Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/04/04

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Photoshop! The Leica of...
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2001 11:31:19 -0400

on 4/4/01 10:04 AM, at

> I visited your site and loved it. Were these shots taken in London? Did you
> use an M camera, It looks like you did from the reflection in the wall in
> that one shot. 

thanks, yes, the Human Traffic stuff is London. I used an M4-P and an M4-2
mostly but there was an M2 in there somewhere.
> Do you find people mind that you take their photos, or do you just snap and
> keep moving. I think the way you are using the M camera is perfect for the
> way it is designed.

I don't know whether people mind but they very rarely say anything. Street
photography is all in the mind. If you look hesitant or trying to hide, you
stick out and people start objecting or skittering out of the way. If you
look like you're meant to be there and don't attempt to be inconspicuous,
people tend to ignore you completely. In some respects it is easier to shoot
on the street with a big Domke jacket and a strobe than in stealth mode,
though the pictures you get will be different.

In 'stealth mode' I usually hold the camera in one hand with the strap
wrapped around my wrist, set to the right exposure and prefocused around 6-8
feet. Shutter speed of at least 1/250 in daylight if possible. As soon as my
guts say 'picture' the camera goes to the eye, I focus (if possible) and
shoot. Usually by the time I have shot one frame the picture has gone. You
really have to work on your reaction time. I play computer games like Unreal
Tournament (groans) where reaction times are everything and good players
talk about the 'twitch' factor where you process a situation and react on it
so fast your conscious mind only arrives on the scene afterwards. This is
where my best streetpics come from, an emotional tug felt, then the camera
goes to the eye so fast that there is hardly time to even glimpse the
situation through the viewfinder, and click. If you can mop up with further
exposures afterwards, great, but most times, like here

it's really that precise instant that works... hard to imagine more than
about a tenth of a second earlier or later that there'd be any picture there
at all. And I still don't really know why that works as a picture, but my
guts did at the time.

> I recently installed PhotoShop 5.5 and have played with it very little. It
> can be intimidating to a novice. Any good books on the subject that you
> could recommend, or did you just learn by playing around with it.

I wish there were more good books. The Martin Evening books PHotoshop for
Photographers is okay, as is the Visual Quickstart guide, but really there's
nothing that great. Hanging out on my Digital Silver list at

may be a help... it has around 600 subscribers including some really top
professionals at adobe and elsewhere. You can ask really basic questions and
get helpful answers. The archives, which are searchable if you become a
member of, are stuffed to the gills with tips and techniques for
everthing you can think of.

- -- 
Johnny Deadman