their presets which gave me the look I wanted. I then brought it back into Lightroom and vignetted the edges slightly.

 

CAM-2942Sony Nex-7 w/ Leica 35mm f2

Exposure ISO 1600 1/20 @ 5.6

I call this image "Our Lady and Freznel". This was also made at the Cape Ann Museum where everything had been moved into this space where the giant freznel lens from Thacher's Island is stored along with the old statue from the Our Lady of Good Voyage Church in Gloucester. The juxtapostion of the lens with the statue and all the covered stored items just caught my eye. This image was also brought into Silver Efex Pro and converted.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Leica Lightroom Silver Efex Pro Sony Nex-7 gloucester https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/cape-ann-museum---renovation Tue, 04 Feb 2014 13:01:07 GMT
Essex Shipbuilding Museum, working on the Lewis Story #2 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/essex-shipbuilding-museum-2 story-2885Abstract with Sony Nex-7 w/ Leica 50 mm f1.4

Exposure ISO 1600 1/250 @ 1.4

 

This past weekend I went over to the Essex Shipbuilding Museum and made some more shots of volunteers working on the Lewis Story with the Sony Nex-7 and the Leica 35 and 50. This time I looked around for some interesting images around the shop, here is one of them that just jumped out at me. The screen is tack sharp and at ISO 1600 gives a great look in B&W. I also brought the Canon 5D Mk3 with the Canon 16-35 2.8L with me for this shoot. I am missing any type of wide angle shots with my Nex-7 rig and I really needed the super wide for close quarters shooting. I got some cool stuff. See the images below.

story-9813Canon 5D Mk3 with Canon 16-35 2.8L

Exposure ISO 2000 1/200 @ f8

story-9846Canon 5D Mk3 w/ 16-35 2.8L

Exposure ISO 100 1/250 @ 5.0

story-9805Canon 5D Mk3 w/ Canon 16-35 2.8L

Exposure ISO 2000 1/100 @ f4

 

I am thrilled with the B&W conversions of the three wide angle images. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro for the conversions. I still have some work to do on the vertical image, the guys face is a little light for me. This really gave me the wide angle images I needed. Using my Canon 5D Mk3 was so easy because I use this camera every day for my job. It is starting to turn into a mindless exercise as the camera does a superior job of exposure and focus so all I have to do is frame the shot and rip off a few frames. I love it. But it is one heavy beast with the 16-35 and battery grip on it. Shooting with the Nex-7 has been more of a challenge and frankly takes more work using my Leica lenses. If I were using Sony lenses it would be just as easy as the Canon. Now for the big surprise. My new (to me) Leica M9 will show up on Tuesday and I will be back with my wide angle lenses again. I can't wait to use my Leica 21 mm Super Angulon 3.4. It will be perfect for this project!

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 16-35 2.8L Canon 5D Mk3 Essex Essex Shipbuilding Museum Leica Sony Nex-7 schooners https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/2/essex-shipbuilding-museum-2 Mon, 03 Feb 2014 02:11:25 GMT
Sony Nex-7 with Leica M Lenses Rolling Review #4 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/sony-nex-7-with-leica-m-lenses-rolling-review-4 Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 35mm Summicron f2Play rehearsal, low contrasty light test.

 

I am always looking for ways to challenge myself and the equipment I am using so when the opportunity arose to shoot some test shots with the Sony/Leica combo I gave it a whirl. I also shot this rehearsal with my Canon 5d Mk3 and the 24-70 but at a much higher ISO. The Sony/Leica combo surprised me a bit in two ways. First I was literally shooting in the dark with the shot above. The only light in the place was directed on the scene. The Sony made it pretty easy focusing as I used the focus assist to zoom in on the kid in the middle, awesome. If I'm not mistaken, since the camera only records the ISO, which was 1600, this was shot at 1/60 at f4. Everything worked really well and the exposure for the faces was good. I also used the spot meter to get the exposure right. Secondly, the image is not really great when blown up to 100%. You can see some fringing and halo things going on in the highlights around the girls faces. The image you see here is srgb, in the Adobe rgb version you can see more shadow detail in the shirt of the woman playing the piano. I opened this up a bit in Photoshop with the shadow adjustment tool but this is really close to what I experienced. All in all for such a tough situation the camera and lens combo worked out pretty good. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Leica Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/sony-nex-7-with-leica-m-lenses-rolling-review-4 Wed, 29 Jan 2014 17:20:52 GMT
Sony Nex-7 with Leica glass rolling review part #3 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/sony-nex-7-with-leica-glass-rolling-review-part-3

I made this photo on Saturday while at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. Dave was happily making shots with his digital camera of his friends at the meeting. So I thought it would be fun to make some shots of him. By the way this image is razor sharp. The Leica Summicron 35 f2 Vers.1  was perfect. I decided to make some changes to the setup of the Nex-7 so I could more easily check focus and exposure. 

Here's what I did - I changed the focus assist to the soft button located with the AF/MF-AEL switch. It's in a great location for your thumb to activate it. Since I bought the camera used I'm not sure the previous location (the soft button below the wheel) was the default. When I used it in that location  the focus assist stayed on until you pushed the shutter button. With the location at the AF/MF switch you have to keep your thumb on the button for it to stay on. I still have some experimentation to do so it may just be a menu adjustment. 

The other thing I did was to move the selection of light meter setup (center, spot, multi) to the right side of the wheel. It's a great location when you need it quickly. You just push on the right side of the wheel with your thumb and turn the wheel to select. It works great for those times when you want to get an accurate meter reading on one area instead of using the exp. compensation dial.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Essex Shipbuilding Museum Leica Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/sony-nex-7-with-leica-glass-rolling-review-part-3 Mon, 27 Jan 2014 17:21:19 GMT
Working on the Chebacco schooner Lewis Story https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/essex-shipbuilding-museum---working-on-the-louis-story chebacco-2736chebacco-2736 Fritz uses a heat gun to soften up the paint before removing it with a putty knife.

 

chebacco-2732chebacco-2732 More heat gun work to remove the paint.

 

chebacco-2668chebacco-2668 Volunteer Len Burgess looks over the hull of the Lewis Story where the paint has been removed.

 

I had a great morning hanging with the gang at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. After a meeting of volunteers some of the crew went over to the shed to help do maintenance work on the Louis Story a working schooner built by Harold Burnham. These are just a few shots made with the Sony Nex-7 and two different Leica lenses. The 35mm Summicron f2. and the Leica 50mm Summilux f1.4. Both lenses worked really great. I am still learning the ins and outs of focusing with these lenses as the fringing gets tricky at times. You can see all the images from this shoot here. Or Click the slideshow below.

