Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/01/18

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Subject: [Leica] Leica quiet exposures
From: Ted Grant <>
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 2003 08:40:23 -0800
References: <>


Here's something slightly different for you folks which you may or may not
interesting in using Leica's.

As some of you know my associate Sandy Carter and I are shooting in several
medical centres across North America during the next three months to produce
a book on "Women in Medicine." To say the least this isn't a piece of cake
shoot, but our good fortune in a couple of locations, Dr.Steve Barbour of
and Emanuel Lowi of Montreal are making life easier for us during those

This past week I was shooting at a Hospice Centre photographing female
doctors and nurses in an attempt to capture their handling of patients,
many in the last stages of living. Not the easiest of assignments but one of
many for our book.

Using 2 M7's, one M6, Tri-x film rated at 800 souped in XTOL 1:1. A
variation of lenses 15, 21, 35, Noctilux & 90mm Summicron, it was a
challenging shoot.

I'm sure you can imagine it was a highly emotional situation to shoot,
certainly when one is an emotional jerk like I am. It was here the quiet of
the Leica M7 shutter was obvious in the space of a small room..  Actually
under these conditions it was quite easy appreciating the difference between
the soft click of the M7 and the solid sound M6 shutter's that isn't
noticeable on the street. Not that the M6 is loud, but more so than the M7.

Here people are waiting out the time for their last heart beat, suddenly to
find a photographer in their quiet space, those that could. Trust me, this
is bigtime Leica quiet time, it sure wasn't the location for motor driven
cameras of any make. The first day was a real challenge attempting to be
invisible and as Leica quiet as possible.

I had two concerns; one, not to disturb the patients in any way and to
capture the most meaningful pictures I could of the doctors and nurses, not
an easy task. I shot a ton of film, all kinds of situations, unfortunately
at the end of a very long day it felt like I'd made thousands of exposures,
but not one meaningful photograph. :-(  12 hours continuous on the prowl
will do that to you.

I felt there wasn't one frame I was so excited about that the only thing I
wanted to do, regardless of how tired I was, to soup film as quickly as
possible to see the one magical frame burning a hole in my gut to see. Some
days are like that.

So here we are 5 days later, a pile of film to soup, contact, edit and print
over the next few days before we move onto Montreal, Phoenix, New York,
Boston, San Francisco and back here by the end of March, hopefully with 99%
of the photography completed. It's called shoot hard, carefully and only
exposures that motivate. Light, eyes, action is the name of the game for
both of us. And no flash! Only the motivating light we see on the subjects.

So with M7's and M6's, a mix of lenses and lots of film, Sandy and I are off
and running for the next few months about the country side. ;-) Obviously
we'll not likely be on the screen too often between now and the end of
March, but we'll keep in touch.


Ted Grant Photography Limited

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