Print Your Photos (Probably a better title out there)

You shot your rolls of film, developed them or had them developed. You looked at the prints (or jewel-like slides)– the only way to look at your photos unless they were published — and decided which ones you liked. When you were learning photography you looked at the negatives and picked one. You held those little frames to the light or looked at them through a loupe over a light table. You made contact sheets and looked at those through a magnifying glass, at tiny windows into the worlds of your own past. They were full of mystery, tiny little scenes that you had chosen, burned into silver halide, glowing frames of silvery greys and blacks, the direct opposite of what you had seen. It was up to you to think about them, think about what you wanted. Then you had to turn the lights off, turn on the red light, fit that chosen frame into a holder, fit it into a larger frame, make decisions and then commit to it. You held your breath and pushed the button and the light came on, changing the photo paper invisibly, immediately, and forever. You took that piece of paper and slipped it beneath the developer. Again you held your breath, waiting, wondering. Would it come in a rush of overexposed blacks or a tentative, underexposed outline of whites and greys? Or had you calculated correctly when you committed light to the paper as you had when you opened the camera’s shutter to expose the film.  Continue reading “Print Your Photos (Probably a better title out there)”

The Ona Bowery Leica Bag

Bag shown with optional Leica M, Photo A. Tonn

I received the good news that Leica was fixing my Monochrome’s shutter, replacing the sensor glass, and giving the thing a general tune up.  The additional good news was that it would all be free.  The bad news was they estimated the repairs would take 18 to 20 weeks (and this 8 weeks after sending it in).  Regardless, this gave me the green light to buy a bag for my Monochrome.  I believe that every camera/camera system needs its own shoulder bag home suited to the way I use that camera.  Every camera has an infrastructure that needs to be contained and organized along with items of more general utility that live in camera bags.  If you use more than one type of camera and constantly swap cameras in and out of bags, then very soon you’ll find yourself trying to put a Nikon battery into a Leica or attach an M lens to an F mount or find yourself without a flashlight or pen at some critical moment.  Continue reading “The Ona Bowery Leica Bag”

The Quest for the Perfect Boot

A common topic of conversation between the three of us here at Field Photographer is that of the perfect boot. Not just the perfect pair of boots, but does such a thing even exist? And let’s say for just a moment that it does, what would it consist of? Countless hours have been spent between the 3 of us here on just this subject.  Continue reading “The Quest for the Perfect Boot”

The 50mm f/2 Zeiss Planar ZM

Highway heading into a storm on the Navajo Reservation, Northern Arizona, Leica M-P 240, Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar ZM – Photo © Andrew Tonn 

When I bought a digital Leica I wanted a new lens to go with it.  There was no question that this lens would be 50mm.  I use other focal lengths (and have nothing against buying used optics) but, in this case, I wanted a new lens for the new camera.  When I bought a Leica M6ttl in 2001, I briefly used an antique 50mm f/2 Summar, but was soon able to acquire well-used 50mm f/2 Summicron from the 1970s.  I bought the Summar for $150 from an acquaintance and the second hand Summicron for $500 at the now sadly deceased F-Stop Camera in Akron, Ohio.  That lens has served me well but, when I decided to buy the digital M-P 240, the Summicron was in for repairs.  Anyway, I wanted a new lens for my new Leica and the M6 would be lonely and jealous if I confiscated its friend Summicron.  I like to maintain harmony in my stable of cameras after all. Continue reading “The 50mm f/2 Zeiss Planar ZM”

Cole Barash’s Smokejumpers: Field Research

Photo from Smokejumpers, © Cole Barash

Photographer Cole Barash’s recent collaboration with the brand Filson takes us to a side of forestry firefighting we rarely see, in a year plagued by major fires across the states, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Pacific Northwest. From intimate portraits to striking images of these brave men and women at work protecting the forest, the scale of these fires is felt in each image from Barash.  Continue reading “Cole Barash’s Smokejumpers: Field Research”

A Tale of Two Undies

ARLINGTON — A few years ago I attended a seminar about keeping yourself safe overseas.  It was taught by a genuine Bearded Tactical Guy (genus Hombre Sapiens Tacticus Barbus Americanus).  I have no doubt he delivered a terrific amount of great information but I only had two major takeaways.  First, the next time you are really, really, really hungry up in Nepal — like lost for a week or two in the Himalayas hungry — control yourself and don’t eat undercooked water buffalo when you finally stagger out of the hills.  It can make you really, really, really sick.  Really, that’s really a lot of reallys but don’t do it. Eat your water buffalo well done.  Wait until you’re back at Longhorns to get the rare steak.  The second thing was that there is underwear with pockets.  In an aside, the instructor mentioned that you could carry some last ditch money, emergency numbers or such items in the pocket of your underpants.  I mean, I’m a guy who loves pockets but I’d never even thought of having pockets on my skivvies. So, remember this, scouts: never eat undercooked water buffalo and there’s underwear with the ability to store more stuff than just your stuff.

Continue reading “A Tale of Two Undies”

The Filson Feather Cloth Shirt is Back

A staple of mine is the Filson Feather cloth shirt, I could live in this shirt. When the epaulets version was on closeout awhile back, even though they didn’t have my size left in stock, I ordered 4-5 of each color. Although the version with epaulets is sadly still not available, Filson has given us new colors and plaids, as well as the standard short sleeves version. As always Filson backs their wear with their lifetime warranty.

We’ll have a full review of the Feather Cloth Shirt coming up shortly, as our order of the new one should arrive this week. LINK FP

5 Days In Kathmandu

Leica M Monochrome, 15mm f/4.5 Voigtlander Super Heliar, Temple steps, Durbar Square (Photo by Andrew Tonn ©

There were times when our two years in Mumbai seemed an eternity.  I knew the time would pass quickly, however, that every day, strange as it was, would crossfade into the next and that sooner, rather than later, we would be headed back to the airport, boarding a flight out, and that everything undone would most likely stay undone.

Continue reading “5 Days In Kathmandu”

The Leica Summaron 35/ƒ2.8 M

The owner of Brittania & Company, one of the classic old Parsi restaurants in old Bombay. Leica M-P (Photo, Andrew Tonn ©)
ARLINGTON — Of all the Leica M lenses out in the world, there is one in particular that does not seem to gets its due.  That lens is the 35mm f/2.8 Summaron, a lens made from 1958-1974.  Continue reading “The Leica Summaron 35/ƒ2.8 M”