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Essex Essex MA Leica Sony Nex-7 schooner schooners https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/essex-shipbuilding-museum---working-on-the-louis-story Sat, 25 Jan 2014 22:24:20 GMT
The Leica 35mm Summicron f2 Made by Leitz Canada circa 1959 vers.1 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/the-joy-of-focusing-yourself Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 35mm Summicron f2. Color version

 

Black and White conversion

 

 

This image was made wide open at f2 with the Leica 35mm Summicron version 1 and it is so sharp! This lens was made around 1959 by Leitz Canada and is very rare. The color here does not do this image justice as it was shot in the Adobe rgb color space and converted to srgb. I tried to bring it back as best I could.

 

This image was pure luck. I just happened to hit the shutter button as the woman on the right walked into the frame. I kind of like it.

 

Well the experiment is going really well. I have discovered my photographic identity again and get excited to go out and use this new new/old tool. Yesterday's political assignment was fun just wandering around looking for interesting situations that might bring a great moment. I did use two of the images in the previous post to go online and in the paper. Most of the job was done with my high end Canon gear. Which at this point just seems like it does not take much skill beyond pointing the camera in the right direction and pushing the button. Yes, you need to be aware of the ISO and shutter speed. Which for this shoot was ISO 4000 with the Canon's. The images were shot at 1/160 and 1/100 at 2.8 or 3.2. The images like the one done with the Sony above were done at ISO 1600 at between 1/100 and 1/125 at f2.

 

With my big cameras the lady above would have noticed my taking here photo not because of the cameras motor drive noise (the Canon 5d M3 in single silent is incredible) it was pretty noisy in the hall, but because of the huge camera. The Sony is so small and silent that it makes for a great street camera. If I had used my Leica 90mm it would have been even better because I could have picked out people in the crowd as the Sony 1.5 crop makes it a 135. I just did not have time to use two lenses.

 

I will be creating a gallery of all these images under the Projects tab above. I will be doing an ongoing project on Politics for the near future. I am also looking forward to shooting another personal project on volunteer shipwrights working on restoring a small schooner over at the Essex Ship Building Museum. Please keep checking back.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Leica Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/the-joy-of-focusing-yourself Fri, 24 Jan 2014 16:23:31 GMT
On Assignment with the Sony Nex-7 and Leica glass https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/on-assignment-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-leica-glass Supporters wait for their candidate to show up - everyone is doing something different. Notice the two guys at the right looking at a cell phone, the two women having a great conversation in the middle, this guy in the foreground giving his opinion and the lady to the left having a quite time amongst all the noise.

 

Serious conversations were going on everywhere. Wow this image is tack sharp at f2.0.

 

The candidate shows up and makes his speech. There is a little bit of a crop here and a little straightening but not much else.

 

The candidate meets with his supporters. I just love this image the light is awesome. Notice one of my pj friends shooting with the Canon box right behind the ladies head, he was photographing the candidate.

 

How dare you interrupt my time with the candidate! I just love the look on this ladies face - "hey I was talking with him!"

 

The Press finally get their time with the candidate. The lighting here is very cool.

 

This assignment was a lot of fun using the Sony Nex-7 and Leica 35mm Summicron f2.0. Of course I shot most of the event with my Canon 5D Mk3 and Canon 7D with the 24-70 and the 70-200 for the paper. These photos with the Sony were a real bonus. Plus they were fun to make. The camera is so quite people have no idea what you are up to. Great for street shooting or crowd shooting either way I had a blast.

I never really used a 50mm lens much. I always thought it was kind of boring. The Leica 35 on the Nex-7 makes it a 52.5mm. I found that I could have shot the whole event with just that camera if I had really worked at it. Back to the old days when I enjoyed what I do.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 7d Canon Leica Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/on-assignment-with-the-sony-nex-7-and-leica-glass Thu, 23 Jan 2014 22:58:30 GMT
Kodak on Squirrel Patrol - Nex-7 Images https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/kodak-on-squirrel-patrol---nex-7-images Sony Nex-7 w/ Leitz Summicron 35mm f2.0 My Golden Retriever, Kodak, surveys the back yard looking for squirrels in 6 degree weather. The exposure for this image was right on the button, the Nex-7 did a marvelous job of coming up with the exposure even with all the snow and shadows. It converted over to a wonderful B&W. The exposure was 1/250 at f5.6 at ISO 100. I was using my usual method of auto ISO and shutter priority while setting the f stop myself on the Leica 35.

Sony Nex-7 w/Leitz Summicron 35mm f2.0 This shot of Kodak relaxing with an eye out the window looking for birds shows the complete control you can get over depth of field using the lens wide open. This image was shot with the Leica Summicron 35mm at f2.0 Vers. 1 with a shutter speed of 1/250 sec and the ISO at 640. The sensor on the Nex-7 is top notch as it gave me tons of information in the shadow areas so I could pull up his left eye. Really amazing for such a small sensor. To check out all my Nex-7 images with Leica glass here.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Cape Ann Golden Retriever Kodak Leica Leica 35mm Summicron f2 Rockport MA Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/kodak-on-squirrel-patrol---nex-7-images Thu, 23 Jan 2014 16:21:47 GMT
Snow and More Snow https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/snow-and-more-snow Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 35mm f2 ISO 12800 at f2

Last night as I drove home in near blizzard conditions a hauled out the Nex-7 to see if I could get some cool shots. As you can see the shutter speed was pretty slow but it was pretty dark. For small images on a computer screen the resolution is not to bad. I was surprised by the results. The focus was set to infinity hoping to get as much in focus as possible. To bad the shutter speed was to slow.

