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