Street Diary: Visiting the Leica Store 11/09/14

First off, I'm trying something new -- I made an instagram account to be a "behind-the-scenes" sort of thing.  I'm just posting camera photos and that sort of non-sense.  It's actually fairly fun; I'm surprised that people are looking at these sorts of snapshots on instagram.  I will be embedding some of the shots I take on a few of my posts.. Hopefully they look decent on mobile. I decided to head down to DC to check out the Leica Store again this Sunday.  I love fondling cameras and just being a photo-geek with similar minded folk.  As always, I took the metro to travel into the city.  This outing I decided was to be completely analog.  Thus, I brought the Leica M2 (I actually have an embarrassing story I should write about this guy) and the Yashica Mat 124.  Film-wise, I had Portra 160 loaded in both cameras.

A photo posted by Patrick (@surfingsalmon) on

Every time I've been to Leica Store in DC, I've had such a fantastic time talking to the staff there.  I never felt pressured to buy anything there -- granted, I would love to own a fancy, digital Leica M-P.  In fact, one of the employees left me with a list of photobooks to check out..  In particular I'm interested in Robert Frank's The American's and Daido Moriyama's The World Through My Eyes books. I ended up leaving the store with a -0.5 correction diopter and an Artisan Obscura Soft-Shutter release in, I think, bloodwood.  The diopter is a godsend because I can finally see through the viewfinder without glasses on.  Another bonus is that I can finally see the 35mm brightlines on the M2!  I might have to pick up a Jupiter 12 to play with 35mm.

A photo posted by Patrick (@surfingsalmon) on

After loitering at the Leica Store, I took to the streets of the nation's capitol.  In retrospect, I should have stayed in the blocks around the Leica Store, because that seemed to be a shopping-oriented section of the city and not touristy.  Taking photos of tourists and travelers is not very appealing.  They've all slung their fanny packs around their waists, secured their kids on leashes, and possibly took a long bath in nothing but sunscreen.  I did however come across a trio of foreign girls riding rental bikes through the sidewalks.  When I first saw them pedal right by me, I didn't have my exposure dialed in correctly on my camera and missed a fantastic shot.  I encountered them a couple of times afterwards, scurrying all over the place -- I could never capture that initial moment, unfortunately.

Yashica Mat 124 TLR

This was also the first time I took the Yashica Mat 124 out onto the streets.  Street photography with a TLR is an absolutely different ballgame to rangefinder and SLR shooting.  The best part about shooting a TLR is that you are invisible.  And I mean invisible.  Most folk probably have no idea what you are holding or why you're looking down into a funky looking b0x.  People stare and stroll right by me as I compose with the beautiful, almost 3D-looking ground glass.  Even though the image on the ground glass is flipped horizontally, it's still fairly easy to follow subjects.  Waiting for the metro leaving the capitol, I shot a few hand held long exposures in the underground station.  My intention was to have a pitch-black figure in the foreground, with dim ambient lighting creating a silhouette.

I'll post photos after they get developed...  I'm thinking of trying out Indie Film Lab's budget scans this time around..