Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/31

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Subject: RE: [Leica] oh, Canada! OR a real 'real world' lens test
From: "Dan Honemann" <>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 23:23:31 -0400

Johnny and Steve,

Thanks for the great advice--as always.

> 19 is a bit deceptive. It's actually on the 90. The figures crossing in
> foreground make it look wider. I guess I was about 12-15 feet away.

I realized it must have been the 90 after I read your addendum post (which I
hadn't seen before asking my question)--I went back and looked again and it
became clear it was the longer focal length.  Nice job with that 90, too!

> Obviously with the 90 wide open you have to focus *very* carefully, and at
> low shutter speeds you have to take your time. But the main thing is, and
> this sounds like Zen probably, just becoming part of the crowd. Darkness
> helps a lot as you can stay out of the light if you wish, in
> which case you are essentially invisible to anyone *in* the light.

Zen is right up my alley, having been a practitioner along those lines for
many years (beginning with a stint at an honest-to-goodness zen monastery
back in my late teens, inspired in part by that toilet-paper novelist Jack,
his pal Alan and the gang :)).  So I know what you mean here, and I find it
the greatest challenge and, for me, the most exciting one.

I'm slowly transitioning from a period of having to concentrate on the
equipment (setting the exposure, focus, composing) to being able to keep
attention open to what's going on--and that latter stance brings the
invisibility you mention.  No one seeing, just seeing.  Then the photo takes
itself. :)

A good practice might be to go out into the fray and _not_ shoot for some
period of time, just let the camera dangle from the strap, waiting until
that sense of open attention is present--that clarity--and only _then_ take
up the camera and see what happens.  Hadn't thought of that approach till
just now, so I'll experiment with it next time and see what happens.

Thanks again,