Sony Nex-7 w/Leica 35 f2.0 at ISO 12,800

As I got closer to home there was more snow on the road and as I was going slow so I tried to focus on the car in back of me through my rear view mirror. I was very rushed as you can image and I was trying to do it with the camera in Live View. What a pain trying to see what was fringed and what was not in about 15 sec. Kind of interesting but does not quite hit the mark. In hindsight I probably would have been able to make a better shot with my Canon G15 as the ISO goes up to 12800. Then with the auto focus and easier control of the shutter speed it just would have been faster and more accurate. Fun but a little dangerous.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon G15 Cape Ann Leica Leica Summicron 35mm f2.0 Rockport MA Sony Nex-7 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/snow-and-more-snow Wed, 22 Jan 2014 15:03:52 GMT
Snow flakes the size of cars - well maybe https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/winter-snow-in-forest

A drizzly day turned into this winter wonderland of snow as the temperature started coming down unexpectedly this last Sat. I really wanted to show how big the flakes were and the three dimensionality of the scene. It was all B&W anyway so I converted it. This shot was made at ISO 1600 at 1/160 of a sec. at f8. The light was starting to come down which made for the high ISO. The Nex-7 and the Leica 50 f1.4 performed wonderfully. Since I have the fringing turned up to high it was tough to figure out what was sharp and what was not. At this distance and at f8 I was looking to get as much in focus as I could. Locking the lens at infinity was not going to do the trick as I wanted the foreground and the large trees to be as sharp as possible. I think it worked out. I made a print on Epson Cold Press Natural which is really nice.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Epson Cold Press Natural Rockport Rockport MA Sony Sony Nex-7 Sony Nex-7 Leica legacy M lenses https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/winter-snow-in-forest Mon, 20 Jan 2014 16:25:50 GMT
Sony Nex-7 with Leica legacy M lenses rolling review #2 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/sony-nex-7-with-leica-legacy-m-lenses-rolling-review-2 Sony Nex-7 and Leica glass rolling review #2The Sony Nex-7 with a collection of Leica glass.

Sony Nex-7 with Leica 35 f2.0 Vers.1 , 50 f1.4 Vers. 1 and 90 f2.8 Tele-Elmarit

 

This morning I went out to shoot some more test shots on a really flat light day - fog. I headed over to Pigeon Cove in Rockport and was able to make some nice images that had no focusing issues.

 

This was my setup:

Lenses to test - 35, 50, 135

I set the camera up on Shutter Priority, Auto ISO

This gave me the opportunity to use the full extent of the two dials at the right on the back of the camera. The left control dial of the two controls shutter speed, the right one controls exp. compensation and the camera controls ISO very cool. You just have to be aware of what is going on with the ISO. You may inadvertently be shooting at a high ISO without meaning to. Auto ISO only goes up to 1600. On manual it goes up to a much higher value.

 

Nex-7 with Leica 50 f1.4

 

Today I really wanted to test out my Leica 135 f4.0. I have never used this lens much and wanted to give it a whirl. Wow - it really is a nice piece of glass. I pumped up the red fringing to high and started doing some shooting with the lens of some lobster boats going out for the day. I was very careful with the focus making sure the red fringing was the heaviest on the area I wanted in focus. Below is one of these shots.

 

Leica Tele-Elmar 135 f4.0 Sony Nex-7 with Leica Tele-Elmar 135mm f4.0, 35mm equiv. 202.5mm

 

Here is one thing I discovered along the way which has been helpful. Plenty of folks have complained about the video button saying that it accidentally can be activated. This is true but it will only start video recording if the button is turned on in the menu. When it is turned off it displays a warning saying shooting video is not allowed. Then you just press the shutter button and it goes away.

 

The setup I used, mentioned above really helped. I was able to concentrate on shooting and not worrying what the ISO was. For street shooting this would be a great tool. I hope to do some of that for this review in the future. Right now I'm just getting used to the camera and focusing. I must say it is real fast after you get it down.

Here is another shot of a lobsterman's coils of rope in storage.

 

Sony Nex-7 and Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 Sony Nex-7 with Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4, 35mm equiv. 75mm

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M legacy lenses Sony Nex-7 Sony Nex-7 and Leica legacy m lenses https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/sony-nex-7-with-leica-legacy-m-lenses-rolling-review-2 Thu, 16 Jan 2014 16:32:14 GMT
Sony Nex-7 with Leica legacy M lenses rolling review #1 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/sony-nex-7-with-leica-legacy-m-lenses-rolling-review-1 Sony Nex-7 Metabones Leica M - E mount adapter and Leica Summicron 35mm F2Leitz Summicron 35 mm F2.0 mounted on the Sony Nex-7 with the Metabones Leica M - E mount adapter. The adapter has proved to be very tight with this lens. Sony Nex-7, Metabones Leica M - E mount adapter, and Leica Summicron 35mm F2 Vers.1

Leica Summilux 50mm f 1.4 Vers.1 = 75mm f1.4 with the 1.5 sensor crop

Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm F2.8 = 135mm f2.8 with the 1.5 sensor crop

Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm F2.8 = 135 f2.8 with the 1.5 sensor crop

Leica Summicron 35mm f2.0 Vers. 1 = 52.5mm f2.0 with the 1.5 sensor crop

Leica Summicron 35mm f2.0 Vers. 1 = 52.5mm f2.0 with the 1.5 sensor crop

 

Rolling Review -

This is the first post in what I hope will be a long series of blog posts about my experiences with the Sony Nex-7 and legacy Leica M lenses which were part of my fathers collection in the early 70's. I am using the Metabones Leica M mount to Sony E mount adapter. UPDATE: I have since purchased a used Novoflex which is 100% better in both construction and use. I will not be trying to rehash what folks have been writing about for the last two years but to give you my honest opinion of my experiences with the equipment. The images above are some basic shots of Rockport Harbor and the surrounding area and are just test shots and not meant to be "art". They are all jpegs that have gone through Photoshop, toned or converted to B&W, resized, and sharpened a bit. You will not see any pixel peeping shots of 100% blow ups - it's not my style. I'll let the pixel peepers do that.

 

First off, I have to tell you that the Nex-7 is a joy to work with. As much as I love my rangefinders I don't shoot film any more and this camera gives me the look and feel of those wonderful Leica bodies. It's small, hangs around my neck like my M3 and feels good in my hands. Right off the bat I was shooting tons of frames using the camera in full manual and using the OLED to focus with using the wonderful fringing feature. A couple of times I employed the magnification feature to focus on a specific area which was a bit tricky. If you are using a medium telephoto like the 90 it gets a bit jumpy.

 

The first problem that I ran into was with the Metabones adapter. My 35mm went on the adapter very tightly. It seems to be getting better but is still really tight. I try not to force things so it was hard getting it onto the adapter. The 50 mm was much easier and the 90 mm was somewhat in between. Initially this really bothered me as I really don't want to do any damage to my lenses. I am on the alert for the much more expensive Novoflex M mount to E adapter. Update: I now own a Novoflex which is much better. I can not recommend the Metabones as it is too much of a tight fit.

