2019 Week Nine

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) as the Utah Jazz host the Milwaukee Bucks, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Saturday March 2, 2019.

Assignment: Utah Jazz v Milwaukee Bucks

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45), drenched on the court during a post-game interview as the Utah Jazz host the Milwaukee Bucks, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Saturday March 2, 2019.

Assignment: Press Conference on Vapes

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune)
Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, speaks at a news conference on the current status of House Bill 252, Electronic Cigarette and Other Nicotine Product Amendments. Wednesday Feb. 27, 2019 in Salt Lake City.

Assignment: Planned Parenthood Rally

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and supporters gathered in a silent protest in the Utah State Capitol Rotunda Friday March 1, 2019, while a 12-foot birdhouse art installation broadcast statements from Utah constituents.

Assignment: Utah Jazz v New Orleans Pelicans

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) dunks as the Utah Jazz host the New Orleans Pelicans, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Monday March 4, 2019.

Thinking about how using the Leica has made my vision health more creative… Manual focus has been a good thing. Rephrase – Manual focus with the 21mm has been no problem at all. Manual focus with the 50/1.1 is challenging and I’m not using that lens enough to master the physical aspect of focusing on moving subjects.

The 35 Summicron hasn’t been seeing a lot of use, but focus-wise muscle memory is good. Not to where I was before, where I could dial in focus without looking, but not to a point that I’m missing moments.

The missing moments happens after I’ve focused, dialed in exposure, and am watching the scene ready to fire. The figure is in perfect pose, the dog’s head is distinctly looking left, or the drop of water on the icicle swells as it begins to fall. I trip the shutter and there’s a fatal pause as the moment passes, then the shutter clicks. The resulting shot is maybe 1/8th of a second late.

So the slow process of composing and focusing increases the creativity dramatically. But the fatal flaw of the slow operation results in FAIL. To be fair To put the blame where it belongs, it only happens with the Visoflex, which is needed for the 21 (and also the 50 at f1.1).

Too many words.

The rangefinder view is something I grew to love, but I’ve clearly moved on to great EVFs, which give me an exact version of the final image in the viewfinder. I set my EVFs to monochrome, which brings a crisp emphasis on line, shape, and pattern.

Tracking through the past five or so years of my work, or even further back, there is a pattern of rebelling against the equipment required by the job of a newspaper photographer available to a newspaper budget.

When we went with the Nikon D1H and its 1.5x crop sensor, I felt like I was staring at everything through a straw. In reaction, I began to expand the frame by shooting huge composite images made of dozens or even hundreds of frames.

Then it was the EOS 1-D Mark II and an array of lenses that weighed more than anything I’d ever carried around. The reaction to that was to move to a series of small cameras that were clunky and unnatural, though lightweight.

At this point, after nearly a year back with the Leica M, I’ve turned on the smaller, low quality cameras. I don’t use them anymore. And I’m being drawn toward glass of the highest quality.

Maybe there are two years left in my career. I ask myself, Why take a photo with anything but the finest lenses in the world?


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