Nature Paints

It’s quite fascinating, even when there doesn’t seem to be hardly any color left on a trist and foggy winter morning, nature still preserves little specks of color that catch our attention. Add a little bokeh and if you are lucky sometimes nature photography can look like a painting.

Leica SL | Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. | 1/640s | f/1.4 | ISO 100

Winter is Not What It Used to Be

I can hardly remember a time where we used to have a sustained snow cover over at least a couple of days. Even temperatures below zero degrees Celsius seem to become scarcer and scarcer. Not that I’m a huge fan of winter, let alone winter sports, but the sight of a snow covered cityscape or landscape can warm you heart. OK, I hear the irony in that.

When I was visiting friends between Christmas and New Year – or as we Germans tend to say “zwischen den Jahren” (as in “between the years”) – we, as a matter of tradition, went on a little hike around a sort of lake (which in reality is just a bit of a bulge of the river Isar near Mammingen).

It was pretty cold, but there was not a hint of snow. Now, I wouldn’t even expect the fake lake to be frozen over but some hint of winter would have been nice. In particular for taking photos and trying to capture a “winter scene”. But as of late that seems to be almost an impossible undertaking.

For the time being, the images below will have to do as “winter pictures”.

All pictures taken with a Leica SL and a Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH.

Leica SL | Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. | 1/4000s | f/1.4 | ISO 100
Leica SL | Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. | 1/1600s | f/1.4 | ISO 100
Leica SL | Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. | 1/2500s | f/1.4 | ISO 100

Rays of Life

Leica SL (TYP 601) | Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH. | f/2 | 1/1000s | ISO 50 | Edited in Lightroom and Color Efex Pro

Leica SL (TYP 601) | Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH. | f/2 | 1/1000s | ISO 50 | Edited in Lightroom and Color Efex Pro

Taking photographs can be very rewarding. Taking photographs of people can be even more rewarding. But usually you know nothing about the people who you photograph on the street. They are just passers-by. In a best case scenario they are a collection of well exposed and hopefully equally well composed pixels on your camera sensor or film.

The icing on the cake, however, is when you get to know your photographic subject at least a teeny bit and scratch the surface of his or her thoughts and ideas. In a crowded pedestrian street in the middle of the city where everybody is rushing from shop to shop or appointment to appointment that seems highly unlikely to ever happen. And yet, sometimes, fortune is with you. As it was with me today. I was just strolling through the streets trying to kill some time until my next appointment, the weather was extremely nice, although very cold, but the sun had this very winterly glow with harsh shadows and crisp air. So I thought I take my camera out and just try my luck.

And then I saw this guy in my picture leaning against this city-light ad thingie. I was only pointing the camera at him and not even taking a picture yet, and he began speaking to me. So I approached him, and of course the very first question was what I was taking the photographs for. So we engaged in a very nice conversation about my blog, what he does for a living etc. etc. etc. And this, really, is what makes photography such a pleasure. Without my camera I would have never spoken to him, never heard his story, would have never been able to grasp what was on his mind.

After five minutes of conversing he agreed that I may take some photos of him. And he was a natural. No stupid posing, no looking into the camera. Just a very relaxed pose, as if I would not even be there. Perfection.

At the end of the day, a nice photograph can be something beautiful to look at. But sometimes the story behind these photographs can be much more interesting than the surface of what you are looking at – more than a collection of pixels and electric current.