 

Now for the big disappointment! I was dying to use my Leica 21mm f3.4 Super Angulon, my favorite lens of all time. The combination of the Metabones adapter and this lens did not work on the Nex-7. The lens recedes to far into the camera body and it touches the plastic housing around the sensor. What a problem - I'm still looking for a solution. If it prevails I might have to opt for the Sony 16 f2.8 which is a 24mm in 35mm terms. UPDATE: I have since purchased the 20mm 2.8 which is a pretty nice little pancake lens. I have not used it much and am in the process of doing more real world testing with it. Here are two blog posts about the Sony 20mm f2,8 pancake lens here and here.

 

One of the things I enjoyed was to have two other lenses in my coat pockets. With my really large Canon L glass this is not possible. I felt transported back to my formative days shooting with the Leica M3 and M5. Since I have no zoom, moving myself to re-frame the shot, focusing the lens and adjusting the exposure was pure heaven. It brought me back to my roots and what I really love about photography. With the new cameras any idiot can point the thing on auto and come up with something decent. In the old days it was all you not the camera.

 

Update: All of the images I shot today were also shot in Sony raw. I have run them all through Lightroom 4 and have noticed that some are not quite as sharp as I would like. I know it must have something to do with how I am focusing the camera. There seems to be no reason for some of them to be out as there was no movement on my part and the shutter speed was high. So tomorrow I am going to be really careful when focusing. I like the fringing of what is sharp but when you use a rangefinder you know when it's in focus when the two images combine. When using this camera on manual you can adjust everything so you can focus at f16 and still see what's going on but the fringing hits most everything. So it's a bit difficult to figure out. I will try to be more organized with my thoughts as well not just ramble on about my experiences. I am going to shoot with the 135 f4.0 tomorrow as well. I can't wait to see what happens.

 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Leica Leica M legacy lenses Sony Nex-7 Sony Nex-7 and Leica legacy m lenses https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/sony-nex-7-with-leica-legacy-m-lenses-rolling-review-1 Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:25:23 GMT
John Dominis - Life Photojournalist Dead at 92 - Thanks for the inspiration! https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/john-dominis---life-photojournalist-dead-at-92

John Dominis was a staff photographer at Life Magazine for 25 years and was one of their most versatile image makers. Click here or on the image above to go to theTime/Life web page to see some of his most iconic images.

As a young photographer growing up the images Dominis made for Life helped me forge my photographic sense of place. His images of scenics, celebrities, wildlife, sports, and war were some of the best images of the 60's, 70's and 80's. Now, as a 30 year veteran photojournalist I can see a little of his vision in my images from time to time. Thanks John for inspiring me to a great career. 

Check out John Dominis's incredible photo essay War on Poverty: Portraits From Appalachian Battleground 1964. Click here to view

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) John Dominis John Dominis Life Magazine photographer Life Magazine https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/john-dominis---life-photojournalist-dead-at-92 Tue, 07 Jan 2014 20:50:26 GMT
Fences and Bamboo Rockport, MA https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/fences-and-bamboo

I have been thinking of shooting this scene for a long time. So after thinking about it for a couple of years I finally did it. I made this shot on a tripod with the 5D Mk3 and the 70-200. I love the sweep of the fence and the shoots of bamboo with the leaves of growth at the top of the frame. The colors are muted except for the white fence which will make a great B&W. I'm not much of a high color guy since I worked in the newspaper industry for so long making B&W prints. I have several different views of this scene which have a different feel. The leaves at the top make this photo for me.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon canon 5D mark 3 rockport ma https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2014/1/fences-and-bamboo Wed, 01 Jan 2014 16:08:51 GMT
Frozen Water - like glass https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/12/frozen-water---like-marbles

This past spring I did some experimenting freezing water with shutter speed. The new ISO ranges of modern cameras gives us the opportunity to shoot at really high ISO's with no loss in quality. So I decided to make some shots at ISO 2000 in bright sunlight at 1/2000 of sec at f11. This was a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the water and for the most part give me enough depth of field for a really cool looking image. My only problem was trying to figure out which one I liked best so I included four in this post. I like all of them for different reasons they remind me of glass. A really cool experiment done with the Canon 5D Mk3 and the Canon 70-200 lens. I'm not sure what other folks reaction will be so let me know what you think.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) canon canon 5D Mk3 high shutter speed water https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/12/frozen-water---like-marbles Tue, 31 Dec 2013 23:03:05 GMT
Halibut Point State Park in Snow https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/12/halibut-point-state-park-in-snow

Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, MA is a magical place at any time of year. But it takes on an almost ethereal quality when it snows. Last year, after a nice sticky 3" snowfall I ventured out to see what I could find. I was not disappointed. Everything was covered including the twines above. I made different shots as the light played across them. I love the light in this particular image. This shot reminds me of white chocolate covered pretzels. Another shot, of branches reaching out toward a quarry was this years holiday card. I called it snow coral because it reminded me of sea coral. I was able to make several pleasing shots including a nice pano of the main quarry. I have a print of it which is 14" x 50" above my kitchen sliding door. I made this shot with the Canon 5D MK 3 and the 24-70 f2.8 L lens at 24mm. The exposure was 1/640 sec at ISO 400 at f 10.

Feel free to like this post on Facebook! Just press the tag in the upper right corner above the photo.

HAPPY HOLIDAY'S

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Canon 5D Mk 3 Halibut Point State Park rockport ma https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/12/halibut-point-state-park-in-snow Wed, 18 Dec 2013 01:00:51 GMT
Building a Triptych - The Cape Ann Tool Company https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/11/building-a-triptych---the-cape-ann-tool-company  

The other day I had a conversation with one of my sons who lives in Oregon. He really wanted a large image for the wall of his apartment. The problem is my printer is only a 24" printer. My wife suggested that I try a triptych to get the size up to about 60". Great idea! Now how do I do it. I am able to print images on canvas that are 20" x 30" so it seemed a pretty easy task to find a photo they liked and blow it up to 30" x 60". I found this great shot of the Tool Co. taken in 2010 with my G11. It's nice and sharp but with some slight barrel distortion. The color version has no real color in it to speak of and when I made the shot I was thinking B&W all the way. 

I have the image in my Lightroom library so I pulled it up and started working on it in LR. The B&W version I was getting did not give me what I saw so I used Silver Efex Pro 2 to get the effect above. I did a slight selenium tone which I think is kind of nice. I then used Perfect Resize to enlarge the image to 30"x60". The next trick was to make three even panels of this image. So I moved the image over to Photoshop and pulled up the ruler so I could figure where 20" and 40" was. I then used the crop tool and set it to 20"x30" and cropped the panels out and saving them separately. After doing this I pulled them back into LR to use Perfect Resize again to make the reflect wraps on the edges on the panels. Done. All I need to do now is print them and wrap them onto the stretcher bars.

Since all of this will be done on canvas I needed to run a test to see what B&W will look like printed on glossy canvas. The image above is the test print I used. This was done by copying and pasting the panels into a new Photoshop document. Then, since the panels are huge, sizing them down so they fit into the document well. The print came out beautifully. The only thing I will miss is the selenium tone as I will be printing in Advanced B&W mode in my printer. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) canon canon g11 cape ann tool g11 lightroom perfect resize rockport silver efex pro2 triptych https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/11/building-a-triptych---the-cape-ann-tool-company Fri, 15 Nov 2013 21:06:48 GMT
Fall Colors with the iPhone 4S https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/11/fall-colors-with-the-iphone-4s

This shot was made with the Otterbox case on over in Marblehead last week.

Fall colors with the iPhone 4sShooting with the iPhone can be a challenge sometimes. When the light is low the camera still tries to shoot at a low ISO. In this case it was ISO 80. My exposure was therefore still kind of sketchy at 1/25th sec at 2.4

This shot of my backyard was made with the iPhone 4s. It was then put into Lightroom 4 for post processing. This rendering is very close to what I saw and remember. It did not take a lot of tweeking to get it to this point. I did crop out some unwanted items on the right and from the bottom but this is pretty much as I saw it. Most people don't realize that to get really good images out of your phone you will need to take it out of the case that you have it in. I took mine out of the Otterbox case so that the clean lens would have a chance of making a good image. Most folks have their phone in their pocket or purse and the outside can get really dirty and creating unwanted fuzziness in the image. Most iPhone apps do a pretty good job of making the images look better but they tend to overdo it a bit. I use Camera+ which has some neat features to it when it comes to shooting and editing in the camera app.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Camera+ Camera+ app Rockport iPhone iPhone 4s https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/11/fall-colors-with-the-iphone-4s Sun, 03 Nov 2013 21:42:06 GMT
Pulling Skiff, Annisquam 2013 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/10/pulling-skiff-annisquam-2013 pulling skiff autumn Pulling Skiff

This past weekend I was attending an Arts and Crafts show in Annisquam. Autumn is coming along nicely around Lobster Cove and this pulling skiff was resting comfortably at her mooring. The light was beautiful and this shot presented itself. I used the 300 F2.8 to make this shot with the Canon 5D Mk3 it has such a painterly look to it and will look wonderful on canvas. The large print I have at home is beautiful.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) annisquam gloucester lobster cove pulling skiff https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/10/pulling-skiff-annisquam-2013 Tue, 15 Oct 2013 18:31:00 GMT
Schooners Sailing in Gloucester Harbor https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/8/adventure-back-sailing-again schoonerfest-20 This past weekend the schooner Adventure was out sailing around Gloucester Harbor and that reminded me of this image of the schooner Virginia. This photo was made a number of years ago during the parade of sail in Gloucester Harbor before the schooner race. You can just make out Fame and the Lewis Story (both built by Harold Burnham of Essex) to the right of her. It was a beautiful day with the wind blowing a good 12 knots and the sails were full everywhere.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) gloucester sailing schooner virginia schooners https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/8/adventure-back-sailing-again Fri, 16 Aug 2013 15:51:30 GMT
Shaftsbury VT Cemetery https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/7/shraftsbury-vt-cemetery This past weekend I was up in Vermont in the Bennington area and this cemetery just jumped right out at me. I did not have my gear with me only a Canon G15. I decided I wanted to experiment with the IPhone 4s and the Camera+ app. Normally I would have waited until later in the afternoon to shoot this but the wedding I was going to was later in the day. I'll tell you, looking at a screen on the back of a phone is a real pain in the neck when the sun is partially on it. The Camera+ app is great as it allows you to split focus and exposure. In this case I focused on the second grave stone in and made the overall exposure to include some of the sky. It worked great. Then I brought the image into the apps edit mode and used the very cool Clarify tool. This added contrast and zipped the image up a ton. Ya the grass is a little green and the sky a little too blue but hey it looks cool. What it really looks like is an HDR image.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Camera+ Camera+ iPhone app https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/7/shraftsbury-vt-cemetery Tue, 30 Jul 2013 16:56:39 GMT
Rainbow for the Ages https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/7/rainbow-for-the-ages On the same voyage aboard the Ardelle that I made the image in the blog post that precedes this one, this magnificent rainbow appeared all over the North Shore. Since I was out on the water in Gloucester Harbor the opportunities were endless for some really cool photos. I could not resist shooting the rainbow ending at Eastern Point Light. This shot was made with the Canon 7D and the 70-200.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Ardelle Canon 7D gloucester rainbow https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/7/rainbow-for-the-ages Thu, 18 Jul 2013 20:07:31 GMT
Schooners Sail Into the Sun https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/7/schooners-sail-into-the-sun A couple of weeks ago I was invited to sail in a schooner challenge out in Gloucester Harbor. If you know me at all you know I said yes before the invitee finished his sentence. The schooners Thomas E. Lannon and Ardelle were going to have a fun race around Gloucester Harbor in the late afternoon, early evening. I grabbed my trusty Canon 1D Mk2 with the 16-35 and the Canon 7D with the 70-200 and headed to Gloucester. The weather was kind of iffy with thunder storms coming through but I figured, hey, we are sailors, we sail in anything. We waited inside until the worst of the weather passed and headed out for the contest with a dark sky but with no thunderstorms coming in. A light sprinkle was present during the first leg of the race but the sun burst through underneath the dark clouds at just the right moment for the photograph above. The light rain added some spots on my lens when I shot into the sun but I think they add to it. This was made with the 16-35 at 16mm with the exposure at 1000 of a sec at f10 at ISO 1000.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/7/schooners-sail-into-the-sun Tue, 09 Jul 2013 19:26:29 GMT
Along the Waterfront on a Rainy Morning https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/5/along-the-waterfront-on-a-rainy-morning This morning I was down on the waterfront at Rose's Marine in Gloucester for the launch of the city's new launch. As I was walking down to the event I  couldn't help but notice this welder working on the hull of a fishing boat up on dry dock after two years in the water. This image has a nice simplicity about it that drew me to it. I have been looking for images with strong design elements and this fits the bill. The white line leads you into the bright light of the torch or the other way around the torch draws you in and the white line takes you out. But it's fun also to look at all the other details in the image. The bait buckets, the lift etc.

I made this shot using my Canon 7D with the 70-200 f2.8 at ISO 400. The exposure was 1/400 sec at 6.3.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/5/along-the-waterfront-on-a-rainy-morning Thu, 09 May 2013 13:46:41 GMT
Maine Media College MFA Retreat https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/5/maine-media-college-mfa-retreat This past week I was up at the Maine Media College MFA retreat auditing the course. It was a great experience that changed my whole way of looking at my photography. As a photojournalist only a few feature photographs are classified in my mind as art so making the distinction between just a photograph and art (my art) was a transition I needed to make. I am now prepared to explore my photographic art to a whole new level and am willing to make the commitment to an MFA program. At this point in my career I need to go to another level with my photography and discover more about myself. It will be an interesting journey.

The shot above was made in Bermuda with my G15. While in Bermuda I started to look at things differently and we walked by this scene every morning while we were there. I had to lay down on the pavement in the driveway to make this shot but it was worth it. I have a number of shots that I like from this trip but this has to be one of my favorite shots.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) G15 bermuda canon https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/5/maine-media-college-mfa-retreat Wed, 08 May 2013 19:43:15 GMT
Wharf Abstract #1 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/5/wharf-abstract-1 gloucester wharf abstract #1

Today the seacoast was awash with fog that moved in during the early evening. As I sat in traffic watching the fog slowly slide in I hoped for an opportunity to make a great shot. I headed over to East Gloucester where I thought I might be able to find some contrast for a really cool shot involving the fog. What I found was this - I was blown away by the contrast of the nearly black old pilings and the white sky filled with fog. The sun would peek through once and a while and I waited for it to come out enough to give me a near white foreground. As I made this shot I just loved the way the water looked with all sorts of different shades of gray. I never ever considered this as a color image and this is exactly how I envisioned it. I can't wait to print it on some Epson Exhibition Fiber paper. This one is headed for the Rockport Art Association summer show in June. The shot was made with the Canon 5D Mark 3 with the 200 f2.8 and set at 1/320 sec at f16 at ISO 400.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 5d canon fog gloucester mark3 wharf https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/5/wharf-abstract-1 Tue, 07 May 2013 00:52:57 GMT
More Photos From Bermuda https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/more-photos-from-bermuda These are just a couple of images from St. George's before the camera died and we had to go into Hamilton and find a charger for he battery.

 

 

 

I made this shot from our balcony at sunrise with the PL filter on and this is just a little saturated with auto correct.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/more-photos-from-bermuda Tue, 23 Apr 2013 21:23:31 GMT
Incredible Bermuda https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/incredible-bermuda Sunset was kind of disappointing but I managed to get something out of it.

The light was really interesting on this plant and the posts.

 

This is the view from just down the hill from our room at the Pompano Beach Club in Bermuda. The water is such an incredible site. Taken with the Canon G15.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/incredible-bermuda Mon, 22 Apr 2013 21:01:55 GMT
Dancing Lobster Boats - A Rockport Time Lapse https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/dancing-lobster-boats---a-rockport-time-lapse Dancing Boats The other day I got the urge to try out a time lapse video with my Canon G15. I am going on a trip and wanted to try a couple of these before I did so in a far off location. For the most part it worked well except that I needed a graduated neutral density filter to knock down the sky. It probably could have used a .6 or .9 to take the sky down so it would have been close to what was in the foreground. When I start doing these with my larger cameras I will be sure to use a GND to knock down the sky. Even a colored GND would help a bit. So here are the specifics as to how I made this video. Everything on the camera was set to manual - WB, focus, exp. I did not want any flickering going on at all which would have happened if the white balance or exposure was on auto. The video was made over a period of 30 minutes and the external interval timer was set to make a shot every 3 sec. The exposure was 1/40 sec at f8. If you look real close you can see a white streak go across the sky at the end of the video. This is the contrail of a plane going by.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/dancing-lobster-boats---a-rockport-time-lapse Sun, 07 Apr 2013 11:54:22 GMT
Winter is Gone - Hello Spring https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/winter-is-gone---hello-spring This winter was pretty harsh around here and as a photojournalist I was out in the weather quite a bit shooting for our publications. The last storm was not as severe as the blizzard in February but it was still pretty bad. Rockport did sustain some damage with the northeast wind and high tide. The snow came in heavy and wet and stuck to everything. This shot was made on Bearskin Neck while it was still snowing a little. I used my Canon 1D Mk2 and the 70-200 f2.8 L. The exposure was 1/400 sec at f9.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/winter-is-gone---hello-spring Sat, 06 Apr 2013 12:09:47 GMT
Talent Show Singer https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/talent-show-singer Our annual church talent show was held last weekend and I had some fun using my Canon G15. I was amazed at the quality of the photos shot at the high ISO of 3200. This shot of our music director had plenty of light and really lent itself to a good shot. If I had moved a little bit to the right I would have been able to see her eye behind her glasses. But I was moving fast and using the screen on the back of the camera so it was a little tricky. I used a new app called Snapseed to add the border around the photo. I have been using my iPad more and more to edit photos and then sending them out to Dropbox and then to my computer to store them. I have not tried sending them directly from the iPad to Zenfolio to my website that's next on the list. The exposure was 1/60 at f4

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) annisquam talent show annisquam village church canon G15 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/talent-show-singer Fri, 05 Apr 2013 15:51:41 GMT
Cold Day Shooting Sports https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/cold-day-shooting-sports Early spring sports can be either warm or really cold - yesterday it was REALLY COLD. The temps up in Georgetown for this lacrosse game were in the mid 30's with the wind blowing about 20 mph. Chilly! This field is up behind the school but up a long hill. So I dragged my sorry butt up the hill carrying my three ft. ladder to sit on and the Canon 7D with the Canon 300 f2.8 on a monopod. I was there to shoot both teams but I decided to sit at one end. The team shooting at the end i was at was not having a good day and only got off two shots in the first quarter, they did get a little better later in the second quarter. I managed a few good shots even though I resembled an ice cube. This shot was made at ISO 400 at 1/1000 sec at f4.5.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 7d canon lacrosse https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/cold-day-shooting-sports Wed, 03 Apr 2013 16:24:19 GMT
The Maiden Voyage of the pinky schooner Ardelle https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/the-maiden-voyage-of-the-pinky-schooner-ardelle Ardelle's Maiden Voyage This is one of my favorite videos of the Ardelle project that our team here at Gatehouse Media North did back in the winter and spring of 2011. We all had a blast doing it and we were fortunate enough to win a first place for a couple of the portions of the project. We won first place for Digital / Print Convergence and first place for video.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/the-maiden-voyage-of-the-pinky-schooner-ardelle Tue, 02 Apr 2013 15:06:41 GMT
Peekin Pie's View of the World https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/peekin-pies-view-of-the-world Wire Haired Fox TerrierPeekin Pie Recently I was coming out of an event at a local hall and noticed this cute pup in the window of a real estate office. I made the shot with an iPhone 4s and did the post processing in Snapseed which allowed me to zip things up a bit and to add a blur around the outside of the image to focus the attention on the dog.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) annisquam gloucester https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/4/peekin-pies-view-of-the-world Mon, 01 Apr 2013 12:26:48 GMT
Easter Early Morning Service 2013 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/3/easter-early-morning-service-2013 annisquam, squam rock, easter, canon, canon G15 Happy Easter everyone. The early morning service was a little chilly but sunny and clear as a bell. We could see the coast of NH and ME from Squam Rock. This shot was made using the Canon G15 in manual mode. The aperture could only be stopped down to f8 but it still gave me a nice star. I have lived on Cape Ann my whole life and the early morning service at Squam Rock has been a part of it for a good portion of it. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon Easter G15 Rock Squam annisquam https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/3/easter-early-morning-service-2013 Sun, 31 Mar 2013 13:21:09 GMT
Building a Giant Lobster Trap https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/1/lobsta During the cold weather I had a great opportunity to shoot some great stuff this week. Harold Burnham and Bruce Slifer are building a giant lobster trap for Maritime Gloucester. It's all made of red oak that is milled on-site. They estimate that the finished trap will weigh in at around a ton. All of these shots were made with the Canon 5D Mk lll and the 16-35. I also used the 24-70 on my 7D which gave me a great range of a bout 16-112 between the two cameras. The images were really outstanding.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/1/lobsta Fri, 25 Jan 2013 20:22:45 GMT
Rockin' The Blues at the Shalin Liu with James Montgomery https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/1/rockin-the-blues-at-the-shalin-lu-with-james-montgomery James Montgomeryblues-3991 James Montgomery - Canon G15 ISO 800 1/50 @ f2.8

James Montgomeryblues-3943 James Montgomery - ISO 3200 1/80 @ f 2.8

Jon Butcherblues-3934 Jon Butcher - ISO 3200  1/100  @ f 2.8

charlie Ferrenblues-3929 Charlie Ferren - ISO 3200  1/250  @ f 2.8

James Montgomeryblues-3988 James Montgomery - ISO 800  1/25  @ f 2.8

 

What a night rockin' the blues at the Shalin Lu Performance Center in Rockport. A great performance by these stars playing the blues. These photos show what a point and shoot can do if used correctly. I shot these with a Canon Powershot G15. Using a P&S for this stuff is pretty difficult with the performers moving around quite a bit. So I took up the challenge and the results amazed me. This little pocket mighty is impressive even though the sensor is about the size of half my thumbnail. The image stabilization worked really well for the slow shutter speed stuff and at 3200 I was, well blown away. I have not printed any of them yet but when I do I'll be sure to post the results. For the most part I was really happy with how things turned out. The focus is fast but not for this stuff. Shutter lag is also an issue. But hey, it's a point and shoot!

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Butcher Charlie Ferren James Jon Montgomery https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/1/rockin-the-blues-at-the-shalin-lu-with-james-montgomery Sat, 19 Jan 2013 04:44:45 GMT
The Canon G15 - Little Marvel https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/1/the-canon-g15---little-marvel So I was disappointed with my Canon G1X as you can see by a different post (below). I decided to buy the new G15 and am in love with it. I will post some things when I get a chance and I have stuff to show but so far I am amazed at what I can do that I could not do with the G1X. The G1X was very slow and big. The max fstop at 112 mm was 5.8 - what? The G15 is 2.8 at 140 mm. the lens is so much better I can't believe it.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2013/1/the-canon-g15---little-marvel Sat, 12 Jan 2013 21:53:07 GMT
Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA in Snow https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/halibut-point-state-park-rockport-ma-in-snow halibutsnowH-1 halibutsnowH-2 I had a great morning after last nights snowfall. I headed out to Halibut Point State Park in Rockport for some snow pictures. It was brutally cold with the wind blowing about 30 mph. But the snow was beautiful on the north side of the trees. The light was just starting to come around but was not really in a great place and my photos early were not as good. I need to go back at 3 PM and see what it's like. The top image of the quarry reminded me of sea coral and thus this image which captures the snow in that way. The second photo reminded me of white chocolate covered pretzels. Both of these images were made with the Canon 5D MKlll and the 24-70 F2.8 L.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/halibut-point-state-park-rockport-ma-in-snow Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:29:27 GMT
Archived NEWS Photos from 1981 https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/archived-news-photos-from-1981 Larry Bird Up and Over Here are some old vintage images that I made while working for the premier Daily paper on the North Shore back many years ago. The top one is of Larry Bird of the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals at the old Boston Garden against the Sixers. Amazing how the light was pretty even. I usually shot from the corner of the floor with a 100 mm lens. I can't remember what the ASA was or the exposure. The bottom one is a Salem State hockey game during the winter of 1981 with the Romanian National team. The guy flying through the air is a Romanian player. More than likely this was a 300 f 2.8 shot, ASA 1600 shot at 1/500 at 2.8.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) boston garden larry bird https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/archived-news-photos-from-1981 Fri, 28 Dec 2012 22:14:49 GMT
Christmas Candlelight https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/christmas-candlelight Canon 5D mk 3 lowlight example 5000 ISOChristmas Candlelight The holiday season always seems to give great lasting memories and photo opportunities. Yesterday I attended the annual Christmas Pageant at our church and was not disappointed with the wonderful images that came out of it. In this shot a friend of mine was showing the candle to her grandson near the end of the service. The Canon 5D Mk 3 and the 24-70 f2.8 were a great combination for this event and gave me some really nice images at 5000 ISO. This shot was made a 1/30 sec at f2.8 and I was amazed at everything about it.Canon 70-200 f2.8 ll ISCandlelight at 1/15 sec

This photo was made at the same event as the one above and amazed me just as much. The new IS technology just blows me away. This image was made using the new Canon 70-200 f2.8 ll IS. The ISO was set at 4000 and the image was made at 1/15 sec. at 2.8. The woman's eye is tack sharp. Wow!

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) annisquam annisquam village church canon 5d mk 3 canon 70-200 canon 7D christmas christmas pageant https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/christmas-candlelight Mon, 24 Dec 2012 14:51:14 GMT
Canon G1X Owner Complains https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/canon-g1x-owner-complains Canon G1XCanon G1X a user complains

First off, let me say that the image quality, ergonomics, and build quality of this camera are superb but for some reason the engineers forgot to talk with the photographers that would be using this camera (pro photographers and advanced amateurs). Don't get me wrong I love the results it's just how I get there that kind of rubs me the wrong way.

Let's start with the good things. The CMOS image sensor is really big, almost aps-C size. So the images are really spectacular. The downside, macro is unusable. The camera fits perfectly in my hand and the knurled control nobs are great and don't get knocked off their setting easily. The addition of the control wheel on the hand grip makes it feel like my Canon SLR's - nice touch. This camera is a small tank - it feels like a real camera not the advanced point-and-shoot that it is. The menu system is just like the rest of Canon's P&S cameras and works well.

I love setting C1 and C2 on the camera, it lets me shoot smaller jpg images and 720 video for our newspapers on one setting then switch to another setting for higher video and raw files.

Now for the stuff that drives me nuts. Where do I start?

The camera comes with a small (lose it now) lens cap. The only way to attach any kind of filter is with an 58 mm adapter. I opted to buy an off market delrin adapter (it came out before Canon's plastic did) which works great. The lens actually got a tiny little chip out of it because it was not protected right away. I now have a 58 mm B+W filter on it and a 58 mm Canon lens cover. So big you can't lose it. For some reason Canon decided not to put a screw mount for 44 mm? filter - beyond me. I would have really liked to be able to attach a filter AND a hood at the same time but alas no.

Now Canon, what's with the useless 75% viewfinder. What a piece of crap. Nothing like getting 25% more image than you thought you were getting. Why not use a EVF. Problem solved. Or how about someone out there creating one that sticks on the hot shoe - we know Canon won't.

The lens is of nice quality but for crying out load f5.6 at the max. Come on Canon wake up and make it f4.5 so we can live with it in low light. Of course the macro sucks beyond belief. I know the larger sensor creates a problem but please fix it some how with the next one, G2X?

Now for the nitty gritty while using the camera. This camera loves to shoot wide open all the time in the auto settings. Canon, why can't I change this or maybe I can and can't find it in the manual. Auto ISO - I love it, but why can't I set this to the highest setting 12,800 if I want, why just 1600?

Now for video, or should I say auto everything video. You can fool it of course as long as you have it on the video setting and not on the fly in some other setting. The shutter speed is still 30, 60 or whatever Canon sets it for and the camera automatically sets the f stop according to how you zoom the lens. You can use the exposure lock button to lock the exposure when you are in video mode but when the camera is in any other mode the exposure is up and down when you reposition the camera.

Finally Canon, wake up and put a microphone plug on the camera so I can attach an external microphone. What an oversight you knuckleheads. As much as I dislike Nikon at least they figured that out.

Overall there are some things to like about this camera and the images are really stunning. That's the bottom line

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Canon G1X https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/canon-g1x-owner-complains Fri, 21 Dec 2012 17:06:52 GMT
Parrots Day Out https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/parrots-day-out A couple of years ago we were down in Bradenton FL for a hockey tournament and went to one of the theme parks down there for the day. I had my Canon 1D Mkll with me and my 70-200 f2.8 and a 1.4 mm extender. Both the lens and the extender are about 25 years old but are perfectly matched to each other. I had a great time shooting birds around the place and this is one of the best ones. The exposure was 1/125 sec. at f7.1 at ISO 200. 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/parrots-day-out Tue, 18 Dec 2012 08:28:20 GMT
Looking over his gift for the Christ Child https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/looking-over-his-gift-for-the-christ-child Looking over his gift for the Christ Child This past Sunday the young folks at our church were practicing for the Christmas play. This young boy who is playing one of the wise men looks over the gift he will give to the Christ Child. This image was made with the Canon G1 X with lens zoomed all the way out.  The exposure was 1/20 of sec at f 5.6  at ISO 400. Antishake was on and did an incredible job. The camera focused on the package and not his face so it's just a little out but still nice.                           

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) G1X annisquam village church gloucester https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/looking-over-his-gift-for-the-christ-child Mon, 17 Dec 2012 18:00:54 GMT
Crashing Waves Gloucester, MA https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/waves-crash-along-the-backshore-in-gloucester-ma Waves crash along the backshore in Gloucester, MAWaves crash along the backshore in Gloucester, MA

 

Summer surf along the back shore of Gloucester. A summer storm had come through the area earlier and I found the perfect spot along Atlantic Rd. in Gloucester. The wind going the opposite way really makes this shot. I used the Canon 7D and the Canon 300 mm f2.8 lens. 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 7d atlantic gloucester ocean waves https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/waves-crash-along-the-backshore-in-gloucester-ma Sat, 15 Dec 2012 14:30:24 GMT
Eric Ronnberg Inspects the Model Yacht America https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/eric-ronnberg-inspects-the-model-yacht-america Eric Ronnberg Inspects the Model Yacht AmericaEric Ronnberg Inspects the Model Yacht America

 

Eric Ronnberg closely looks over his model "America" at the Yachting Museum in Newport RI recently. Ronnberg worked for eight months on this project and created this stunning historically accurate model for the William Koch Collection. 

 

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) 7d eric ronnberg model america rockport https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/eric-ronnberg-inspects-the-model-yacht-america Fri, 14 Dec 2012 17:25:39 GMT
Big Smelly Fish https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/new-to-zenfolio This is probably the best way to do a photoblog right on your site. The images are large crisp and clean nice touch.

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kirk.williamson@gmail.com (Kirk R. Williamson Photography) Rockport MA finback whale https://www.krwphoto.com/blog/2012/12/new-to-zenfolio Fri, 14 Dec 2012 13:31:40 GMT